Female athletes getting special attention
April 30, 2009
Female athletes getting special attention

The dearth of female athletes the world over, as well as here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is being addressed through the St Vincent and the Grenadines Grassroots Female Athletics Development Programme(SVGGFADP).{{more}}

In detailing the programme to SEARCHLIGHT, Coordinator Rosmund Griffith said that the local version is part of a project for International Coaches Enrichment programme (ICEP) done at the University of Delaware and the Olympic Training Center in Colorado.

She said that the SVGGFADP is a programme aimed at getting more females involved in Athletics.

“Females participate well in sports generally and track and field athletics in particular during their schooling at the Elementary level, ages 5 – 11 years, but as they commence the Secondary School system, there is evidence of a significant decline in interest and participation in sport,” Griffith pointed out.

“Several factors have been identified as probable causes for this change in attitude toward participation in sport – a shift in focus solely on to academics largely prompted by parental ambitions, relationships with boys, early sexual activities and a concern for one’s physical appearance,” Griffith said.

Griffith, an IAAF level One instructor, observed: “Here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, where once female athletes took great interest in track and field Athletics until the conclusion of their secondary schooling, it is now only the minority who participate, leaving the sport as essentially the domain of their male counterparts, whom they often accompany to their training and competitions at the local level.”

According to Griffith, “the interest of the females has shifted from their own athletic development to that of their male counterparts who delight in being the objects of admiration for their physique and accomplishments on the field of play rather than serve as motivators to female participation.”

“In order to change the trend, a systematic approach to the introduction of the sport of track and field athletics to girls at a very early age and their involvement in a science-based programme that is appropriate to their own physical and emotional growth and development will lead to an appreciation of the sport, inculcation of the values inherent in it, increased interest in and commitment to it. This will guarantee their sustained engagement in the type of training that ultimately leads to excellence,” she charged.

Griffith revealed that the first part of the project, which was to get coaches to conduct the programme in )