14 August 2008

Who and Where Are They?

Whenever I see discussions in conjunction with hand-wringing about the plight of our underachieving athletes in world competitions, I have not seen much attention paid to questions of the following type:

*How do we identify young athletes who seem to have the potential to compete with the best in the world?

*Do we have a dedicated team which travels the country and scours the local athletic facilities and programs to try to glean glimpses of those who have such potential?

*Do we rely on interested athletes, competing in relative obscurity, because the mainstream media is only interested iin the likes of A-Rod, Bret Favre, Matts Sundin and similar multi-millionaires, and then those ignored athletes, competing almost in anonymity, somehow drift into the sights of someone out there who has an "Aha!" moment and then finds a way to call this young person to the attention of someone who may or may not take an interest in the recommendation of that casual identifier of the talent identified?

*Do you have to be part of the "In Crowd" to be picked out from the masses and to then come under the skilled tutelage of, and part of the system, which purports to know what it is doing in terms of training world class athletes?

*Does the athlete have to continue to be part of the "In Crowd" so that, regardless of his or her talent, or lack of same, that athlete continues to receive promotion through the ranks which eventually gets that person to a world event of athletic competition?

*Do we have a system of merit in this regard?

*So, just how does our identification, selection and nurturing system work in Canada when it comes to finding people with athletic talent?

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