Long-Term Athlete Development Symposium
Updated: Aug 7
Hosting a number of power-house speakers, The Turks and Caicos Islands Sports Commission launched the first Long-Term Athlete Development Symposium in the TCI, under the patronage of Hon. Rachel Taylor from June 17-18, 2022.
The symposium hosted sessions catering specifically to coaches and sport administrators who lead the various sporting federations in the country, aiming to create a consensus on how we can produce high performing athletes who progress to the podium. The environmental, social and psychological aspects were highlighted by the speakers, also drawing conversations to how well functioning federations are run. Sessions were also held for parents and athletes to understand what it takes to become a great athlete.
One of the facilitators was Dave Farmer, the Former Director of the National Olympic Academy of Barbados and FINA Coach certification instructor within the Caribbean and Americas. He is instrumental in developing and implementing programmes for athletes, coaches and sport managers within the Caribbean.
The Premier shared that “Sports is one of the best avenues to develop lasting relationships and if you’re communicating, collaborating and connecting it means you’re not fighting. The focus here is long term development , and so I am pleased that my government is investing heavily in sports. I know we’re not there yet and I know the level of investment is not where it could be at this moment but certainly we are committed to making sure that Turks and Caicos Islands continue to focus on development of our youth through sports.”
The second facilitator Dr. Colin Higgs, is a Professor of Human Kinetics at the Emeritus School and a national consultant in developing coaching programmes in Canada and the Caribbean. He is also a consultant to more than 55 national sport federations in Canada. The knowledge and strategic opportunities delivered in the 2-day event, have surpassed expectations as expressed by federation Executive members and coaches and have begun a paradigm shift towards sport excellence.
The symposium drew on discussion points like return on investment, aligning sectors, a vision for sport in TCI, Caribbean realities, pathways to success, the role of sport leadership and talent identification.
The Minister of Sport, Hon. Rachel Taylor shared “I see sports as a means by which we generate happiness, an ordained antidote to counter the social, psychological, political and economic ills that are often exacerbated by our human tendencies and geographical circumstances. As Minister with a responsibility for sports development, youth empowerment, social protection, education and employment, I am well positioned and intent on developing needful strategies and structures to support the successful implementation of the right mechanisms to ensure that the people of this blessed and beautiful archipelago are holistically empowered and provided with opportunities to enrich their lives and contribute to the economic development of our beloved country. This symposium is strategically designed to build our institutional capacity and provide knowledge to enhance our educational and technical frameworks particularly as it relates to long-term athlete development and sustainable programming. This symposium will also provide us with opportunities to garner the support as well as empower our key stakeholders to gain a better understanding and appreciation for the critical roles and responsibilities that we each have been charged with to support the Sports Commission and the Government in sports development across these beautiful islands.”
The Director of Sports Jarrett Forbes also shared , “The Turks and Caicos Islands is a small country and in the world of sports some may argue that being small is a disadvantage, however if we are intentional and strategic in our approach to sports, I am confident that we can achieve tremendous success. We are here today to change the trajectory of professional athletes who have slipped through the cracks. We are here to repair those cracks, and to build a sports system in the TCI which will help our athletes reach their full potential.”
All the sessions led to the great reveal of the Athlete Development Fund (ADF) created by the TCI Sports Commission . The Athlete Development Fund (ADF) is designed to support the development of Turks and Caicos Islands athletes. Funding will be provided to eligible organisations for programming that supports Long-Term Athlete Development with a special emphasis on High performance Development. The TCI Sports Commission has already invested $75,000 towards the fund, leading the charge. The ADF will also be used to strengthen our Athlete Assistance Programme.
To contribute to the fund, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.