By Neto Baptiste
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA), Everton Cornelius, has warned that “unorganised” clubs, or those not meeting constitutional requirements, will not be allowed to participate in the body’s electoral congress scheduled for 2021.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Cornelius said to date, only two clubs have met the requirements dictated by the body’s constitution, but others continue to struggle with making the grade.
“You have a group, and what constitutes a club; so you have to go back to the constitution and it is something I have been stressing for years even going into the last election, and I am doing it again and saying guys, get out there, you are the nucleus, the foundation of this organisation,” he said.
“We [the clubs] are asking the athletics association to function and to provide you with all of the necessary services and you cannot even form a club, you cannot even hold a club together and you want the association to function the way it ought to be functioning. It cannot function that way unless you have the club properly structured so that we could administer, communicate with people properly,” Cornelius added.
The athletics boss, who was first elected in 2015, said he will be seeking a fourth term in office when the association holds elections next year.
“If the people so desire for me to run, then I would continue once I have the support, and you need someone who has a deep interest in track and field and wants to see it move on and go to a different level. If there is someone willing to step up and show me that, hey, I have that deep interest and I have an interest in track and field. Wherever I sit in track and field is not a problem for me really, whether I am a president or just a helper. I love the sport and I want to see the sport develop,” he said.
The association continues to face criticisms over what a number of track and field enthusiasts perceive as a breakdown in communication between the body and its membership and or the athletics fraternity here in Antigua. The association was, in the past, heavily criticised over the condition of the country’s lone track and field facility, the YASCO Sports Complex which is now under reconstruction.