EPHRAIM Serrette, president of the NAAA (National Association of Athletics Administrations), is hoping that the local governing body can stage a test event, for local track and field athletes, once the government-enforced covid19 protocols are put in place.
The long-standing NAAA president is eager for the TT-based athletes to be involved in competition, ahead of the rescheduled Olympic Games, which is scheduled from July 23 to August 8 in Tokyo, Japan.
During an interview on Monday, Serrette said, “We are developing some proposals to put forward to the Ministry of Health to have a test event. It would not be for everybody. The (NAAA) board meets (on Tuesday) to discuss this matter. It is to see how we can come up with a competition and be safe.”
Serrette continued, “The Minister of Health (Terrence Deyalsingh) is saying that national teams are allowed to train. We don’t have national teams until we have selections. After Carifta trials, then we’ll have a team that would go to Carifta. After national championships, we’ll have a team that would go to the Olympics or World Championships (etcetera).
“He also indicated that athletes that are Olympic bound could train. But it’s more than training, you need to compete to see how you’re progressing and to stay sharp. We are saying that we’ll need to have some competitions once the necessary protocols are in place and how we’ll manage without spectators.”
Local track and field events have been on hold since to the covid19 lockdown in March. The 2020 Carifta Games, carded for Bermuda, were pushed back to 2021.
But Serrette mentioned, “The Carifta Games has already been further postponed. Bermuda had put forward a proposal to have it either in June or July (2021) because they have been experiencing (covid19) spikes. We’ve had borders closed and the risk of getting into Bermuda is either you go through New York or Miami (which) are high-risk areas.”
Reflecting on the aborted 2020 local season, Serrette said, “It was a difficult year. We were able to have just a few competitions up until the lockdown. Our last competition would have been the Carifta trials (on March 7).
The NAAA president added, “It forced us to do a little more coaching education. We would have had a number of virtual (sessions) as well as sessions to upgrade on technical officials. We would have taken advantage of that time to facilitate training for all the people involved in track and field.
How was it like for the officials to adapt to the virtual world, due to the lockdown?
Serrette replied, “Some people adapted well while others would have struggled. Some would have been doing virtual stuff with their athletes.
“In the case of our youth elite programmes, the coordinator would have been in contact with (his/her) athletes and they would upload the work that they were doing and send to him. He (would have been) analysing the work that they were have been doing at home.”