Go Athletics!

The Plan clearly outlines the Vision of the IAAF for our sport: “to remain the number one sport for individuals in a changing world”. The Plan outlines two main areas of attention:
The first speaks to groups and activities that build the sport . The second addresses the way we sell the sport.

Building the Sport
Let us first examine how we are expected to build our sport. We do this by broadening participation in athletics at all levels. This essentially means that we want to be attracting athletes to the sport.
How do we do this? You have already begun. You have an excellent grassroots talent identification initiative in the Right On Track Programme conceptualized by Hasely Crawford and effected initially by the NGC and now in tandem with the NAAA. It is an excellent outreach Programme imbued with endless possibilities for the unearthing of the talented youths across Trinidad and Tobago. The ROT also brings the most talented athletes together in Academies to introduce them to the broader range of life skills so critical to the development of the human personality.
The NAAA has already commenced the introduction of the Kids In Athletics (KIA) Programme in the schools of the Southern Region and this is to be expanded. The schools have their annual athletics programme and the NAAA must be integrally involved in it as the national governing body for the sport. The schools are among the first beneficiaries of the ROT. The clubs of Trinidad and Tobago are the second major beneficiary of the ROT. Where clubs already exist they should be only too anxious to interface with the NAAA and its ROT Programme to engage new members from among the talented athletes emerging from it. Where no clubs exist the NAAA has a responsibility to grab hold of the opportunity provided by the ROT to encourage the formation of clubs. It is in your best interest.
I am saying to you today that the ROT offers you in the NAAA an excellent opportunity to commence your development programme at the very base of all sport, the children in their communities, near their homes, with the full involvement of the parents, teachers and key people of these communities. The NAAA therefore has to pay more attention to the formation, growth and development of clubs as the bedrock of its broader development strategy. In a very real sense the strength of the NAAA lies in the strength of its club structure.