Elvis Forde for National Coach

Submitted by Wayne Cadogan

athleticsIt is another Olympic year and once again Barbados would be sending athletes off to the games as they have always done in past years. To date only two Barbadians have ever graced the podium, one representing Barbados and the other the West Indies, yet we continue to send athletes to these games, not for medals but for other reasons.

I have always asked the question, why do we continue to send athletes to the Olympic Games, just to run a first round or barely scrape past the first round? The Olympics is the highest level of Track and Field competition, the pinnacle of all athletic events, followed by the Commonwealth Games, Pan Am Games and World Games. I have always maintained if Barbados cannot win a gold medal at the Central American and Caribbean Games level, what is the point of sending a large contingent of athletes to the Olympics -just for show and to justify the large number of officials that go to the Olympic?

This Olympic year, Barbados does have a better contingent of athletes and should fair a little better, although it is very disappointing and surprising that the two top hurdlers did not make the grade. I expect that Sada Williams will only compete in the 200 meters because it is her best race of the two that she has qualified for and should reach the finals, once she handles the qualifying rounds and the pressure. Because of her tender age, this Olympic should be exposure to the world scene and start her preparation for the gold medal in the 2020 Olympics. The other athlete who will do well and should be a major factor is Akiela Jones in the gruelling heptathlon. Although she has qualified for the high jump, a decision should be made against her competing in both and for her to concentrate on medalling. I really do not see the other athletes getting past the second round, because of their times, the level of competition and the fact that they have to go through four rounds, something that they are not accustomed to running at home.

History would show that as an athletic nation we have not progressed over the years. I was at the Stadium (Pig Pen) this year for the Inter School Sports and the Boys under 20, 400 meters came back in 48 point and the announcers were raving and carrying on about the time. Well, in the sixties, on grass, athletes were running 47 seconds for the 400 meters. Jamaica school boys ran 46 second on the same grass in 1966 and other outstanding times in the other events, 10.2 in the 100 meters and 1:48 for the 800 meters, all on grass. We have a superior track to what we had in the 70’s and 80’0 and yet we are running mediocre times.

It is very sad to see that the other islands that we refer to “as small islands” that we used to completely dominate back then, have surpassed us in all sports. One of the islands even has a Olympic gold medal to show and all that we can muster is a bronze medal after all these years. I keep hearing the excuse that Jamaica and Trinidad has the numbers to choose from, but yet St. Kitts has a population of 54,000 people and a major world medal to show from the 100 meters relay and five world class athletes.

The problem with sports in Barbados is that we do not have a proper sports program, especially in track and field and that is why we will always languish behind. First, a proper stadium is long overdue; all the other islands have modern facilities and we have a pig pen for a stadium where Crop Over activities are more important that than what it was intended for. To add to the Stadium woes as far as athletics is concerned, there are many problems and issues with the twelve or so track clubs on the island when it comes to competition. This year Nationals was the first time that I saw heats for the 100 and 200 meters and not a straight final. But one can say that it was because it is the Olympic year and athletes came home to qualify for the Olympics. Usually, the majority of races are just a straight final with four or five athletes.

We have some specialist coaches on the island who should be allowed to coach those disciplines, regardless as to which club the athlete is a member of. The coaches here are only capable of taking the local athletes to a certain level and that’s it. Sometime ago, I believe last year one of the coaches made a statement that they prepare the athletes on a silver platter and give to the American coaches. Well, if this was the case, we should be seeing more of our athletes on the world scene other than the three or four. What I would say, is that there is much more to coaching than just telling an athlete to go and run six or eight 200’s for training or to go and run five or ten miles. All of our athletes have technical flaws that need to be worked out in order to run faster, and the local coaches are not capable of ironing out these flaws.

It is time that Barbados selects one of its professional overseas coaches as its head coach and this should be Elvis Forde, who is a very successful college coach and highly respected as a coach among the American coaching fraternity. In any coaching situation, you need a number of assistant coaches, because of the various disciplines and specialist coaches are required for the different events. No one coach can coach an entire track team and needs to have a number of assistants coaches to assist him. The most successful coach in Barbados is Mr. Babb, the coach from Lester Vaughan School, who is knowledgeable and successful when it comes to hurdling and should be coaching all the hurdlers on the island. Mr. Forde could prepare a program and his assistants here and he could oversee the program. With all the modern technology available, he does not have to be on the island to oversee the program. If Barbados is to go forward and produce world class athletes, all the foolishness and pettiness among the clubs and coaches will have to cease.

