One of the top specialists in the field of grassroots athlete development is convinced the UAE  is capable of producing high-quality sportspersons should they adhere to the use of the latest technology in their respective fields.
“Everybody did not know how to turn on a light bulb at some time. And to me, that’s the anaology. The technology is there and we have to learn to use it to our benefit, be it at the coaching level or the training level of athletes,” Dr Bonnie Mohnsen from the US told Gulf News on the sidelines of the âTechnology and Sport Forum’ organised by the Dubai Sports Council at the American University in the Emirates.
Dr Mohnsen has been an outspoken proponent of the use of technology in physical education especially at the school level. Her campaign has proved to be a major tool in preparing top-level athletes for the Orange County Department of Education’s National Association for Sport and Physical Education, of which she has been a member.
Besides being a coordinator of physical education and integrated technology for the Orange County Department of Education, Dr Mohnsen has several books to her name especially her âUse of Technology in Physical Education’ that has already had a seventh edition published. She is best known for her popular âBonnie’s Fitware’ which develops affordable software for use in physical education.
“Dr Ahmad [Sa’ad Al Sharif] was saying that he would like to see the change by 2015 as per the strategic plan of the Dubai Sports Council . And I believe it is possible to generate the changes and have top-level athletes coming out of the system simply because the resources are there. And if people have the tools to use, then it could happen quickly. However, left on its own it will take a long time for people to change,” Dr Mohnsen said.
“It’s a shift in thinking, even at our age as the use of technology may not be something that we are accustomed to. We get surprised by new things and people are often resistant to change. So we have to sell them the positives and show how technology can help them,” she added.
“Yes I am convinced that we can produce top-level athletes here merely because the focus is there. It is now just a question of time and staying focused.”
Held under the theme âTechnological Applications for the Development of Athletic Performance’, the forum that is being held under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman, DSC, will conclude on Wednesday.