Vacation – an ideal time for sport

Participants and NOC representatives pose at Closing of Taekwondo Course

We are well into the vacation period. Already the Vincentian team has made its way to the annual Windward Islands Secondary Schools Games in Grenada where they would be based in the parish of St Andrews at the renowned St Andrews Secondary School (SAS).
Many parents wonder hat they should have their children do during the vacation. Many teachers also seek something to wile away their time away from the classroom.
For some however, the vacation is usually a time for getting started with the conditioning phase of their athletics preparation. This is especially the case with regard to the students who have been selected to be part of the training squad for next year’s Penn Relays, and those athletes who have been training for some time with Michael Ollivierre’s IT DAT club.
There are many opportunities for athletes of different sports and individuals who are interested in getting involved in sport as an athlete or coach, during the current vacation period.
The Taekwondo Association here was the first sporting roganisation to make good use of the vacation time. Having applied and received approval from the NOC for a Technical Course the local governing body for the sport sought to facilitate its sustainability and continued development.
During the period 13 – 23 July, Korean Grand Master Seok San Kim, conducted a technical course in Taekwondo that involved 20 adults and 28 children.
Participants had the opportunity to acquire skills in sparring (Kurugy), patterns (Poomse) and refereeing. The critical component of discipline (Dojang) also featured prominently in the course.
The programme was intended to facilitate the continued spread of the sport across St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Over the years Taekwondo has been making inroads particularly among Vincentian children and the hope is that this trend would not only continue but that many of those trained would involve themselves in encouraging others to take to the sport and so bolster participation.
The Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) last year assumed ownership of the Caribbean Coaching Certification Programme (CCCP). Earlier this year, the National Olympic Committee hosted a Training of Trainers Workshop for affiliates of the CANOC over a two-day period.
Woodrow ‘Keylee’ Williams is the designated NOC’s National Coordinator for the CCCP with Rosmund Griffith as the Assistant National Coordinator. Together they would host the first of the revised CCCP Courses in this country during the period 9 – 10 August at the NSC’s Arnos Vale Sports Complex.
The CCCP Course is a general introduction to Coaching Theory and Practice. It is not sport specific. For any individual who has an interest in becoming a coach this is the first step. It is a foundation programme.  It is a competency based educational and training course. The course is based on the theory of coaching and outlines the basic principles of coaching that apply in any situation. Every attempt has been made to ensure that the course provides general information about coaching; introduces the individual to activities to him/her to apply the information provided; provides a series of exercises to help coaches understand the information better; and offers suggested reading resources for the individual’s further development.
Following the completion of the two-day workshop individuals have three months to complete the CCCP Work Book and must be observed by the two Coordinators conducting at least one practical session. This latter component has been introduced in order to ensure that before any of the individuals are certified CCCP coaches they must have completed the Work Book and an approved practical session working with athletes. The Coordinators must satisfy themselves that the coaches are not only capable of completing the theory but that they can apply the theory in practical situations enough to warrant certification.
It is recommended that the CCCP be undertaken and passed before individuals seek to move on to sport specific coaches’ certification programmes.
Thus far the NOC’s Coordinators for the CCCP have suggested that the courses focus on developing coaches at the Primary School and community levels, generating interest in this important aspect of the sport development process in the nation. The more coaches trained the greater the chances of broadening participation in sport as well as raising the performance standards of children as they go through their own sport development pathway.
CECS Level #1
Following on the heels of the Taekwondo technical course and the CCCP the track and field association here, Team Athletics St Vincent and the Grenadines (TASVG), would host its own technical course during the period 13 – 23 August at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex.
Individuals interested in doing the CECS Level #1 this time around have been encouraged to participate in the CCCP if they have not already undertaken a background or introduction to coaching course.
The Level #1 introduces the individual to the basics of coaching track and field athletics and is the first in a five-tier system developed by the IAAF, the world governing body for the sport.
While the TASVG has trained several coaches in the past at different levels this has not translated into active coaching in the field on a consistent basis. It is hoped that a new thrust towards developing coaches and reaching out to those already trained may yield better results in the future.
The St Vincent and the Grenadines National Olympic Committee has started a six-month programme with the local governing body for aquatics (formally swimming), with the mandate to establish a national sport structure in St Vincent and the Grenadines.  Dave Farmer of Barbados is the designated expert appointed by FINA – the international federation for the sport, to conduct the six-month programme.  Having conducted his first visit in July, he will conduct a two-week session in August, empowering the leadership and coaching fraternity in St Vincent and the Grenadines to do better and take the sport to another level.
Persons interested in becoming coaches in aquatics as well as individuals who are desirous of making a contribution to the development of the sports in St Vincent and the Grenadines are being encouraged to contact the local governing body for the sport in order to benefit from the six-month programme currently in progress.
The NOC has also approved a technical course for the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation to be conducted during the vacation.
Here again the intention is to broaden the coaching base in the sport.
Football is easily the nation’s most popular sport and there is no shortage of need for coaches if we are to continue to develop as a football nation.
FIFA has worked on ensuring a development pathway for the sport bringing athletes into regional and international competition from very early. The development of an academy at the local level means that the Federation here is serious about getting it right by bringing hundreds of children into the sport at an early age.
It is therefore particularly important that individuals come forward to be trained as football coaches to keep the sport as the nation’s #1 in terms of popularity and participation.
Olympic Values Education
The St Vincent and the Grenadines National Olympic Committee is intent on ensuring that its greatest legacy is the inculcation of a national sports culture. One of the quintessential elements of a National Sports culture is the inculcation of the gamut of positive values attendant to participation in sport.
The National Olympic Committee has, therefore, contracted Dr Diana Binder to conduct a series of workshops in St Vincent in late August.  Dr Binder is the foremost expert on Curriculum Development in respect of the application of the Olympic values to the several academic disciplines engaged in at all levels of the education system, from pre-school through to tertiary education.
While in St Vincent and the Grenadines at the behest of the National Olympic Committee, Dr Binder would facilitate among other things a Training of Trainers Workshop, to lay the basis for the sustainable inculcation of Olympic values in all subject areas, at all levels of our education system.  The National Olympic Committee has already expressed its enthusiasm at the prospect of facilitating the promotion of positive life values through sport for all Vincentians in the coming future.
Training Camps
A number of national sports associations have committed to conducting training camps during the vacation.  Athletics has training sessions at Arnos Vale, Petit Bordel and Georgetown from 23 July through to 18 August.
Boxing has started a training camp involving athletes for a two-week period, focusing on laying a strong foundation for youngsters across the country.  The leadership of the organisation, the boxing association, feel confident that while its appeal for a home for the sport appear to have fallen on deaf ears.  They are prepared to do what is necessary to keep their focus on broadening participation and raising performance.
It is expected that before the end of the vacation several more national associations would involve themselves sin programmes aimed at facilitating growth and sustainable development.