While I am on the topic of athletics, I will address the issue of home grown athletes and I am going to be very blunt. There is no athlete in Barbados who is going to remain here and become a top flight world class athlete. First, an athlete needs competition and competition that is better than him or her in order to improve their times. Here we have one or two athletes that are capable of running 10.2 seconds for the 100 meters, week in and week out, with no body to push them, therefore no chance for improvement. As an example, Jamaica has twenty or more athletes running 10.1 seconds or faster for the 100 meters, therefore the level and competition is always at a high standard. Secondly, the standard of coaching except for a couple of coaches is very poor and is only capable of coaching the athletes to a certain level. Lastly, there is a lack of international competition locally. One would have to go back to the 70’s to see when last world class athletes grace our shores to compete. The Trinidadians and Grenada James are all next door and do not come here to compete. The reason why, is because the level of competition here is very poor and would not provide that level of world class competition.

My personal advice to the Barbados Amateur Athletic Association, is that the emphasis of the association, should not be about how many medals the team wins at meets, it is about the developing, preparing and exposing the athletes for the bigger picture, the Olympics. It is not about sending a large contingent of athletes to a meet, in order to justify the amount of officials travelling with the team. It is about selecting the best athletes for overseas meets.

Over the years the BAAA in their quest and greed to get medals at meets, has destroyed a number of athletes by making them compete in multiple events. As recent as last year, Mary Fraser competed in three gruelling events, 800, 1500 and 300 meters over three days at the Carifta Games and since then, has not been able to maintain that level competition. At that young age, the body is not capable of withstanding that amount of work and she just burned out. The rule is that an athlete needs to rest a day to recuperate for every mile that they compete in. For this reason and the fact that we hardly run heats at meets here, due to the lack of athletes per race, I am hoping that common sense would prevail and that Sada Williams will not be asked to compete in both the 200 and 400 meters event at the Olympics as she would have to run eight rounds in all to qualify for the finals.

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30 Comments on “Elvis Forde for National Coach”

  1. David July 18, 2016 at 3:05 AM #

    BU takes this opportunity to invite submission or send us information about the state of financing sports programs in Barbados. What has the Barbados Olympic Association and the other funding agencies been doing with the millions?


  2. Hal Austin July 18, 2016 at 4:32 AM #

    Great contribution, Wayne.


  3. Wayne R Cadogan July 18, 2016 at 6:35 AM #

    David, the Olympic Association is like a fraternity for certain individuals and operates as a close door group. They are the main reason why sports overall in Barbados is not going any where. Barbados Olympic Association is the only country in the world that maintains the same members year after year and decade after decade. Its ideas and leadership and ideology is archaic, When you can have a President and committee of an organization for almost 30 years in succession and nothing to show, something has to be wrong?

    I know whats wrong, its the perks and everything else that comes with the post, that is why the members of that organization remains the same! A few years ago member of one of the organizations in Barbados once said to me, that they have seen the world at the expense of the taxpayers. Well, that is what it is mainly about and as we do not like changes, do not not expect anything to change as farb as the Olympic Association is concerned. probably, they will all die in office berfore we get get changes within that organization.


  4. David July 18, 2016 at 6:38 AM #


    Thanks, believe you are correct.

    Is there a way we can get at the accounting of monies used by the BOC and other sporting bodies? Are you able to get those who have access to the details to come forward and share?


  5. Bush Tea July 18, 2016 at 7:39 AM #

    Wayne @6.35AM is EXACTLY correct.
    What has been achieved by these people?
    To whom do they report?
    Who audits their spending of the millions of lottery dollars?
    Why is this information not public?
    Is the president a recluse?
    Has he EVER been interviewed about his stewardship? …or are white people exempt from such scrutiny?


  6. bookworm July 18, 2016 at 7:51 AM #

    I wonder if it is possible to get a list of BOC members who will be travelling to the games,and what their function will be.I have a suspicion that thgey will outnumber the athletes 4 or 5 times.


  7. Donna July 18, 2016 at 7:55 AM #

    Bushie is asking questions to which he already knows the answer.

    Mr. Cadogan,

    You have highlighted what most of us already know. Nevertheless it must be shouted over and over again until some action is taken to open doors for our young people who have raw talent that is not being nurtured. These parasites are so intent on their bloodsucking that they do not see that there would be even greater glory and perks available to them if they actually produced a cadre of athletes that could win Olympic medals. But we in this country always seem to see only the low road, rather than the high road that could kill two birds with one stone. We could bask in glory and roll in money and perks with a clear conscience if only we would take the high road! But tell that to the low life leeches and you would probably be met with blank stares.


  8. Donna July 18, 2016 at 7:58 AM #

    I fear that Bookworm is not too far from the truth. We will see most of them march in the parade, never fear.


