Can we be satisfied with our performances at multisport games this year?
Have we improved in any way?
Can we justify continuing to participate in the foregoing Games as well as the Pan Am and Olympic Games?
Of course we cannot be satisfied with our 2006 performances.
There are many who would claim that the cost benefit analysis would show that indeed we may well have engaged in some wastage.
But we cannot claim that we have not improved in some ways. At least we have medalled and some athletes have attained performances that have placed them inside the top ten achieving personal bests.
In some respects and in some sports there has been a more scientific approach to the training, identification and preparation of athletes.
We cannot however continue to expend resources already limited on competitions at a level that warrants much better preparations without engaging in a comprehensive review.
National associations must engage in systematic, scientific talent identification programmes with a clearly defined long term objective.
Such an approach will include the identification and training of coaches to work the programme and the identification of and participation in competitions over time consistent with the growth and development of the athletes in the sport.
This is the essence of a genuine development programme.
Concerted efforts must be made to evaluate the development programmes periodically, making appropriate changes and engaging in realistic decision-making in the best interests of genuine development
Sponsors and the government will shy away from supporting programmes that seem to lack a clear development strategy and a scientific approach to the management of the sport in keeping with contemporary trends.
We have to be better at development in the sporting disciplines in which we have clear potential and pour in the appropriate resources.
Pan American Games are scheduled for mid 2007.