PRESIDENT of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) Aubrey Hutson said he’s happy with the pass rate of participants who recently took the Coaches Education and Certification System (CECS) IAAF Level I Coaching Course, conducted by IAAF Lecturer Oscar Gadea of Uruguay and IAAF Instructor Raymond Gilson of Suriname.A total of 24 potential coaches started the 12-day course but eventually two dropped out and, according to reports, some 20 of the remaining 22 participants passed the examinations at the end of the period.Hutson said he would not confirm the number of passes, as the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) certificates for those who passed were still being finalised.“I was made to understand there was a very high success rate and I’m so elated by this. I cannot wait to see the kind of work that you are going to put out,” Hutson beamed.The AAG on Monday evening held a closing ceremony at Olympic House where he praised the work of Gadea and Gilson, while the newly certified coaches bestowed several tokens of appreciation on the instructors.“You were thorough and you were indepth and this can only move our sport forward, based on the kind of commitment that we’ve got now from our coaches,” Hutson said to the gathering.The coaches, however, will officially receive their certificates at the AAG Annual Awards ceremony set for February 11. Hutson explained that it was only through diligence that the course became a reality after the AAG had been continuously trying to host the course for some time now.“This is the first for South America and it did not happen by fluke, it happened by perseverance to convince the IAAF that Guyana has been knocking on the door for a long time; so as soon as the manuals became available in English we were the first,” Hutson said.Hutson also shared that this course was by no means the end of training that the AAG hopes to do. Given that over 50 persons had initially applied to participate in the course, but a maximum only 24 participants were allowed per course, the AAG hopes to hold another course later this year.“We would want to go on to certify another 24. If we have 48 certified coaches in the system it would really and truly do well for Guyana athletics. We want to certify another 24 coaches as ideally we would have had in excess of 50 applications, of which we could have only taken 24 into this course.”However, he reminded that this hope would depend heavily on financing. Hutson explained that the course was funded mostly with money from the annual US$25 000 grant that the Association receives from the IAAF. There was also assistance from the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) and National Sports Commission (NSC) with facilities and meals.Apart from acquiring certified coaches Hutson said the AAG is also looking towards certifying technical officials. Once the officials are certified locally the next step would be to get them overseas exposure at regional and international meets.“In March we’re supposed to have our first National Technical Officials course in Guyana where we will be certifying our technical officials to conduct track meets properly. Right now in Guyana we have not one active national technical official, but when we do those people can go on to become area technical officials,” Hutson said.
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