  9. bookworm July 18, 2016 at 8:03 AM #

    @ Bush Tea
    Not at all sure that the BOA is exclusively a white club, although it looks like a meeting place for geriatrics.
    I have found a list of the official contingent. I may be cynical but I do not for one minute believe that this is an exhaustive list.

    Steve Stoute (BOA President)
    Erskine Simmons (BOA Secretary General)
    Dr. Adrian Lorde (Chef de Mission)
    Glyne Clarke (Team General Manager and Assistant to the Chef de Mission)
    Dr. Rene Best (Chief Medical Officer)
    Sharon Coppin (Massage Therapist)
    Chalice Jordan (Athletics Therapist)
    Michelle Elliot (Skeet Shooting Manager)
    Alwyn Babb (Track & Field Coach)
    Bryan Holder (Track & Field Coach)
    Kevin Yarde (Tennis Coach)


  10. Sargeant July 18, 2016 at 8:22 AM #

    Excellent contribution

    The usual suspects- Steve Stoute and Erskine Simmons again. Surely they should be awarded Gold Medals for multiple attendances at Olympic Games.

    A Tennis Coach? Skeet Shooting Coach? Any swimmers? Where are their coaches? This is an exercise in futility at least they get to march in the opening ceremonies so Bajans can cheer the Flag.


  11. Wayne R Cadogan July 18, 2016 at 8:57 AM #

    Book worm, you are so correct. The list from the BAAA is not included in your count, that is always separate and you would have to see that extensive list from that organization to see the real picture of the free loaders. Oh, do not forget to include the list of government officials too that would be travelling.Tell the country why all these officials have to travel, what are their rolls. All at the taxpayers and the government expense.


  12. Donna July 18, 2016 at 9:06 AM #

    What a farce! Why do we need so many people to watch us lose?


  13. Bush Tea July 18, 2016 at 9:10 AM #

    @ bookworm
    According to their website, you are correct.
    Interesting that the director’s CVs mostly seem to focus on length-of-service as opposed to results achieved.
    Can you imagine that the Minister of sport (and an entourage) would miss Rio? ..or a host of other hangers-on?

    In a recent speech at Dover (reproduced on the website) he indicated that just under 20 athletes would attend, but apart from heaping loads of praise on FLOW for sponsorship, his speech was short on policy, strategy or solid achievements.
    One would have thought that his voice would be constantly out there explaining the challenges (as detailed above by Wayne) and outlining the way forward.


  14. Bernard Codrington. July 18, 2016 at 9:41 AM #

    Very interesting. The more things change the more they remain the same. People have to make the changes though.No point bellyaching when one can work towards change. I almost did not read this submission since it was querying why the athletes were going since they would not win. Perhaps the caption should be why all these freeloaders? Barbados should always send a cadre of athletes if they meet the Olympics qualifying standards. Participation is important…. more important than winning.


  15. David July 18, 2016 at 10:25 AM #

    Heard outgoing President of the BOA singing the praises of that guy who has represented Barbados for a record 5 times including Rio. Funny 🙂


  16. Bush Tea July 18, 2016 at 10:30 AM #

    What do you mean by ‘outgoing’?
    Out spoken and gregarious?


  17. David July 18, 2016 at 10:56 AM #

    @Bush Tea

    He stated that he will not be seeking reelection.


  18. Steven Williams July 18, 2016 at 2:00 PM #

    The words that I’m yet to hear is strategic planning around short-medium-long term. I’ve just started a sports marketing company and for me this article was a breath of fresh air because it expounds the issues with unbridal passion and clarity.

    Just plain cold truth. Our young athletes don’t event run for national pride they simply run for scholarships; their parents push and support them up to this point.

    That’s another reason why there’s no structure to move beyond the college level. We simply send them on scholarship opportunities, chief why Oba got his medal while being in college. Its the only way to maintain the high competitive level needed to be in medal contention in the first place.

    Our sports program is in desperate need of a make over with business development centre stage. Our athletes need to get paid or see themselves having a real future as being a professional sports personality not just an educational opportunity.

    Our Olympic hopefuls need just that hope; that when they get back from their academic/sports program that we have a structure waiting for them that leads to further development of the total person that is worthy of lucrative corporate endorsements.


  19. The fan July 19, 2016 at 10:27 AM #

    bookworm July 18, 2016 at 8:03 AM # bookworm July 18, 2016 at 8:03 AM #

    @ Bush Tea
    Not at all sure that the BOA is exclusively a white club, although it looks like a meeting place for geriatrics.
    I have found a list of the official contingent. I may be cynical but I do not for one minute believe that this is an exhaustive list.

