President Paula-Mae Weekes was yesterday conferred with the nation’s highest award —the Order of the Republic of T&T (ORTT).
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Planning for ultimate success in sport
Like all the citizens of T&T who are cherishing the victories of gold and bronze medallists in the recently completed International track and field meeting in London, I was elated over the performances and hope that those who were unsuccessful, would improve their preparation in the respective events. What I found to be interesting were the comments made by some folks, that the government must now sit and plan ways to finance these athletes in order to gain more successful efforts.
Funnily enough, I was fully aware that financial assistance was handed out to our Olympic athletes during the life of their preparation leading up to events such as the Commonwealth games, the World championships, Pan American games in various sporting disciplines and even just the mere qualification of Football senior teams.
Superficially, that method appears adequate because the need to enjoy the benefit of meal planning, tonics of various kinds, and travel internally in order to be certain that these aspects of their lives are beneficial to their overall preparation.
I do not recall the days of those who performed well in the early fifties even to the mid-sixties and were compensated for representing their country except when Hasely Crawford, Claude Noel and Leslie Stewart brought honour to the nation for their outstanding results.
This precedent may well be retained, especially as the humming of fans and families to the media has already begun.
Not long ago Jehue Gordon and Keshorn Walcott were recipients of homes when they won the Gold medals.
The question as to what should be the plan for all athletes generally during their preparatory process when they are selected to represent the nation in any sport.
I do not know the answer to the financial output by the government for medal winners, or even national participants who may not have gained a medal.
However, I am more concerned over the fact that the development of many of the sporting disciplines have not had the methodology which can be attached to the primary efforts of our children.
Even if we felt that PE in the school system was one way to start, this has not worked well within the system, especially as there are too few physical education teachers in the schools.
Coaches who are employed in many schools are not qualified sufficiently to generate the quality performances in the early stages where the kids can be more readily attuned to their future progress.
Having been fortunate to see the process at work at high schools and university levels in the USA, I can categorically state that we are on the wrong track in almost every aspect of our sporting disciplines.
I wish that there was more space for the completion of my trend of thought for the “light towards the end of the tunnel” of success, maybe my next article will consist of more salient facts regarding our future in Sport.
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