The foregoing embarrassing must also be considered against the backdrop of the coaching experience in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Over 100 Vincentian teachers have been trained as athletics coaches since 1986. There are less than five who can be considered active coaches. Of these five, less than three engage in the practice of programme planning and preparation that are athlete and event specific. The same number are involved in ongoing analysis of the respective athletes.
The foregoing points a rather ominous yet accurate picture of the state of our athletics coaching. Too many individual adorn their walls with certificates.
It is all too easy to attend a training programme and perform well. It is something totally different to apply what one has learnt by getting out in the field and engage in the coaching of others, especially the nations children.
The availability of training opportunities now facilitate a levelling of the athletics playing field and the local community must seek to grasp them eagerly.
Some time ago Team Athletics sent coach Justin Douglas to Puerto Rico to be trained in the conduct of the IAAFs Kids Athletics Programme. Godfrey Harry has been mandated to lead the Right On Track (ROT) programme. These two innovative programmes target the nations children relative to basic introduction to the various components of the sport.
While there have been some attempts made at getting Kids Athletics off the ground, TASVG cannot be satisfied that more could not have been done to facilitate progress especially since it is all about making athletics fun for the children.
The ROT has fared better, perhaps because the coaches are being paid for their Saturday morning services, a new strategy introduced by TASVG. Still, the coaches involved in this programme are expected to take their involvement to a higher level since the critical follow-up activities seem not to be taking root and teachers and parents are yet to become involved alongside the children.