    Bookworm top manangement of BOA is always white the exception was Austin Sealy .
    A guy who operates in the shadows is Bruggadung Johnson he is Stoute’s deputy at BOA for years. A heavy weight sponger he for certain will be in Rio hobbie class. Adrian Lorde maybe a doctor but he a veteran shareholder in the BOA ‘see the world for free program.’

    What hurts more is Barbados perfomance on the track if you can call it that gets worse as the list of geriatric large stomach feeders at the trough grows.

    Add to the shameless free loaders roll for Rio:

    Esther Maynard
    Muscle Mary
    Cammie Burke
    Boozer King
    Bruggadung Johnson


  20. The fan July 19, 2016 at 10:35 AM #

    Wayne your proposal for Elvis Forde to be coach of the national team is an excellent one.


  21. David July 19, 2016 at 10:50 AM #

    The problem with sports in Barbados is systematic.


  22. SAGE July 19, 2016 at 7:47 PM #

    A reasoned, valid and sound argument is presented here. However, international athletes of a certain calibre have been seen on the Stadium track since the 70s. I can recall Lindford Christie and possibly Leroy Burrell running here albeit at the Texaco Games in the not-to-recent 1980s.

    My areas of concern include the attrition rate of our junior athletes, be it post-primary school, secondary school or NCAA; the lack of significant female participation in athletics and the scope of long-standing records (praise Sada Williams); the limited ‘value’ ascribed to sports, i general, by the majority of parents and guardians; the minuscule attention paid to sports psychology; an institutionalised failure to incorporate basic principles (e.g. body type analysis, testing of eye-hand coordination etc.) into the design and implemention of a training programme for a nucleus of junior athletes; the absence of any sustained, functionally-structured national programme; the abundant paucity of financial support from the private and public sectors; the absence of adequate dedicated physical, technical and personnel resources …

    I gone!


  23. bookworm July 20, 2016 at 1:51 PM #

    @Wayne R Cadogan.
    I have been trying to find anything on the BAAA or the AAAB. All tom no avail. Allthat I can find is an old website and links to the BOA.
    Seems like a secret society.


  24. David July 20, 2016 at 1:57 PM #

    Try this link, there is also a Facebook page.



  25. The fan July 20, 2016 at 6:43 PM #

    Disgraced track and field officials (BOA and AAA) continue not only to waste scarce taxpayer monies they contrive to embarrass Barbados on the world stage. Today’s bronze medal winner Mario Burke could not find a national flag after his stunning performance. The American and Italian officials were on hand to get their respective flags to the winner and silver medalist. Burke was left glancing around lost on an occasion he and the country should be celebrating. He ended up shockingly under the stars and stripes.

    This is not the first time cock ups by BOA/AAA have shamed Barbados on international television. One recalls the Obadele saga in 2000 where Oba complained he didn’t even have a track suit with the Barbados name and logo to wear on the podium. Today was a repeat of the Sydney Olympics farce and the same free loaders listed by all and sundry on BU are still in place led by head waste of space Steve Stoute.

    We call on the Minister of Sport to issue a statement of reprimand to the officials culpable and to ensure there is never a repeat. Sada Williams is a possible medalist in a few days . Will the useless BOA/AAA free loaders who leech off the hard work and sweat of the athletes be there with a national flag? What a dishonorable pack the BOA, AAA and their hangers on.

    Hearty congratulations to Mario Burke the third fastest Under 20 in the universe. God speed Mario and keep reaching high.


  26. David July 20, 2016 at 6:51 PM #


  27. bookworm July 24, 2016 at 1:08 PM #

    @ David
    Thank you for the link. This does not give any information on the make up of the AAAB, its just a lot of lists and fixtures. As for the Facebook page, that has not been updated since 2014 as far as I can see.
    As I suspected it seems to be a secret place where faceless persons can run Barbados athletics and get a “see the world for free” ticket.
    Who are the AAAB? Who runs it?What do they do?


  28. SuckaBubby July 28, 2016 at 5:48 PM #

    Sportsmen/women will never get any justice in Barbados.Best thing for sports people to do is to train hard, leave the place and dont look back.I dont see none of our brightest stars back here contributing, Oba, Blackett, Martindale,Payne (Victor, an excellent basketballer).I dont blame them one bit.I am over the moon for the success of Darian King and Chelsea Tuach.They work hard, get results and dont play the tail around politicians and sports politics.I wish Akela Jones all the success in the world and I hope she keeps away from politicians and sports politics.


  29. SuckaBubby July 28, 2016 at 5:55 PM #

    How could I forget Martin Blackman?Big up to he too, now general manager of USTA player development.Rather see Bajan sports people shining from afar than suffering at home.Seeing Suki King here with nothing is a disturbing disgrace.


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