[Updated] Bermuda Track and Field Association President Donna Watson announced this morning [Aug 31] that Troy.Douglas will be the new National Track and Field coach.
One of the best sprinters in Bermuda’s history, Mr Douglas started his career representing Bermuda and later switched to the Netherlands in 1998. His first international competition was the Carifta Games when he was 16 years old, and went on to make multiple Olympic appearances.
He finished second at the 1995 IAAF World Indoor Championships in the 200 metres, reached the semi finals on the 200 metres in the 1996 Olympics, and made the Olympic semi finals in the 400 metres in 1992 and 1996.
He presently holds an 8th all time world ranking in the men’s 35 – 39 year age group, and is ranked 4th in the 200m men’s 35 – 39 year age group. Mr Douglas served a ban from competition after testing positive for nandrolone in 1999.
Mr Douglas has resided in the Netherlands for many years where he worked as a coach, and will be returning to Bermuda on September 21st.
Update 11.47am: BTFA President Donna Watson said: “This is perfect timing for us as we feel our athletes are on the brink of doing something great internationally and with the right person as the National Head Coach and the Board that we have in place we are really ready to take track & field to the next level.
“We already have 4 of our Junior athletes who have met the qualifying standard for the World Youth Championships next year. We also have the World Championships for our senior athletes next year with the eventual goal being the 2016 Olympics in Rio and we are looking at around 6 athletes to qualify for both. We feel we have the right ingredients and are looking forward to the next 4 years with Troy on board.”
Ms Watson’s full statement follows below:
As you all are aware we have been in search for a National Head Coach for the past several months. You might ask why after several years have we decided to appoint a Head Coach.
The IAAF (our governing body) informed us in April of this year that a Coaching Structure was a criteria and mandatory for all Member Federations to be in Good Standing with the IAAF. If any member federation did not have a Coaching Structure, the Federation would not be in Good Standing with the IAAF and would not be entitled to any benefits for the participation of their athletes in IAAF World Athletics events and also will not receive their annual Grant. Therefore it was critical that we conform as we did not want to lose the benefits and the grant.
The Board decided that our first step would be to bring on a Head Coach and then determine the coaching structure utilizing the coaches currently involved in the program. The position was advertised to all of our affiliates, 3 persons applied, we interviewed them and selected the individual who we felt met our criteria.
This position was advertised as a volunteer position as with everyone we are feeling the economic pinch but as we move along we are hoping that it can turn into a financial position. This to us really shows that the persons who applied really have the interest of our youth at heart.
Some of the qualities we were looking for in this person, were their knowledge of the sport, having international experience as an athlete and as a coach, international contacts be it coaches (university or professional), contacts with sponsors, they have been involved in international events and respected in Bermuda and Internationally.
Of course the passion for the sport of Track & Field is a must, a good communicator, a good ambassador for the sport, a good visionary and have the experience to mentor the coaches we currently have in the program. This person needs to have overall knowledge of track and field but their role will not be to necessarily coach but to mentor and assist not only the coaches but assist in the development of the program.
The Bermuda Track & Field Association are pleased to announce that the position of National Head Coach will be filled by Troy Douglas. Troy was offered the position at the end of July. The delay in the announcement was due to the fact that his contract with the Netherlands Athletics Federation would not be complete until the end of August.
For us Troy Douglas met all of the criteria mentioned above. You may say from what you know of Troy, he has been a coach of sprints and relays but the knowledge that he has of how to develop a successful track and field program , will assist with how we can grow and develop our program which is what we are looking for at this stage. We already have the coaches in most of the areas but we need an overall program manager with fresh ideas and who has seen what works and what doesn’t work.
The Board was pleasantly surprised when we received the application from Troy as we did not know he was ready to come back home to Bermuda. Troy and I started conversations about 2 year ago at the World Championships in Berlin discussing how we can move Bermuda’s track and field program to the next level.
He has assisted me in various ways ever since. He has given me a lot of advice and he was responsible for introducing me to Tony Lester who coached Tre Houston and the ASICS representative who has sponsored our uniforms over the past few years. He has been my sounding board when I have had to think through some initiatives.
The respect that Troy has from international coaches, administrators and Presidents from other countries is amazing. There are not too many world class coaches who do not know Troy. There are those who even go to him for advice especially regarding sprints and relays and sometimes just seeking advice on how to make their program better. I have sat in on many of those conversations.
The Board agreed wholeheartedly that we wanted this position to be held by a Bermudian. Yes we had a few overseas coaches who were interested in this position but we felt we had the expertise on island and they would truly have our athletes and our country’s best interest at heart to take us to the next level.
This is perfect timing for us as we feel our athletes are on the brink of doing something great internationally and with the right person as the National Head Coach and the Board that we have in place we are really ready to take track & field to the next level.
We already have 4 of our Junior athletes who have met the qualifying standard for the World Youth Championships next year. We also have the World Championships for our senior athletes next year with the eventual goal being the 2016 Olympics in Rio and we are looking at around 6 athletes to qualify for both. We feel we have the right ingredients and are looking forward to the next 4 years with Troy on board.
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