ITU/PATCO meeting Vancouver Jan 30/31st 2009
At the PATCO/ITU meeting in Madrid it became clear that the south American, Spanish speaking countries had been dominating the course of triathlon and its development for a number of years, to the detriment of the other nations involved.
The first issue that arose was the use of Spanish as the official language both for the meeting and the visual presentation of the PATCO executives report, this was duly challenged by Greg Phillip Gen. Secretary of the SKN delegation. Further to this it became clear that the USA and Canada were waiting to vent their ongoing frustration with this untenable state of affairs. The meeting then turned into an in depth discussion regarding PATCOS role in the development of regional triathlon, charting the future course of the Caribbeans islands in the sport, PATCO’s lack of funds, but also its lack of initiative in sourcing funds.
It was decided to hold another meeting with representatives from the USA, Canada, South America and the Caribbean, with ITU as moderator to thrash out a more equitable way forward for the entire region. Winston Crooke president of the SKN federation was voted to represent the Caribbean region in these discussions, to enable the Caribbean federations to state any particular grievances or topics they wished discussed.
The two day conference was a major leap forward for all involved, after a very positive brainstorming session a 17 point plan was created and groups formed to put chosen elements of this plan into immediate action. Winston Crooke was asked to be involved in the group that concerned itself with Governance, and increasing the number active of Caribbean National Federations.
SKN President Winston Crooke stated “this whole weekend was a major coup, not only for St Kitts & Nevis but the region as a whole, PATCO and ITU are fully aware of our commitment to the sport, and consider us valuable additions to the ITU family. The key to the future of Caribbean triathlon is not guaranteed however, unless the nations involved keep the pressure on to ensure that all of the new initiatives created are put in place, then we shall start to see the benefits”.
The importance of this meeting can not be understated, as it is the first time this has occurred and offered the Caribbean nations a firm opportunity to lay the foundations of a regional power base, as it must be reminded that each of the smaller countries has the same voting power as the USA, and together we represent a large voting bloc.