Successful IAAF CECS Level 1 course
Setting up the course.
Thanks to outside funding, KAA organised the first ever in-country IAAF CECS Level 1 coaching course in Kiribati. This was held on capital island, Tarawa, from Jan. 6th. to 17th. 2014, and was based at the Reuben K. Uatioa National Stadium in Bairiki. To stage the course it was necessary to invite a Level 1 Lecturer from Fiji, Mr. Josaia Tuinamata. He was accommodated for two weeks near the Stadium. He was assisted in the presentation of the course by the KAA Chief Coach, Brian Fukuyama, and the KAA Assistant Secretary, Mr. Tekabara Raurenti. These two are already CECS qualified at levels 2 and 3 respectively. They are also working towards achieving Level 1 Lecturer status. Since both of them are normally employed as teachers, it was necessary to organise this course during the long school holiday which happens over the Christmas and New Year period. The advantage of this is that teachers may have wished to join the course. The disadvantage is that the University of the South Pacific (USP) also takes advantage of this holiday to offer "Summer Schools", which people use to up-grade their professional qualifications.
Building a coaching base.
For some time, successive Executive Committees of KAA have insisted on pushing people towards the higher CECS qualifications. Also with 22 countries in Oceania AA, the necessary limiting of numbers able to attend CECS courses staged in Australia has meant a scarcity of qualified people at the base of the coaching ladder with a few qualifying at higher levels.. In the past, Oceania AA introduced a system of Basic Athletics short courses and certification and in 2005 three Lecturers came from Australia to offer OBAS and OTOS (officials) qualifications to a large group on Tarawa, more than half of whom were students at the local Teachers' Training College. A total of 40 were awarded certificates. Since that time, qualified coaches from KAA have received OAA funding to visit outer islands and more than 130 people were certified as successful OBAS attendees.
However, this January course was the first attempt to build a broad base to the KAA coaching pyramid.
How it went ?
A total of 15 people (but only two women) signed up for the course. Others wished to attend but were committed to Summer Schools. Theory sessions were held at a Primary School near the Stadium, and practicals were done on the Stadium track and field. The traditional Opening and Closing ceremonies were held to honour the visitor. At the completion of the course, a report submitted to Oceania AA by Josaia showed that two people did not complete the course, the other 13 all passed the Practical Test but three did not pass the Theory Test (in English). So overall nine men and one woman are now full Level 1 coaches and in time will be able to attempt promotion to Level 2.
The future ?
Tekabara and Brian have been encouraged to arrange more courses, which they are able to take by themselves, to promote the IAAF concept of "Kids' Athletics", which forms an integral part of Level 1. One way of doing this on a regular basis would be to build into the Teachers' College P.E. course a unit which covers this concept. While not being a full Level 1, it would mean that generations of new teachers would be better equipped with up-to-date expertise in the full range of Athletics events.
More Level 1 courses in-country ?
As and when Brian and Tekabara become full Lecturers, they will be able to hold more full Level 1 courses in-country and build the coaching pyramid higher. Another invitation to an outside Lecturer would need to be carefully considered by the KAA Executive. At a cost of more than AU$ 4000 per invitation, that takes more than 26% of the KAA annual income !
Another consideration is: what happens when the current Level 1 coaches, when they have gained some experiience, may wish to go to Level 2. In due course it will be valuable to get a Level 2 Lecturer qualified by KAA. That would really build the pyramid ! Otherwise, as was mentioned earlier, Oceania AA courses have to limit participation to a maximum of two people from each country, to give fair opportunity to all.
In the first attached image, taken during an event at the RKU Stadium, Brian is the standing figure sixth from the right, and Tekabara is the crouching figure in blue cap third from right.
In the second image, of the sprint drill, Brian is in blue.
In the third image, of a shot competition, Tekabara is the official in the blue cap on the right.