An already cash-strapped Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) is hoping to dole out adequate prize monies next weekend when it hosts its National Senior Championships from 10:00am at the National Track and Field Centre,
This was disclosed yesterday at the launch of the competition when Co-Chairman of the event, James Cole invited the corporate community to support the event. It was disclosed the AAG will be giving monetary prizes to athletes finishing 1-3 in 36 events.
“Now that we have officially launched our National Senior Championships, we are asking the business community to come on board and give us their support because as it stands right now our budget is $5.5 million, and we are starting at $0,” Cole said.
“We are asking all possible, small or large, to come on board with us and help to make this a success,” he continued. Each event will carry a total purse of $20,000, with $10,000 allotted to the winner, $6,000 for second place and $4,000 for third place.
President of the AAG, Aubrey Hutson said he anticipates a very large participation from senior athletes. The meet is for athletes age 16 and above. Hutson said that outside of the normal events, they are looking to re-introduce steeplechase, hurdles and the hammer throw.
“We hope to reward the top three places in each event with money,” Hutson also indicated, but with juniors expected to participate, he said that monies won would be administered to the clubs and the clubs will issue same in the form of a grant to athletes.
“But to make it clear, we are not encouraging our junior athletes to run for money, but the IAAF implores us to have athletes from 16 up run at these meets. For instance, if Kadecia Baird had won World Championships, the IAAF would pay the money to us and we find ways to develop Baird, but to make it clear the clubs will receive the money,” he explained.
According to him, overseas-based athletes have some flexibility in competing at the National Championships to gain international selection.
“While it is one of the rules we want to be more stringent with, we want to have more flexibility because of athletes like Troy Doris that might not have the competition to push them here, so in cases like that where the excuse is valid we can accept,” he said, but offered no explanation for the cases that may have no excuse.
Patrons can either purchase a ticket for $1000 to gain access to the venue, which will include the barbeque, or otherwise pay $500 for entrance. The event is scheduled to begin at 11:00am on Sunday.
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