Commits to all inclusive environmentBy Michael Benjamin
The highly anticipated battle for the presidency of the Athletic Association of Guyana (AAG) boiled down to an anti-climax after Dr Max Hanoman declined nomination, paving the way for former national athlete, Colin Boyce, to ascend to the helm at the YMCA on Thomas Lands yesterday.
Even as he handed over the gavel, a representation of the symbol of office, Blackmore announced that the ruling athletic body, the IAAF, has promised to donate US$120,000 towards the installation of the synthetic surface of a local all weather track. He said that he had received this commitment by the President of the IAAF at a meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Newly elected President Boyce said that he plans to engage officials of the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture in discussions towards the realization of this project as well as a banked track for cycling. He said that this would be his first initiative and he plans to arrange the meeting within the first two weeks in office. He also plans to employ an all inclusive approach towards the development of the sport.
But even as he prepares to implement strategies to lift the sport from its present dismal state, Boyce nurtures deep concerns over Blackmore’s election as General Secretary. He said that he was a bit disappointed that the electorate saw it fit to install the former president in such an influential position.
“Yes, I am disappointed but as a servant of the athletes I will humbly accept their judgment and work along with the plan”, Boyce said.
One of his main concerns regarding Blackmore’s re-election is in the area of correspondence. According to Boyce, Blackmore is now mandated to receive all correspondence and he can decide which ones are passed to the executive and committee members.
“I have the power to implement a system of checks and balances but in the end I have no control over the way the incoming correspondence is distributed,” Boyce declared. “I firmly believe that Blackmore should not have sought re-election,” Boyce declared. “We share different ideologies that can have a debilitating effect on the progress of the organisation,” the outspoken President further explained.
Notwithstanding this setback, the newly inaugurated President plans to carry out his duties as diligently and honestly as possible, while ensuring that local athletes receive the appropriate benefits for their efforts.
Boyce thanked the athletes for their demonstration of faith even as he revealed that he had also received the blessings of the top brass of the Guyana Police Force (GPF). He pointed out that he is aware that some persons reluctantly acknowledge change. He said that he is prepared to deal with criticism provided that it is constructive in nature. He said that he is aware that many athletes were dissatisfied with the state of athletics but he urged them to continue striving for betterment.
“Do not expect immediate changes,” he warned them. However, he is optimistic that positive changes will occur in due time. While admitting that the AAG was not as financially viable as he would have liked, Boyce urged all stakeholders to work assiduously towards the betterment of the sport. “We need to move athletics forward so are calling on all stakeholders to work towards this goal,” Boyce concluded.
Meanwhile, outgoing President Blackmore in his parting speech implored the athletic officials to ignore past occurrences and focus on the future. “We are not looking back at what happened in the past,” he said. “We are looking forward, all those things have been forgotten,” he said to rousing applause. He also pledged to work ardently in his new portfolio to raise the sport to an acceptable level.
Earlier, Blackmore had tabled a motion to redefine the position of Assistant Secretary Treasurer to two distinct portfolios. If this motion is approved the new positions will be Assistant secretary and Assistant Treasurer.
The other executive positions are: France Welsh (Treasurer), Leslie Ramalho and Brantford Burke (Vice Presidents). The ten committee members are Mayfield Taylor Trim, Amanda Hermanstine, Shirley Hooper, Leslie Blacks, Linden Wilson, Colonel Rose, Wendy Doris, Robert Chisholm, Fay Norton and Mark Scott.
Secretary of the Guyana Amateur Weightlifting Association (GAWA), Deion Nurse was the returning officer.
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