December 23, 2005
Level One Coaches certified

Gideon Labban, certified International Athletics Association Federation (IAAF) Level two coach, is beckoning certified athletics coaches to get active.

Labban’s plea came as he conducted a fourteen-day level one certificate course here, at the Arnos Vale Playing Field.“If the coaches who were trained in the three previous courses were actively involved in coaching here, there would not have been the need for this one”, he opined.’{{more}}

“At one time, we (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) had the most trained level one coaches in the Eastern Caribbean”, he recounted. He is hopeful that the latest crop of coaches will endeavour to put what they have learnt into practice and do so with consistency and not fall by the wayside. Previous courses were held in 1994, 1995 and 1999. The intense course which ended last week Thursday, required participants to do nine hours per day, including weekends, of theoretical and practical sessions. “All aspects of athletics events were looked at ‘’, said Labban last week Saturday afternoon, as he scrutinised the coaches going through their paces at the hammer throw. Though satisfied with the level of commitment by the coaches, Labban was disappointed with the turnout, as the expected quota of thirty-six never showed up.

He said despite this, those who attended were receptive to the tuition. Labban stated that evaluation was continuous, with a final written examination done at the end of the course. An enthused Labban was happy that nine of the seventeen coaches have attained the qualification to advance to the Level Two. Four of those are junior athletes. To advance to the Level Two, the coaches were required to obtain Grade three on the theory and Grade four on the practical.

Stressing that the higher level demands greater effort, he sees this as a complement to the programme of activities of the local athletics body.

Labban, the course director, along with his assistant, Trinidadian Dexter Voisin were the facilitators of the course.

All seventeen coaches were rewarded with their certificates at a ceremony last Saturday at the Players’ Pavilion at the Arnos Vale Playing Field.

They created history, as it was the first time in the historyof the local course that all participants had passed the Level One.

As a requirement, the coaches were to gain a grade 2 pass on the theory, as well as a grade 2 in the practical.

Voisin, Labban’s assistant, speaking at last Saturday’s ceremony warned the coaches that “having a certificate in your hand, does not make you a coach”.

Instead, he urged them to go out and make use of their knowledge, which will qualify them as coaches.

And, a platform has been set for the newly certified coaches to practise their knowledge.

President of Team Athletics SVG, Keith Joseph, disclosed at the ceremony that they will fit smack into the Right On Track in the new year. He projected that they would augment the programme launched last August.

He assured the coaches that they, like the others who initiated the programme, will be paid for their services.

The Level One course was funded by the International Olympic Committee, through the local body at a cost of US$6000.