Belizean young athletes achieved such outstanding successes this past year that Belize was voted the most improved country in the region.The Belize Amateur Athletic Association now says it wants to build on that success in 2012.
Based on recent performances, a core of young athletes will be groomed for international representation for 2012 and beyond. These athletes will form part of Belizeís 2014 Junior Olympics selection and will also be part of Belizeís 2016 Olympic delegation to Rio De Janero, in Brazil.
There are some areas in which Belize has very limited or no representation at all at Junior and Senior levels. For instance, middle distance and race-walking and some field events are in dire need of participants.
It is hoped that club coaches will also recognize that there is an urgent need to fill the gaps in various disciplines.
It is most notable that in the recent regional (CADICA) Completion held in San Jose,Costa Rica, Miss Kaina Martinez of Belize was voted the Most Valuable Athlete of the C.A Championship games held in San Jose, Costa Rica
At these games she established records in the 100 and 200 meter sprints.
Belizeís junior athletes also enjoyed major successes on the track and in cross country. For the first time in 2011, two junior male athletes qualified for the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Area Cross Country Championships in Trinidad and Tobago.
The turmoil that struck the Executive of the B.A.A.A. has resulted in some delay in their progress, but those with vision have not been deterred from their primary goals and objectives. Some local and international support has unfortunately been lost but new supporters and stakeholders have come on board.
The B.A.A.A.ís eyes remain firmly fixed on placing the first Belizean on the podium at the 2016 Olympics. It is hoped that those who contributed towards their success in 2011 will continue to do so helping to produce good productive citizens.
Although many Belizean youths are now engaged in athletics, a better success rate could be realized if principals and community leaders would recognize and grasp the benefits of athletics.
The year 2012 has been designated as the Year of the Clubs. The key objective is to encourage individuals to form clubs nationwide which local businesses may adopt by investing in their own people.
The Belize Amateur Athletic Association is looking forward to working with many more talented young people in 2012. The Reporter