Athletics coach accuses association of scapegoating clubs for delaying elections

Veteran athletic coach and former national athlete, Evans Jones. (File photo)
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By Neto Baptiste

Veteran athletic coach and former national athlete, Evans Jones, is accusing the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA) of using the notion that some clubs are disorganized and are, in turn, causing a delay in the staging of constitutionally due elections.

Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Jones said that his club, Panthers International Elite, has called for the elections to be held before the end of the year and in keeping with the Olympic four-year cycle.

“That cannot be one of the issues because if you would have sent out a correspondence to all clubs that elections will be held at such time, it is the duty of all clubs and individual members to make sure that their houses are in order. I can speak for a fact because my club, which is the Panthers International Elite Track Club, is fully registered. We have paid our dues over a three-year period,” he said.

President of the athletics association, Everton Cornelius, has said that elections will not be held before 2021. He pointed to both the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the un-organized state of some clubs as the main reasons.

Jones said that, in his opinion, the body’s executive has not been fully functional for quite some time and is in need of urgent attention.

“We do not have a fully functioning executive body for some time now and I personally would want to see a newly formed executive body running the affairs of the association for the next four years. We had a Zoom meeting a couple of months ago in which I addressed that same issue and he [Everton Cornelius] was saying that it was not going to happen for this year, but that is just one person saying it,” he said.

“I, for one, know that the association relies on the members and clubs and there are some things that I actually brought up within that said Zoom meeting which we need to clarify and get the annual general meeting where we can select a new body,” he added.

Jones said the body is in need of new blood and fresh ideas in order to propel the sport forward in Antigua.

Cornelius has indicated he could stand for re-election when the body’s electoral congress is held.

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