By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Challenged to ‘learn as much as they can,’ a 12-day International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Level I Coaching course began on Monday and will run through Dec 22, for 16 Track and Field Coaches, who are seeking to become certified.
The course which is funded through an IAAF Athlete Olympic Dividend grant, was scheduled to be held earlier in the year and also over the summer but had set backs.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Chief Coach Dag Samuels said. “Least to say, we are now here.”
Lead instructor Angel Luis Rosario of Puerto Rico, said its an honor to be in the BVI. “I know you have a lot of talented people here and what you need is to have people with the commitment,” he said. “We’re going to have a fun, but we are going to have a lot of work during these 12 days.”
Over the course, participants will delve into a number of areas including; coaching philosophy, growth and development, physiology, anatomy, biomechanics, skill teaching and development skills. They will also examine the IAAF Kids Athletics events as well.
Besides the theoretical sessions, they will spend lots of time on the track with practical sessions, they will cover from sprints through field events, middle distance and race walking events as well as the combined events.
At the end, each will have a practical assessment followed by a written exam and evaluation.
“It’s our privilege to be a part of everything the British Virgin Islands does and I think this territory is a special one,” said Kevin Gordon, Digicel’s General Manager whose company is supporting the event. “I think gone are the days when our athletics should be in the US where the stars are coming from the United States and Europe. I think we have set a trend in the Caribbean. If you want to have good sprinting, good Long Jump, you need to come to the Caribbean.”
Gordon said coaches like Stephen Francis and Glenn Mills of Jamaica who coaches Olympic champions Elaine Thompson, Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce and Usain Bolt, have brought some super talent to the front.
“And, I think the talent is also here,” he said. “We are elated to be a part of what we think is a unique Virgin Islands experience and I think you will experience something fantastic from these coaches. I would say learn as much as you can from these 12 days of coaching and you can only get better. We will be happy to support you in anyway we possibly can.”
Coaches attending the course are: Akim Lewis, Tehymal Huggins, Erwin Telemaque, Burt Dorsette, Orville McMaster, Shamica Glasgow, Jennifer King, Hillary Skelton Malone, Bianca Dougan, Willis Maduro, Johnt’a Charles, Limiel Hodge, Sanya Penn, Omar Jones and Javon Carty.