ITU WORLD CONGRESS, MADRID, November 2008
St. Kitts & Nevis, December 6, 2008 - Winston Crooke, President of the SKNTF and Greg Phillip General Secretary, joined approximately 200 Congress delegates in Madrid Spain to celebrate the worldwide growth of triathlon, learn how to progress the sport in local jurisdictions, and to elect new leadership for the International Triathlon Union (ITU), the world governing body for Triathlon.
For the world of triathlon it signaled the end of one era and the start of a new chapter in the world of multi-sports, for the St Kitts & Nevis Triathlon Federation, it was a golden opportunity to establish itself at the highest levels of the sport.
Les Macdonald, the man who had almost singlehandedly steered the sport of triathlon into the Olympics, was handing over the baton to Marisol Quesada of Spain, and the whole triathlon world was there to witness this momentous occasion, and the SKNTF joined the many delegates from around the world and the Caribbean region..
The 5 day summit comprised of lectures, presentations and modules to inform the delegates of the current and future status of the sport, plus valuable information regarding its success at the Beijing Olympics, triathlon being the 7th most watched sport at the games. The summit culminated with the ITU congress where the elections of new president, executives and officers took place, with SKNTF casting a vote for the first time in its history.
Over 40 separate National federations were in attendance, representing the regions of Asia, Africa (ATU), The Americas (PATCO), Europe (ETU) and Oceania, the host city Madrid pulled out all the stops to accommodate this select group.
For the SKNTF the most poignant moment came the day after the elections when the various regions separated to discuss their own particular problems and do regional reports. Up until this congress the PATCO region had been dominated by the larger Spanish speaking countries, this meeting turned out very different.
St Kitts & Nevis, Jamaica, Barbados and Grenada were joined by the USA and Canadian delegates to ask for radical changes in the way things would be handled in the future, the Caribbean region is going to be a major force in the future of Triathlon and the grounds were laid at this very congress.
The SKNTF also took the opportunity to raise the ongoing issue with our own NOC, and their refusal to accept our sport into the Olympic fold, what makes their stance so bizarre is the fact that the very first ITU Continental Cup in the world was hosted in St Kitts, the event that sparked the rise of the Nevis Triathlon. This issue was taken to the very top of the ITU management and it’s legal dept, we look forward to the response from the St Kitts based NOC.
The SKNTF delegates would like to thank the Nevis Island Govt. for their invaluable financial assistance that helped to make the trip possible.