Raymond Graham, Sunday Gleaner Writer
SIXTEEN track and field coaches drawn from preparatory, primary, high schools and clubs are now holders of an advanced written programme certificate after completing a 45-hour training course at the GC Foster College.
All 16 coaches who were successful were handed their certificates at a graduation ceremony held on Friday at the institution in Spanish Town.
National senior track and field coach, Maurice Wilson, a senior lecturer at the institution and the coordinator of the programme, was very pleased with the performances of the coaches over the duration of the course.
"These coaches are now confident of writing training plans for their athletes which will definitely make their charges more successful. The country has been successful in track and field but it can get even better and I am confident we will see more athletes coming out from the school systems as gone are the days when coaches will just do trial and error as they are now more scientifically rounded in this area," said Wilson.
The course began in June and was hosted on Saturdays. The coaches attended lectures in periodisation, energy system, moral and ethics and drugs in sports. Coaches were also asked to do a case study on an athlete where they identified the weakness of this athlete and designed a programme during the duration of the course. According to Wilson, most of the coaches got over 80 per cent. The case study carried 60 per cent of the marks, professionalism 20 per cent and a written test another 20 per cent.
Coaches were asked to write programmes for 13 disciplines and according to Wilson, it was a good exchange between coaches and lecturers as they learnt a lot from each other.
Wilson also thanked several individuals who made the course possible.
"The course would not have been successful without input from Glenston Hutchinson, a lecturer of GC Foster College, who did the sciences during this period; principal of GC Foster College, Edward Shakes; Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Mike Fennell along with G.C. Foster staff members, Yvonne Dixon, Mizie Johnson and Janeel Smith," he conluded..
Present at last Friday's graduation ceremony were Fennell, Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) president, Dr Warren Blake; JAAA secretary Garth Gayle; Pat Anderson, a former JAAA president; and Christopher Samuda, JOA secretary.
Among the successful coaches were national junior coaches Megan Wilson of Spaulding High, Kirk Brown and Dave Anderson of Holmwood Technical and Carlos Samuels of Manchester High.