Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Jack and Maria

It has been nearly two weeks for Jack Howard and just a little over a week for Maria Ikelap since they set foot in Beijing on their way to experiencing for the first time what it is like to be at the Olympic Games. And these initial day leading to their debut, it has been nothing but more real hard work. Their anxiety only escelates with Coach Carl insisting that they put in the last minute work on startblocks and studying video clips of their own practices sessions and those of the more elite sprinters. Jack will run on 8/15 while Maria will do her part of the following day.
more to come...

fsm team in beijing 08

FSM delegation to the World Olympics in Beijing finally came together under one banner after months of separate trainings at various locations, even outside of the FSM. For months, the swimmers spent time training in Guam with other Guam swimmers. Manuel Minginfil of Yap has spent several months away from home in a number of places where the Oceania Weightlifting Training Center has taken him. He was also under sholarship from the FSM National Olympic Committee through grants from IOC Solidarity Funds. Our two athletics sprinters have been training at their home bases: For Jack Howard, home means Guam. For Maria Ikelap, Chuuk has been her only home.

Our lifter, Minginfil, has done his bid by lifting on 8/11/08. Although he did not secure any medal, he did amuse the enthusiastic Chinese audience and the small size FSM delegation that included President Many Mori by his display of power and style in what might very well be his last international and Olympic showdown.

More information will follow.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Long Silence

It has been nearly a year of silence from athletics-in-chuuk. Several incidences and activities went unreported due to lack of assistants who had the time and patience to compile reports and publish postings to the public in forums like this.

This fact is only a testimony to the painful reality that sports in Chuuk at the moment has been struggling even more miserably as compare to previous years. However, athletics-in-chuuk hereby pledges to resume is role through this medium to reach those individuals who might have a chance to get to know us by reading posting from this blog. Our aplogies for our shortfalls the past year, and please continue to support us by reading our postings here and perhaps offering your comments that may help us grow and develop in spite of the struggles that overwhelm Chuuk.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

athletics at a rut

These few months since Pacific Games (August-September 2007), athletics in Chuuk has been in a rut. A few attempts to hold small competitions on Weno Island were hampered by several factors including weather, finance, lack of interest, shortage of organizers, etc.

Now, the challenge for athletics organizers is to get their mindset out of such rut. Yes, everyone seemes to be preoccupied with other important comitments. But, there is always a way to better manage events when mind and hearts are put together.

A competition for Fefen Island has been tentatively set for January 16, 2008. Chuuk Athletics tried to hold one sometime November 07. Obvious this needs to be rescheduled.

Some comps are on the horizon as far as interest and planning. Let us see if real action will follow.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

track and field competition in hawaii

The Chuukese Community of Hawaii has started providing track and field competitions for their youth as a way of bringing their members together. Last year, the Chuuk government secured $5000.00 for the purpose this event in Hawaii. Along with that, several government officials, including the Lt. Governor and the Vice-Speaker of the House of Reps flew to Honolulu to witness first hand the eventful competition.
For this year, this Chuukese Hawaii Community event has meant trips out of Chuuk for several athletes who are otherwise based at home. Sprinters like Tete Freddie have been lucky enough to have been donated free plane tickets from friends in Honolulu who wish for these runners to be a part of the fierce Chuukese-style track competition. In the past two years, only Jack and John Howard, Chuukese and Micronesian fastest sprinters who are Guam-based, have been extended such luck.
Chuuk is keeping its ears open to hear the result of this event which will take place on August 2 and 3, 2007, according to travelers who have returned from Honolulu. All the best to the athletes who will enjoy this competition and its organizers. Hope their athletic festivity is filled with so much Aloha and sportsmanship.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Day 5 for John Hamann: Andersen Field

On day 5, John Hamann continued his task, but this time different from the previous 4 days. Today being a pay day Friday, most public elementary schools are closed due to reduced work hours imposed by Chuuk government. Keitani Graham and his friends at SHIP HOOPS have organized a field day for 13 years and under at Andersen Field.

Over a hundred kids from Penia, Mechitiw, and nearby Iras neighborhood gathered on this beautiful sunny day and learned running, hopping, jumping, skipping with John Hamann. Later on, some throwing drills were also taught.

Several volunteers helped made the day an enjoyable one for the kids. A few members of the Chuuk Athletics Association (Marz, Donis, Epi, Rufin) helped Keitani, Steve, and Nakich from SHIP HOOPS. At the end of the day, SHIP HOOPS distributed anti-drugs and anti-violence brochures for the kids to take home as part of their on-going campaign against the influence of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and violence in general.

