WESTERN Province Athletics celebrated 17-year-old Luke Davids at a press conference at the Green Point Athletics Stadium. Davids won gold in the men’s 100m final at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires. Phando Jikelo African News Agency (ANA)

Youth Olympic gold medallist Luke Davids will be Western Province Athletics’ (WPA) first aspiring athlete to be aided on and off the track in an initiative that aims to ensure they reach their potential.

This was announced by the body’s president, Lester Cameron, during a press conference to celebrate Davids after he returned from the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Davids, from Belhar, took gold in the men’s 100m final.

Cameron said Davids would be the athletics body’s first test subject as they sought to help the province’s 18 000 athletes.

“The Western Cape does not have a high-performance centre in terms of athletics, and our young talent is being poached by northern provinces’ institutions that have state-of-the art facilities. 

"We want to support our athletes like Luke also in terms of their academics, and to do our best to maintain as many as possible within our structures,” he said.

WPA track and field chairperson Marina Meyer said the University of the Western Cape had the province’s biggest athletics club and would be the ideal location for a high-performance centre.

Davids said he had been overwhelmed by the support he had received.

“I am an under-the-radar kind of guy, but now I can’t do that anymore. But this also means that I have gained loads of support. 

"Right now I am taking it easy and will prepare for my exams, Christmas with my family and, as coach said, the next year will be easier in terms of competitions,” he said.