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Cool Runnings Coming to Middlesbrough

By Published November 29, 2021

Dudley ‘Tal' Stokes, Captain of the original Jamaican Bobsleigh Winter Olympics team is in the process of setting up an Olympic base in Middlesbrough to train athletes, and encourage fitness routines within local communities, businesses, and schools.

Captain of the original Jamaican Bobsleigh Winter Olympics team, Tal is a hugely motivating individual, and founding member of the Jamaica Bobsleigh Team, on which the hit Disney film ‘Cool Runnings' was based.

The team's story featuring Tal as the principal character was immortalised in the film ‘Cool Runnings'.

Considered an iconic film by many and with a massive fan base, the team's trainer was played by Hollywood actor John Candy.

A four-time Olympian, Tal went from what many regarded as a chancer to contender in only six years. 

Moreover, Tal continues to maintain the same optimum mental health and physical health because he believes they are closely linked. Full of inspiring mantras, the one he feels most strongly about is, ‘good physical health leads to good mental health'.

Tal is now a performance Coach and works with members of the Jamaica Bobsleigh Team on how to achieve and maintain the peak performance state when needed regardless of external environment.

He wants to set up a base in Middlesbrough to continue work with Jamaica Bobsleigh athletes based in GB and to encourage fitness, offer inspiration and motivation within the community.

Tal comments: "I regularly stay with former world bobsleigh champion Nicola Minichiello and her partner, fellow bobsleigh coach, Jo Manning.

"I work with them extremely well, and we have come up with an idea to support  aspiring athletes, and people who are looking to take that next big step into the world of Athletics.

"There are many outreach programs in the Teesside area doing very good work getting people moving, we hope we can add to this.

"The upside is tremendous, improved health outcomes and a lessening of the burden on health services will only make the Teesside area more competitive within the UK and worldwide, honouring the legacy of Captain James Cook."

Middlesbrough native Jo Manning was a coach with Tal on the historic 2018 Jamaica Bobsleigh Team, the first time a female team from Jamaica had qualified for the Olympic Games: "Middlesbrough and all around Teesside is a great area with great people whom I know, if they can get the opportunity will excel.

"We are trying to give them another way forward, there cannot be too many ways."

Tal is now in Middlesbrough working to implement the program.

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