Grenada has been blessed with an abundance of sporting talent. Our National Federations and the Department of Sport have been able to identify and harness these talents at an early age due to the various coaching and development programmes been undertaken by them. Over the years our athletes have always performed creditably at the regional level especially at in junior competitions and tournaments. Some examples of these achievements are the virtual domination of the Windward Islands Secondary School games; winning the OECS regional age group netball tournaments; domination of the OECS swim meets over the years. We also produce top quality junior cricketers. These achievements, however, have not normally been translated to the senior level. Where only a few have been able to attain and sustain international status. These include the likes of Junior Murray, Rawle Lewis, Devon Smith, Andre Fletcher, Nealon Pascal and Afy Fletcher in cricket and Alleyne Francique and Kirani James in Athletics.
Our athletes therefore excel at the junior level but only a few of them attain International status. The development and implementation of a high-performance programme for our elite athletes would ensure that more of our talented junior athletes go on to achieve their ultimate potential at the regional and international level. There should be a system is in place to identify these talents, and nurture them through a specific programme, and if this is not done, many of these talents would continue to fall by the wayside instead of developing to their fullest potential.
The programme targets talented athletes of all sporting disciplines who possess the ability to become professionals and represent at the country at the international level. It is geared to toward having a central location for training with access to all the necessary facilities and services. The athletes will spend a period of five years in intensive training but would not exceed the age of twenty-five; during this time the athletes’ would be performing in competitions which should enable them to gain contracts or scholarships to tertiary institutions.
Athletes in the programme would be given financial support if they can demonstrate the necessary sporting achievements at the regional/international level.
Some of the facilities and services that would be available to the athletes would be access to gym, nets, and athletics tracks; physiotherapy, sport science support such as fitness testing, sport-specific conditioning programmes, personal strength and conditioning training as well as workshops and presentations designed to assist with training and personal development such as Performance Lifestyle, Nutrition, Plyometrics, SAQ training etc. Part of the programme would involve the athletes giving back to the community by way of coaching and skills development of younger athletes.
- The programme provides talented sports people with the opportunity to develop physically, mentally and emotionally.
- To produce world-class athletes for international competitions and tournaments as well as scholarships to tertiary institutions.
- To enhance and improve the livelihood of youth through sports.
- Talent identification
- Pilot training programmes for select sports
- International exposure for athletes
- Access to sports scholarships for athletes
- Development centres for athletes
- Coaching development and training
- Athlete support system