Media Releases

  • Primary School Coaches inspired by ACE

    The primary school coaches may have attended the third annual Atlantic Coaching Excellence (ACE) Symposium to hear about football and cricket, but an ethical governance lawyer, a management consultant and an Olympic track and field athlete were on the event’s agenda, which was held earlier this month at the Trinidad Hilton and Conference Centre.

    Sponsored by LNG producer Atlantic, the Symposium supplemented the technical training given to the coaches in special certification sessions held earlier this year as part of the ACE Programme.  Under the ACE Programme, Atlantic helps to prepare the coaches to meet international standards in their respective disciplines by enlisting the guidance and expertise of Cricket Australia and the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA).   To date, Atlantic has facilitated certification for more than 600 primary school coaches.

    Addressing the coaches at the ACE Symposium, Vice President, Corporate Operations at Atlantic Toni Sirju-Ramnarine said that “Atlantic’s vision has always been to help enable the next generation of cricketers and footballers and we want you to become partners in our mission.” She further added that “Over the last three years, the ACE Programme has facilitated international certification for 600 coaches in primary school cricket and football. The ACE Programme also took you through specialized leadership training in the annual ACE Symposiums… Each Symposium helped to facilitate your holistic development… You have learned that you are more than mere coaches: you are also mentors and counselors, training children not only in sporting techniques but also imparting to them life skills to equip them to build a brighter future.”

    During the Symposium, the coaches were exposed to sessions on Leadership Development by Management Consultant, Nigel Wall; Ethical Governance by Atlantic’s Senior Attorney-at-Law, Oresa Charles and a motivational address by Atlantic Sports Ambassador and Olympic Sprinter, Richard “Torpedo” Thompson.  Cricket coaches who were certified this year also received tokens from Atlantic Sports Ambassadors, Kieron Pollard and Richard Thompson.

    Rhonda Jones, a participant in the ACE program since its inception in 2012, said that the sessions had helped to boost her confidence in her cricket coaching abilities.   “As a certified cricket coach, I feel more confident about my ability to nurture the love for the game that the children have,” Jones said.  “Every time I attend these symposiums, I learn something new about developing and mentoring children in a professional way. Some children may have learning disabilities or problems at home. Now, I am better able to detect these things and deal with them in a better way, you know.”

    Theo Boyce, a football coach attached to the Port of Spain Educational District, said that the ACE Programme had given him new perspectives about the development of the children he coached.  “I have to interact with a lot of young boys and girls who live under very difficult conditions,” Boyce said.  “Sessions like today help me to mentor these children and give them the encouragement they need to use their talents on the field to go further in life.” Boyce also said the Symposium’s session on Ethical Governance would help him in his personal capacity as a sporting administrator.

    The coaches also commended their session in the Symposium with Atlantic-sponsored Olympian, Richard “Torpedo’ Thompson who shared his experiences on the international athletic circuit.  Thompson spoke of the admiration he felt for his own coach and the influence of his coach on his success to date.  He encouraged the coaches to continue in their ‘calling’ to produce sporting stars that excel both on and off the field.

    In addition to nurturing future generations of athletes through the Atlantic National Primary Schools Cricket League and the Atlantic National Primary Schools Football League, LNG producer Atlantic has committed to provide these young athletes with all the necessary tools to succeed.  The Atlantic Coaching Excellence (ACE) program was introduced in 2013 to enhance the technical skills of the hundreds of coaches in primary schools across the country.  Also, on an annual basis, ACE certified coaches are invited to attend a one day developmental symposium to equip them in better leading and mentoring their young charges.