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Nevis completes Level One course with 13 passes by Curtis Morton

The closing ceremony for the IAAF Coaches education and certification level one course was held on the evening of Wednesday 16th September – National Heroes day.

The 18 participants must have been relieved to come to the end of what was described as an intense ten day course.  The participants were trained in theory and practice how to train and guide young athletes and help them to excel.

On Wednesday a theoretical and practical examination was also held at the Charlestown Secondary School grounds, commonly referred to the Villa.

At the end of the day, the anxious participants awaited their final results as assessed by Course Director, Mr. George Cleare, IAAF Lecturer from the Bahamas and Co-Lecturer – IAAF Lecturer, Mr. Craig Connor out of St.Kitts.

Thirteen (13) of the eighteen (18) participants were able to successfully pass the course.  One of the students excelled to the extent that she has now qualified to go on to attempt the level two course.  That individual is Ms. Janetta Matthew of Bath Village. 

The IAAF officials were high in praise for the level of cooperation that they had received from the participants and lauded the efforts of Ms. Matthew.

The participants were presented with their certificates at the closing ceremony and the Nevis Amateur Athletic Association also presented the two officials with tokens of appreciation.

Mr. George Cleare indicated that he was so impressed with the island of Nevis and its people that it is his intention to be back on the island to witness the 2010 Inter Primary Sports meet - ‘The mini Olympics. 

IAAF Level 1 Track & Field Coaching Course commences in Nevis
by Curtis Morton
A brief but very impressive ceremony was held at the Grove Park pavilion on Nevis on Monday 7th September 2009.  This ceremony officially launched a 10 day (International Association of Athletics Federation) IAAF Coaches Education and Certification program (CECS) Level 1 course.

The training session which involves mainly Physical Education Teachers and Coaches at the Primary school level on the island, is set to conclude on Wednesday 16th September 2009. It will be an intense and packed course which will require total commitment and a lot of sacrifice on the part of the  participants who  will not only be engaged for at least 8 hours each day but would be expected to show up for sessions on Saturday and Sunday.
The course has been organized by the Nevis Amateur Athletic Association in conjunction with the Department of Education and the Ministry of Sports, with the support and assistance of the St. Kitts-Nevis Amateur Athletic Association and the St. Kitts-Nevis National Olympic Committee. However, the main funding has been made available by the IAAF and two of their distinguished Lecturers will be in charge of the training of the participants.  They are Course director, Mr. George Cleare, IAAF Lecturer from the Bahamas and Co-Lecturer, Mr. Craig Connor, IAAF Level 1 Lecturer from St. Kitts.
The opening ceremony was ably chaired by Mr. Osdel ‘Scottie’ Hanley, PRO for the SKNAAA.
Mr. Dennis Knight, the Vice President of the SKNAAA delivered brief remarks and gave historical information to show how athletics within the Federation and more particularly on Nevis has evolved to a more positive level than in former years. He also lauded the achievements of athletes like Kim Collins and Meritzer Williams and indicated that such achievements should not be taken lightly as many countries throughout the world have not  yet even ‘medaled’ on the international stage.
Education Officer, Mr. Larry Richards who represented the Ministry of Education took time out to show the significance of athletics and sports on a whole in developing positive attitudes in children.  He explained to the would be trainers that their positive involvement with the children would make them want to throw the javelin and shot put rather than throwing stones and other missiles with the intention to hurt others and that they would rather be jumping to break high jump records rather than jumping fences and walls with the intention to steal and do harm to others. He also highlighted the academic achievements of several Nevisian athletes who excelled at their overseas exams while also excelling on the track.
NAAA President, Mr. Lester Blackett opened his brief remarks with a request for a half minute’s silence in honour of the recently deceased Brain Mills whom he indicated would have made significant contributions to the success of the NAAA.  He highlighted the top performances of athletes from around the region and locally and indicated that with the help of the participants, Nevis could well be producing several more stars in the future.  He implored the participants to take the training seriously and to be punctual on all days.
Mr. Glenville Jeffers Ag., President of the SKNAAA echoed the sentiments of some of the previous speakers and noted that his ultimate goal was to have qualified coaches at all of the Primary schools throughout the Federation.
IAAF Lecturer Mr. George Cleare then gave an overview of the course.  He indicated that it would involve both classroom type lecture sessions and also field exercises.  He impressed on the participants that tardiness would not enhance their grades and expressed the hope that once the course would have been completed that all of the participants would be deserving recipients of the IAAF qualifying certificates.  He further advised that persons getting distinctions would qualify for the level 2 course which would be completed overseas.
Mr. Halstead ‘Sooty’ Byron represented the Ministry of Sports and apologized for the absence of Sports Minister Hon. Hensley Daniel who was away on Government business.  He lauded positive sporting programs within the community such as the ‘bikes not bombs’ program and shared a concern that many of the good athletes  from the Primary school era are being lost shortly after they graduate from the Primary school and insisted that something be done in short order to stem this tide. At  the end of his address, he officially declared the Training session open.
Mrs. Carla Liburd, the course Secretary then delivered the vote of thanks. The participants after a short break then entered into their first classroom session.
The goals and objectives of the CECS level 1 course include:
• Ensuring that each country has sufficient Coaches, qualified to international standards, to enable its athletes programs to function effectively
• Ensuring that each region and in turn each country is eventually capable of educating its own coaches to international standards without dependence on outside resources.
Course participants at closing ceremony
Janetta Matthew receives her certificate
Craig Connor receives token of appreciation 
Opening Ceremony: L-R: Lydia Claxton (School's Sports Coordinator), Lincoln Barry (Director of Sports), Halstead Byron, George Cleare, Osdel ‘Scottie’ Hanley, Craig Connor, Dennis Knight, Larry Richards, Glenville Jeffers, Lester Blackett
 Carla Liburd - Course Secretary (right)