Course Details

An International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) Certified Coaching Course (Level 1) will be held in Nevis from 7th to 16th September, 2009. The course will be held at Grove Park, Charlestown and will be conducted by Mr. George Cleare, IAAF Lecturer, Bahamas and Mr. Craig Connor IAAF Level 1 Lecturer, St. Kitts. The ten day course caters primarily to the Primary School age athletes and a full quota of participants (24) is expected representing Primary & High Schools, Clubs and other persons interested in coaching Track & Field. The course is one of a series of five courses conducted by the IAAF leading up to a Level 5 Chief Coach qualification.
The opening ceremony will be held at 8:30 am at Grove Park in the presence of representatives from the Ministry of Sports, Education Department, the Nevis Amateur Athletic Association, the St. Kitts-Nevis Amateur Athletic Association, the St. Kitts-Nevis National Olympic Committee and other invited guests.

As a major component of the IAAF Development Programme, the IAAF Coaches Education and Certification Programme (CECS) assists those Member Federations that do not possess major resources with their core tasks of developing a coaching structure and preparing coaches to support athletes as they move along the development pathway. Approaching its Centenary in 2012, the IAAF, in accordance with the vision set out in the Athletics World Plan, has strengthened its commitment to improving the services offered by the sport’s coaches, particularly to children and young athletes. Updating the CECS, which has been in operation since 1991, is a key element of the strategy to achieve this goal. In March 2007, the IAAF Development Commission approved a new five-level structure for the CECS (Figure1) designed to meet the following aims:
  • Combine the traditional implementation of the CECS with the existing operations of IAAF Kids’ Athletics, IAAF Youth Athletics and the IAAF Academy into an integrated system.
  • Develop the competence of coaches to implement the IAAF Kids’ Athletics programme of training and competition and be able to ‘hand-hold’ children through the transition to the ‘real athletics’ in their youth years of 13-15.
  • Create a clear ‘Coach Development Pathway’ that mirrors and supports the ‘Athlete Development Pathway’, is more attainable and realistic at the entry levels, and is more challenging and specific at the advanced levels. Coaches should progress along the pathway at an individual rate and develop according to their personal potential.
  • Provide a programme that is competence focused, rather than knowledge-based, with updated educational materials incorporating the latest practical and technical information with flexible, interactive delivery media making it future-proofed.
There are currently 235 trained Level I Lecturers in more than 130 countries. Utilizing at least one indigenous lecturer on each course, this work force supports, on average, 40 Level I courses per year. In recent years, there has also been an average of 16 Level II courses and 12 Academy courses per year.
The long-term goals of the original CECS remain enshrined in the new structure:
  • To ensure that each country has sufficient Coaches, qualified to international standards, to enable its athletics programmes to function effectively;
  • To ensure that each region, and in turn, each country, is eventually capable of educating its own coaches to the same international standards without dependence on outside resources.
Additional objectives of the CECS now include:
  • To provide competence, knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of athletics to coaches in order to equip them to provide opportunities for all athletes, regardless of age, gender, race or ability, to reach their potential;
  • To foster the ethical and moral development of coaches;
  • To provide a standard curriculum with a worldwide application leading to a professional qualification for coaches;
  • To make an appropriate contribution to the development of athletics in each community while respecting the values of that community;
  • To increase opportunities for women to become certified and to work as athletics coaches;
  • To contribute to making athletics the number one sport in schools by 2012.
Level I
In 2006, the IAAF started to implement its ambitious Youth Athletics programme intended for both schools and clubs. The main objective is to make athletics the number one sport in schools by 2012. IAAF Kids’ Athletics has been known in the past mostly as a fun and well-balanced introduction to athletics like competition. The emphasis was clearly on the competitive environment for children aged 7-12 years but now with the introduction of the new Level I in the CECS, there is the opportunity to emphasize and develop the educational aspects of Kids’ Athletics.
Additional to the provision of a cohesive education programme for coaches to develop the competence to implement the Kids’ Athletics programmes of competition and training will be acquisition of the skills and knowledge to take children through the transition into the ‘real athletics’ of their youth years of 13-15.
Kids’ Athletics and similar national programmes around the world have involved hundreds of thousands of children in fun, athletics- like competition. Without doubt, one of the greatest disappointments, and at odds with the response of children to these competitions, has been the poor retention of these children in the athletics community and their transfer to ‘club athletics’. The new Level I will produce qualified Youth Coaches who will not only be able to train and prepare young children for Kids’ Athletics competitions but also provide the bridge to ‘real’ athletics. At the grass roots level, it is the affiliation to individuals that determines retention and Level I Youth Coaches will be competent and able to take the kids through to the programmes of training and competition relevant to 13-15 years of age. In the final analysis it will be these interpersonal relationships and the human element that will effect retention and transition, more than any impersonal system, no matter how well intentioned. To make the most efficient use of resources and ensure the optimum application and activity, Level I courses will be conducted at locations in the countries of Member Federations, using IAAF accredited Level I Lecturers and standardized course materials.