Sharron Celecia: Passion for Youth Development | 07.05.2012
|2011 European Athletics Women's Leadership Award winner Sharron
Celecia with Hector Romero, a winner of the European Athletics
In addition to the voluntary administration work she does to keep the Gibraltar Athletic Association's Youth Development Programme running, the charismatic Sharron can always be found cheering on the kids and talking to mums about their progress during events and training sessions.
In 2011, Sharron was named her country's winner of the European Athletics Women's Leadership Award by her federation, the Gibraltar Amateur Athletic Association (GAAA).
A successful athlete herself, Sharron sees her involvement as "a way to contribute back to the local athletics community". She says she is also determined to pass on her sporting values to her daughter Saleen, who takes part in the youth programme.
Sharron competed at international level for her country and achieved a number of national records, some of which still stood in 2011. In 1995, she broke the 400m national record and won the silver medal in the 400m final of the NatWest Island Games, held in Gibraltar.
After a break of 13 years she returned to competition as a Masters athlete in 2011 and won the Gibraltar Athletics 10km race.
According to Hector Romero, one of Gibralter's top athletics coaches, "Sharron came into an active and visible administrative role at the track in 2008, and since then many young athletes, especially girls, have come to look up to her and be inspired to try harder"
"In addition to the athletes, parents constantly approach her for advice on different issues, from their daughter's ability to what type of shoes to purchase. She has a wonderfully enthusiastic personality and is always keen to shout encouragement."
|Sharron working at the track on a training evening.|
She has also been proactive in finding ways to streamline processes of the programme to help make it run more smoothly.
"Now I would really like to begin coaching female athletes, starting at youth level," says Sharron. "I hope that, in time, I will be able to assist Hector with the country's high-performance team."
For Frank Carreras, the GAAA President, this is welcome news. "We're very pleased to hear this, as there are currently no female coaches in Gibraltar's athletics organisation," he says.
"Sharron really stands out," he says, "she is motivated, focused and charismatic. We hope that the way she demonstrates leadership will inspire other women in our country to volunteer to take up other roles, such as officiating and coaching."
The European Athletics Women's Leadership Awards
The aim of the European Athletics Women's Leadership Awards is to recognise the behind the scenes work and accomplishments that have helped to make the winners role models for other women in athletics. Coaching young athletes, officiating, setting up and managing clubs... their achievements are as varied as the individuals themselves.
In 2011, 31 women were selected for the award by their national athletics federation. For more information on the awards, click here.
Further information on athletics in Gibraltar click here.
— With special thanks to Liz Wilson