by Michael Bascombe
ST GEORGE’S, December 20, 2016 – A local track and field official is hoping that the recent Pole Vault workshop held in Grenada would be the first step in the reintroduction of the event in Grenada and the sub-region.
Vice President of the Grenada Athletic Association (GAA) Aaron Moses said that Grenada, in particular, has done extremely well in the sport of pole vault in the years prior to 1977.
Moses was speaking at a recent ceremony for the inaugural Pole Vault workshop, organised by the Association of National Olympic Committees of the Eastern Caribbean States (ANOCES), and hosted by the Grenada Olympic Committee (GOC).
The workshop was facilitated by Kasey Lewis, a former United States and Pan American Junior Pole Vault Champion. Grenadian Olympian Kurt Felix also participated in the workshop which was aimed at introducing the sport to young athletes and coaches in the sub-region.
“We’re very proud of our long, historic exploits in the sport of pole vaulting. We’re more than overjoyed that eventually we could convene this training session which hopefully would serve as the springboard for the reintroduction of pole vaulting in Grenada,” he said.
“I left my high school in Grenada in 1974 and three years after my departure that was the end of pole vaulting in Grenada. Because at the time the young men broke all the poles and no one replaced the poles and that was the last time pole vaulting was done in Grenada, and is indeed extremely unfortunate, and so an event that we did extremely well at the regional level historically went by the wayside.”
Moses said that the world has taken notice of the athletic talents of the region, noting the world class athletes that have been produced in this part of the world.
He highlighted the need for opportunities for athletes, coaches and the collaboration with stakeholders to advance the athletic programmes in Grenada and other Caribbean islands.
“I think we are all aware that the region can now boast of possibly having the highest per capita – world class athletes – based on our size. That speaks to some tangible, concrete facts that we in the Caribbean are well endowed with basic athletic talents.”
“So, what is needed are opportunities. Opportunities for training, training our athletes, training our coaches, opportunities for competitions, opportunities for collaboration with all the key stakeholders who can bring the ingredients together that can ensure we have successful athletic programmes. That we can produce world class athletes, that those athletes can distinguish themselves at the world level and bring honour and glory to the athletic fans in the Caribbean,” said Moses.
He challenged the participants that on returning to their respective islands that they would continue the programme and also encourage their respective federations to introduce the sport in their athletic calendars.
“So, it’s within this context that the Grenada Athletic Association views this inaugural training event as extremely significant. It’s only the beginning but based on the training sessions and the level of enthusiasm that was displayed, I am pretty confident that in a very short space of time that we will begin to see the fruits of our labour,” he said.
“I want to take the opportunity to urge our colleagues who are here and now that your appetite has been wet, please give it your level of commitment and dedication that is necessary.
So, when you return to your various countries that you continue to practice, continue to share with your colleagues and friends and articulate to your administrators that pole vaulting should become an integral part of our athletic development.”
The Pole Vault workshop was held at the National Athletic Stadium in St George’s from December 12-17 and included participants from The British Virgin Islands, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and host Grenada.