By Neto Baptiste
Former national athlete and one of the country’s most experienced track & field coaches Evans Jones, said that a four-year plan he presented to the athletics association back in 2005, was rejected by the then executive.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Jones, who is also the country’s Deputy Sports Director, explained that although his document was part of a course requirement, it had targeted key issues still plaguing the sport here.
“I don’t want to blow my own horn, but I must mention that when I did the level five coaching course in 2005, one of the requirements was for me to do a four-year development plan where we could look at developing athletes, athletics coaches and so on towards the Olympics and I did present it to the association a couple of years ago and it was turned down. I still have the document so it is something that I can show you,” he said.
Jones, at the time, was responding the questions regarding the lack of a strategic plan within the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA) where it pertains to the development of both young and elite athletes.
The deputy director said it is time to rethink the approach from a national standpoint and put mechanisms in place to improve the country’s chances of medalling at major meets.
“I looked at it from a different perspective where our organisational structure was, the whole credibility of the organisation, the personnel we had there and what the association were or still is [but] we need to stop hoping and wishing and put forward strategic planning within the structure where the coaches administration is concerned and you have your auxiliary support staff to help the development of the athlete,” he said.
President of the athletics association Everton Cornelius said in a recent interview that the chances of athletes winning medals at major meets like the Olympic Games and or the World Athletics Championships will improve only through significant financial injection by both public and private sectors.