By Rawle Welch
The 5th Edition of the Boyce/Jefford Athletics Classic which was held just over one week ago at the Mackenzie Sports Club managed to edge out previous years in overall attendance, but more importantly, what it also did was serve as proof that once marketing and accountability are established traits, then success is the end result.
The duo of Colin Boyce and Edison Jefford, both with much experience in athletics, having been former participants in the sport at varying levels, have been able to put together in five short years an event that is eagerly anticipated by both athletes and fans.
According to general feedback, the Classic’s ascendancy to the top of the athletics chart is due to the Organisers consistent pursuit to improve the standard of the sport both in terms of competition and incentive.
The Classic, through hard work and accountability has been able to maintain its traditional sponsors, while also managing to attract new ones and this is as a result of its standing as one of the premier athletic events in Guyana and its strict adherence to declarations made by the Organisers.
Through astute planning and a fair understanding of what is required to promote an event of such magnitude, the Classic’s evolution in such a short period is no coincidence.
This year saw an improvement in attendance of overseas-based athletes both in terms of quality and number and this is ample evidence of the Organisers intent to deliver what was promised from the event’s conception which is to improve the general standard of athletics in Guyana and to attract quality competition for the local athletes.
The support of the corporate community and the fans was emphatic and anyone who had previously doubted the Classic’s potential of enjoying an enduring future and remaining a feature on the local athletics calendar, must be having different thoughts right now.
With the Organisers stated promise to the Lindeners to reward their loyalty by continuing to host the Classic there, the only impediment right now is the absence of a proper grass track or even a synthetic facility within the community, but all this could be had providing the powers that be see the need to have one as part of the holistic development of sports across the country.
This is a community that has produced some of the best sportsmen and women in most sports played in Guyana, so if the perceived prickly political arrogance could be purged, then sooner rather than later, a facility similar to the one at Leonora could be constructed in the community thereby affording the residents the opportunity to witness higher quality athletes in their backyard.
The people of Linden have always supported sporting events, whether it is organised by their own or those from outside the community, but still remains void of proper facilities, forcing many to imply that the real reason (s) for their absence maybe politically motivated.
The Classic, bear resemblance to the performances of our men’s rugby team, our male and female Squash teams, our male and female hockey teams, our rifle shooters and not to forget the youthful Christianburg/Wismar Secondary School which won the Digicel Schools Football Tournament for the third time recently.
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