Gideon Labban – the labour of love

There are some people who devote their lives to sport at one level or another. Such commitment is not always appreciated but for those who so choose to engage themselves it is often a labour of love.
In St Vincent and the Grenadines there are several such persons. This week's column takes a look at one of them, Gideon Labban.

Training and Development
Three-years after completing his education programme at the St Vincent Grammar School (1984), where he competed as a track and field athlete, Gideon Labban turned his attention to becoming a coach in the sport he knew, loved and practised. The first opportunity for him to access training in the art and science of coaching athletics presented itself when the then St Vincent and the Grenadines Amateur Athletics Association, SVGAAA, now Team Athletics St Vincent and the Grenadines, TASVG, hosted what was at the time the Level # 1 Coaches Certification Course of the North America, Central America and the Caribbean, NACAC, Level 1 Certificate, St Vincent, in 1987.

 At the time the International Amateur Athletics Federation, IAAF, now the International Association of Athletics Federations, did not have a coaches certification system. The NACAC, the continental arm of the IAAF, was ahead of its international governing body in this regard.
Labban excelled at the course, qualifying to pursue his dream at the next developmental level. This opportunity presented itself in 1990 when the national governing body was invited to send him to participate in the NACAC Level # 2 Coaches Certification Course at the Olympic Training Centre, Salinas, Puerto Rico. Here again Labban proved his worth, easily graduating from the exercise with flying colours. Two-years later, the national Association was invited to send Labban once more to Puerto Rico, this time to participate in the NACAC Level # 3 Coaches Certification Course at the same venue. Once more he was successful.
When the National Olympic Committee, NOC, received its first opportunity to participate in the three-month Advanced Coaching Certification Courses at the Hungarian University of Physical Education Diploma, Budapest, Hungary, in 1995, Labban and Woodrow Williams were this country's participants. They were both successful.