By Erin Greene on 30/08/12 at 4:49 am
Last week, 28 members of the triathlon community from the Central African state of Cameroon traveled to its capital city of Yaoundé to participate in the ITU Community Coaches and Technical Officials Course. The aim of the four-day course, the first of its kind in the region, was to assist attendees in growing triathlon in Cameroon.
With a lack of appropriate facilities needed to create a strong development programme, Central African states have struggled in the cultivation of triathlon but participants took the first steps in reversing that trend while in Yaoundé. Everyone in attendance listened to lectures on coaching presented by Franz Studer, as well as received classes on officiating from African Triathlon Union Continental Coordinator Travis Campbell.
According to Studer, what Cameroon lacks in facilities and equipment, they make up for in enthusiasm, which is spearheaded by Cameroon Triathlon Federation’s Edwige Olga Ngassam. Under her tutelage, Studer found Ngassam has managed to create significant interest in multisport activities, not only in Cameroon, but in the whole of Central Africa.
During the course, Ngassam set challenging goals for Cameroon, with the idea that the course was meant to serve as a starting point for the development of triathlon in the Central African region. Within five years, she hopes to produce athletes that can compete on a continental level.
Despite the disparity of accessible swimming pools and bicycles, Studer and Campbell were both enthusiastic about the foundation laid at the ITU Coaches and Technical Course. Studer said, “I have no doubt that Edwige and her team are willing and capable of creating a broad-based development programme that will show amazing results in a few years.”