I left Jamaica on January 9th to go to Barbados. It was a good flight with only one stop in Antigua. Upon arriving in Barbados I was greeted by the president of the Barbados Badminton Association, Mr. Kevin Wood. We got aquainted with each other on the short trip to the hotel, Dover Beach Hotel.
The hotel was quite nice. The receptionist, Chan (not sure of the spelling), was very nice and quickly took care of my check-in. She then asked the security guard, Mike, to take me to my room. The room was located in another two storey building. While not being large, the room was comfortable. I found the amenities of the room quite useful. There was a mini-fridge, a microwave oven, and an electric kettle - all the stuff I needed to "cook" or at least prepare some meals.
After settling in and relaxing a bit, I decide to go and check if German had gotten in. He was at the reception desk when I got there. We then spoke about the schedule for the week and he thanked me for answering the call to come and deliver the course. We spoke about the plan for the following day and then said good night to go and rest.
We met early the next morning and German offered to buy me breakfast at the little restuarant by the hotel pool. Food was ok, BUT EXPENSIVE! After breakfast we waited on Kevin to come and collect us. When Kevin arrived, we jumped into the car and went off to the location. The course was being conducted at Barbados Community College, approxiamately 15 mins away from the hotel. We we walked inside I saw one or two familiar faces. We then went up to the classroom. Kevin, being the president, went up to start off the proceedings. He introduced German (which was redundant... who doesn't know German?? :) ), then introduced me. German said a few words and then turned the floor over to me.
I gave a brief history of my coaching experience and the started off the course. Eleven persons were present to take part in the course - Sabrina Scott, Gloria Chung, Shari Hope, Caroline Vaughn, Mariamma Eastmond, Kevin Wood, Marc Trotman, Bradley Pilgrim, Sabeel Foster, Jade Brown, and Jevon Gaskin.
After all the introductions had taken place we dove into the course. We covered a few modules through presentations, group work, and exchanging dialogue.
At around 1:00pm we got the nod for lunch. We went down to the hall where a table was laid out buffet style. There was a kind of seasoned rice, chicken, macaroni "pie", steamed vegetables (broccoli, carrots and pumpkin), a salad, and a gravy. THE FOOD WAS GREAT!!! The menu changed slightly each day, but the chicken, steamed vegetables and salad were constants - still no complaints here.
After lunch we did practical work on the courts.The second day was similar to the first, and by the end of the first two days we had covered 8 of the 12 modules in the Coach Level 1 Manual. After that point we covered a module per day for the next 4 days, and the rest of the day was spent preparing lesson plans and other documents.
On Saturday night (the second night I was there), I was invited out to dinner by German. Kevin came and picked us up and we went to Oistin's. If you go to Barbados and you like/love seafood GO TO OISTIN'S!!! We went to "Uncle George" restuarant and had the grilled marlin. I got three nice sized steaks of marlin, a little salad, and garlic baked potato. IT WAS AWESOME!!! The grilled swordfish is also good, I had that on a second visit later on in the week. On Monday evening I was taken back to the hotel by Gloria, who gave me a mini tour. I really appreciated it, as it showed me a route for me to go jogging through the "hip strip" of St. Lawrence Gap. Upon getting back to the hotel, I quickly changed and went for a nice two mile jog, taking my newly found route.
By the end of the course 3 persons were fully certified as they had taken part in a previous course and only needed some practical hours to become certified. The three are Gloria Chung, Mariamma Eastmond, and Kevin Wood. Seven persons were granted provisional passes. They have to present documentation to support 4 more lessons and after submission of these documents I will evaluate and grant the final certification. On the last day of the course I handed out certificates to those who had passed. German and I said a few words of appreciation to the participants, and the particpants showed their gratitude to us by way of a small speech and a few souvenirs which included a picture frame with a signed collage of photos from throughout the course.
After the presentation ceremony we went home to relax a bit and get ready for dinner. German and myself were treated to dinner by the BBA and we went to a sports bar called "Bubba's". I had a 16oz burger. IT WAS MASSIVE!!
After dinner we went back to the hotel where I said "Goodbye" to German as he had an earlier morning flight and this would be the last time I would see him for this trip.The next morning I woke up, took a taxi to the airport and headed back home. It was a awesome trip where I met wonderful people and had a great experience!