On Target
September 3, 2010
Make them count

There has not been a shortage of technical courses over the past two decades.

Most national sporting associations have had their cups filled and running over, by way of training of personnel.{{more}}

Just recently, Table Tennis, Basketball and Athletics have been the latest recipients of such training and another batch of certified Athletic coaches was certified recently.

In total, about fifty coaches have been certified or re-certified in the three disciplines.

Interestingly, at the close of all the courses, the coaches were reminded not to let their training go to waste. And, this has been so for many years, as everyone recognises the problems.

In some instances, coaches’ associations were formed soon after the training, with the enthusiasm propelled by their new fervor. I give them the benefit of the doubt that they are truly ready to serve and pass on their knowledge.

So we go around in circles, as the attrition rate is alarming, as despite the numerous certification programmes, very few give back after they have received training.

Many are proud holders of certificates which just adorn their walls and enhance their resumés.

They get the gear, literature, and other things, and that’s it.

But what is also disheartening is that many who attend the courses are teachers, who get the necessary time off from their duties, yet are stagnant on return to their respective schools.

Maybe, this is as a result of the scant importance placed on the value of Sports and Physical Education by those in authority.

The absence of real sports clubs also adds to the issue of continuing and structured training and coaching of our athletes.

Most of the sporting units are merely teams which come together at the beginning of a competition to get prepared, but in the main in no systematic programme of preparation.

In some instances, the coaches who avail themselves are not looked upon by the said sportsmen and women as having the acumen necessary to help them through.

Likewise, some coaches, even though willing, are mentally weak, as they give up easily when there is a fall off in attendance at practice or at the first hint of discord.

Having been intimately involved in a Football programme put on by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation, in which the same certified coaches were given a stipend, the response turned out to be luke warm, which contributes to the predicament.

Our coaches seem not to recognize the potential that lies in their expertise if they strive for excellence, as a decent livelihood is there to be made.

How many of our coaches are prepared to uplift themselves and try to attain additional certification and qualification, besides the course offered through their national sporting bodies?

But kudos to those coaches who toil in the vineyard of sports here, and truly respond to the challenges of helping our youngsters get the upbringing that is vital to their sporting and personal development.

So, the hue and cry has been the same all round for help especially technical areas. The efforts of the Division of Sports and Physical Education in providing such assistance in the school, using the persons on the Youth Empowerment Service (YES) programme, have not borne much fruit.

Whilst the intent is good, many of these persons are sometimes ill-equipped with the requisite technical knowledge, and more so, the school system with its ultra academic focus makes them helpless.

Everything then bundles, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines continues to be below average when we venture out in competitions on the regional scene, and abysmal in the international arena.

The situation must be arrested soonest, otherwise, we will continue to get courses, trained coaches, and we remain the same.

The fear is that with finances being tight worldwide, the doors to technical assistance may soon be half closed, if the returns are not commensurate with the input.

Fear is, too, that the Mound will soon make the Sion Hill Playing Field fit for Water Polo.

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