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Grant and Woodside head to California

Two local Bahamian coaches are poised to make a bigger contribution to the development of athletes in the sport of track and field in the country.

Coaches Fritz Grant and Diane Woodside were approved by the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) to sit the USA Track and Field (USATF) and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Academy for sprints and hurdles course. Both coaches have impressive resumes, which include heading many of the country’s national teams at various regional and international sporting events. Grant, the coach of the Ambassadors Track and Field Club was one of four Caribbean coaches to receive a full scholarship from the IAAF. He will leave for the combined course on Sunday and Woodside, who is the president and coach of the Club Monica track club will leave today.

Woodside, who said she sat the Level IV course about two and a half years ago, had to wait around until the course was being offered by the international body. The course will run January 1-7 in San Diego, California. It is designed to further educate coaches in the sprint and hurdles event, as well as put them in a position to coach some of the elite athletes in the world.

“I feel pretty good being one of the two coaches approved,” said Woodside. “I look forward to continuing to make a contribution to the development of all athletes. I think this course is a reward for the many contributions to the various athletes’ development in the past. Doing the Level V is an accomplishment. It is the top level tier of the Coaches Certification Courses, so I am quite pleased to know that I have met the requirements to be there, and to be a part of this elite coaches program. I look forward to seeing what it has to offer and the knowledge I will gain from it, in order to contribute to the development of my kids who I work with.”

The BAAA track and field season is set to start next Saturday with the annual Odd Distance meet. The lengthy calendar of events also includes the annual Fritz Grant Invitational and the Club Monica Track and Field meets. Grant who has worked with many of the country’s elite athletes, including Andretti Bain, Avard Moncur, Warren Fraser, Ramon Miller, Marcus Thompson and Adrian Griffith.

Among the athletes Woodside has worked with are Anthonique Strachan, Ivanique Kemp, Shamar Sands and Shaunae Miller.

Grant said: “The IAAF gave me a full scholarship – four of us. So, one from Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and myself. It is a great privilege; I call it a blessing to be able to be offered the opportunity to take my coaching career to a higher level. I am happy that after this I will be able to assist the elite athletes. This program helps the coaches to concentrate on workouts for elite athletes. It is a very intense course looking at the information that we got. [Based on] the study pack and the course outline you can see it will be intense. Some of the top coaches from around the world will be here at this USATF/IAAF sprints and hurdles course in San Diego, California. I am so privileged to know that I am a part of this coaching fraternity that will be at this course.”

At the completion of the course, coaches will be awarded the USATF/IAAF Academy diploma and certification. The diploma is the highest recognized achievement awarded through the IAAF Coaches Education and Certification Systems. The certification is recognized around the world.

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