According to Nevis Amateur Athletics Association (NAAA) chief Lester Blackett, there are some 28 persons registered for the IAAF level one course for potential Coaches which got underway at the ET Willet Park on Tuesday 3rd December.. Blackett noted that the normal maximum allowed is twenty-four persons but that he had been allowed to invite 28 participants this time around.
In his opening remarks as chair person of the brief ceremony, Blackett advised the participants to learn as much as they could and to take the course seriously.
Also addressing the gathering was Mr. Alphonso Bridgewater, President of the St. Kitts –Nevis National Olympic committee. He stressed on three basic C’s as he stressed on:
COMPETENCY-urging the participants to learn well but to continue to seek further development
COMMITMENT—congratulated participants on deciding to give up 10 days of their valuable time to attend the course
CHEMISTRY–between participants; between Coaches and players etc
He was also careful to point out that such courses cost approximately $12,000.00 US to implement. He therefore beseeched the participants to seize the opportunity to learn and develop.
He further revealed that there is a current opportunity for Sporting Associations to receive financial aid due to the fact that the SIDF fund has made available one million dollars which will be used to match funds made by sporting Associations on specific project proposals. Whatever monies are raised by the Association, minus gate receipts and donations, will be matched by the money available from the SIDF fund.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, Mr. Keith Glasgow also asked the participants to take advantage of the learning opportunity, pointing out that in order for persons to teach, they first have to learn.
He also pointed out that when the athletes excel, the coaches also receive tremendous credit and acclaim.
He also urged participants to write project proposals as soon as possible so that they could access the available funds from the SIDF.
IAAF Lecturer, Mr. Craig Connor then gave an overview of the course.. He indicated that the concentration will be on kids athletics and youth coaching for a period of 10 days which will involve practical and theoretical aspects. There would be examinations at the end.
He encouraged the participants to strive hard to pass the course and hoped that at least 90% will do well enough to go on to the level two course.
Vice president of the SKNAAA, Mr. Lester Hanley, noted that education of coaches should be an ongoing experience. He indicated that the more qualified coaches will get the top jobs and urged the participants to progress to the level five which is the highest level to be attained.
The vote of thanks was delivered by Mrs. Carla Liburd, course Secretary.
After a brief break, the participants went immediately into their first class room session of what is expected to be an intense ten day experience. Mr. Connor is being ably assisted by Ms Roater Johnson who is a qualified IAAAF lecturer from St. Kitts.