Gideon Labban – the labour of love

 
An IAAF Coaches Instructor since 2000 and a Course Director in 2005, Labban has worked in conjunction with the IAAF to conduct courses in the North American, Central American and the Caribbean region with the highest commendation being given for his performance. He has lectured at courses in Guyana (2000), Dominica (2001), St Lucia (2003), St Vincent and the Grenadines (2005), Turks and Caicos and Trinidad and Tobago (2006). He is scheduled to travel to Trinidad and Tobago in September to conduct a specialist session in Periodisation.
Here at home he has headed the Coaches Commission of TASVG and works indefatigably in the interest of the development of the sport and the coaches in the nation.
He has responsibility for the Right On Track programme, an innovation that began in Trinidad and Tobago under the leadership of Hasely Crawford. He has also been asked to be the National Coordinator of the National Olympic Committee's Talent Identification Programme, which now involves several of that organisation&
#39;s affiliates.
Labban also spearheads the TASVG Kids In Athletics, KIA, Programme, which seeks to introduce children to the sport of athletics through fun activities that involve the basics – Run, Jump, Throw. Each week he seeks to spread the word about the KIA by visiting institutions and assisting teachers in better understanding the basics and the importance of ensuring that the students are engaged in the sport as fun.
As a coach, he traverses St Vincent and the Grenadines eager to work with anyone who shows interest and is prepared to dedicate his or her time and energies to the sport he loves so dearly.

Resistance
It has often been said that "A prophet is not accepted in his own country." That may well apply to Gideon Labban.
In the recent past he has become the object of much derision from some of those in his own coaching fraternity.
One charge has been that "he is the saviour of athletics."
The problem seems to be the lack of ambition among several of those who desire to be coaches. Unlike Labban, they have failed to develop themselves, showing themselves inconsistent in their attendance at training sessions and unwilling or unable to prepare adequate programmes showing the progressive development of the athletes in their charge.
Athletics is not a hit or miss experience. Coaching is a science and many of our coaches seem unwilling to open their eyes to recognition of this fact.