KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - An athletics regional expert has rated very high the Sudanese athletics potential which he said promises a good future.
Abdelraheem Hamdy, Director of the Regional Athletics Center in Cairo cum International Lecturer on Athletics, said Sudanese athletics “is a mine of gold, a pride and honor for the Arabs on international and regional forums.”
In an interview with Sudanow, Hamdy extolled the attention accorded by the Sudanese Olympic Committee to athletics.
Hamdy, who is lecturing during the ongoing first level athletics trainers’ course at Khartoum’s Olympic Academy,has revealed his Center’s plan for the developing and upgrading Arab athletics in the future.
Q: Please tell us about the particulars of this course.
A: This is a first level trainers’ course intended to qualify and train young players with emphasis on child characteristics at this age with a view to developing their talents. The idea is to help trainers come at the same level with their peers in other countries. It is an opportunity for trainers to learn how to develop athletes so that the country may have many more heroes like its giants Ismaeil Ahmed Ismaeil, Abubaker Kaki and al-Kesheef Hassan and others who won gold for the country.
Q: How did you find the trainees?
A: At the beginning they were shy but after sometime I noticed more response and more cohesion among the group. The bodily abilities of some trainees did not help them to undertake certain practical exercises such as sprinting and hurdling. But all in all, I noticed that they were determined and keen to get knowledge. This is the type of trainers we are looking for, given the fact that our aim in this course is not to create international heroes, but to create trainers who can pass expertise to the youngsters and teach, qualify and help them to upgrade their technical skills and become heroes in the future.
Q: What are the criteria for the successful trainer?
A: The successful trainer should not stop learning after getting his certificate. He/she should look for knowledge and promote himself all the time because training is a changing science. As trainers we do not repeat the information we give at the one course. We change and adapt our information in line with the developments in the training science. And this is the required knowledge.
Q: What do you say about the Sudanese athletics?
A: The Sudanese athletics is the bright face of the Arabs. It is a mine of heroes. If some players choose to leave the country and play for other nations, still they remain as an honor for Sudan. For instance Mu’taz Barsham, the World’s hero in high jump, and others are being chased by countries, persuading them with attractive incentives. But still Sudan remains as a gold mine in athletics.
Q: As an expert in athletics, tell us about how we can stem the immigration of our players?
A: There should be a strong and binding sovereign decision to be carried out by the sports authorities. And this is built on a philosophy and the philosophy is built on information the sports authorities should know. That is: Athletics is actually the nation’s bright mirror. If we look at Ismaeil’s achievement in the Beijing 2008 Olympiad, compared with the results of all the football players who took part in those games on whom millions of dollars were spent, we can conclude that it is better to take care of athletics. That is because we did not spend a penny on Ismaeil and still he made a good achievement. So, there is an administrative defect in what we do. We should rearrange our priorities and redirect our spending. And this requires a sovereign decision because heroic geniuses should be cared for by the state. That is because the creation of a hero is highly expensive. Ultimately, the results of ‘the mother of all sports’ are a source of pleasure and joy for the concerned nation. It pleases all, in particular when the hero scores an achievement, like what Ismaeil had done.
Q: Tell us about the course content, please.
A: This course obliges trainees to commit to the qualifying and training of youngsters from six years old and above. This is the age when players start to mature and acquire some skills, like the skills of sprinting and speed which they should gain at this early age. If that is not done, the child could miss a big chance.
The study is both theoretical and practical. The International Association of Athletics Federations gives more emphasis on the practical aspect of training. Consequently, we seek the creation of a trainer who can communicate his expertise to the playground and who seeks knowledge from any source, a trainer who develops his capabilities in order to benefit others.
A: Your advice to the trainees?
Q: They should be ambitious. This is a marathon and a marathon begins with one step. This is just the beginning and the trainees who can succeed in this course will move to the second level. The International Association of Athletics Federations is willing to hold the second level course whether here in Khartoum or in Cairo, according to the specialization of the coach. If the trainees pass the second level, they will be promoted to the third level that gives them a higher rating and excellent information in the domain they choose.
Q: Tell us about the role of the Cairo Regional Center in the promotion of Arab athletics.
A: In the previous stage, the Center had concentrated on education. But the new plan is to make of the Center a place for promoting the game. At present we are analyzing the performance of Arab federations in a bid to assess the administrative and technical standing of those federations. In collaboration with decision makers, we continue to draw strategies to promote athletics in Arab states,in a bid to consolidate positives and tackle shortcomings.
Q: How would you compare your Cairo center with the Dakar and Nairobi centers?
A: Worldwide, there are 9 development and training centers. There are also elite centers. West Africa is privileged with two centers in Dakar. In Cairo there is a plan to set another center, depending on the availability of highly qualified experts and on Egypt’s readiness to expand the Cairo center.
As I have just said, the Cairo Center has the specific role of organizing training courses. But in the future the Cairo center will analyze the status of athletics and the way for preparing athletics heroes.
Q: One final word?
A: I must tell the people of Sudan that I am proud of my presence here and my work with trainers who will qualify the country’s future heroes. I am also gratified by the participation of Sudanese Olympic hero Ismaeil Ahmad Ismaeil in this course. I consider Ismaeil’s participation in this course a correct step in the right direction which would avail him the opportunity to present his expertise to the trainees. I wish him and his colleagues all the best.
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