The day was a huge success.

Onward to Sino Memorial School, Dublon Island

Four days after arriving in Chuuk, John Hamann, Adelaide based athletics trainer and coach, took his first boat-ride experience in Chuuk when he, Marz Akapito, and Donis Rudolph headed to Sino Memorial School on Dublon Island, Chuuk State, FSM.

Principal Setirik Nupeiset could not have been more enthusiastic about the visit. "We need to have a structured Phys-Ed programe at the elementary schools in Chuuk. At the moment, there is nothing going on in this area," he expressed with a hidden sadness behind the hospitable, jolly gestures that are his trademarks.

After a few minutes or recess, the 6th graders, found themselves hopped, jumped, ran, and walk to the calls from Mr. Hamann. There must have been easily over 40 kids that ended up joining the 45 minutes PE session.

For the next class period, even more kids from the 7th grade took up the lessons partly as an entertainment. John had a bit more work reminding the kids all the time that the they ought to try learn some "skills" (things) out of the encounter.

The day of visiting elementary schools ended for John, Marz, and Donis at Sapuk Elementary schools at about 2:30PM. More trips to the islands as well as the elementary schools on Weno are lined up.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Athletics Coaching Training With John Hamman

Mr. John Hamman, having completed a month of coaching development trainings in Yap, has arrived in Chuuk last night, a few hours earlier than expected by the Chuuk Athletics Association. John will conduct trainings in coaching and officiating athletics in schools and the communities of Chuuk for a month period.
Poeople like Mrs. Yosko Kim, Rufin Maras at Chuuk High School, Marz Akapito at COM, and Tommy Ungeni on Dublon, including others, have been working on a "action plan" for Mr. Hamman that will guide his schedule here in Chuuk. His itenarary includes the following:
1. One week session for secondary schools teachers (coaches) to be held at Chuuk High Campus.
2. Two-Day visit to Faichuk High School
3. Two-Day visit to Tonoas
4. 1-2 day visit to Fefen
5. Visit to Nomisofo Region
6. Sessions at selected elementary schools on Weno (Iras Demo, Mechitiw, ?/?)
7. Review of plan for implementing Physical Education at Chuuk State School System
8. Discussions with state officials at Chuuk State School System
9. Review of the COM's Exercise Sports Science program with interest for inclussion of athletics.
10. Officiating athletics clinics for field events specifically.
John will have a month to try do all of these and will need the cooperation of state education officials, schools teachers, coaches, as well as the members of the Chuuk Athletics Association to make this a fruitful exercise for him and for Chuuk.
The program is made possibl with funding and planning from the FSM National Olympic Committee, especially the hard working office staff, as part of an on-going effort for improving athletics coaching in the FSM. Many thanks to the FSMNOC, FSM Athletics Association, especially Jim Tobin and his staff.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

FSM Relay Team At Pacific Games Threatened

In 2003, the FSM men 4x100 relay team surprised the rest of the Pacific with an "unexpected" achievement by winning the bronze closely behind the superpowers PNG and Fiji on the last day of competition in Suva. It was the first time ever a team from the "northern" Pacific clinced a medal in track and field relay action. Normally, those who are keen on performance analysis of Pacific runners would predict teams like Vanuatu, Solomons, and Tahiti to mingle with Fiji and PNG in sprint events -- not the FSM. They were proven wrong.

However, this year's Pacific Games (SPG) may not see a relay team from the FSM. In recent communication between a coach and the Secretary General of the FSM Athletics Association, funding shortage will hamper the athletes hope of trying to improve on the bronze medal this time. The sad thing is, it seems the association is so convinced trying against this obstacle is a waste of time -- there is no chance on the horizon that any substantial amount could be raised.

The athletes trying to go do not have a chance of convincing the FSM National Olympic Committee and the FSM Athletics Association by way of their competitive level as the FSM Games that was set for this June has been reduced to just fruitless gossip. It is a huge wonder how the FSM is going to select its athletes for the Pacific Games through a truly national approach without some kind of recognized competition. The sports themselves have to be extremely creative and be upfront with their athletes as far as fair selection process is concerned.

So should we expect not to see an FSM relay team in Apia this September? The answer is currently hinged on a huge question mark with a thin, very very thin dollar sign.