By Neto Baptiste
The Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA) could host its constitutionally due electoral congress by early next month.
This is according to president of the association and former national athlete, Everton Cornelius, who said the body’s proposed and newly-written Constitution is currently being perused by members in anticipation of their input.
“We have now put the Constitution together and we have since sent it out to all of the members and they are supposed to make whatever recommendations they want to make so we could have the Constitution ratified, and the date for that is the 17th of this month. Once we make that decision on the night of the 17th, we will announce a date for the elections. We have to give at least 14 days so I am looking at the first week in December,” he said.
Signaling his intention to contest the top spot for a second straight term, Cornelius highlighted that based on the proposed Constitution, only persons active in the sport and the organisation can contest the elections.
“You must be an active person within the organisation and the activities of the association because what I am running from is something we have been running from for 40 years, because when we say election in Antigua, and when it comes to sports, all kinds of people come to run for elections but when the elections are finished, all kinds of people disappear back into the woods, you don’t see them so I am saying, you need to show an interest up front,” he said.
In a previous interview, Cornelius shared concerns over what he termed a lack of preparedness by some clubs. The former sprinter said he has since seen drastic improvements in this area.
“I see a great effort is being made by most of the clubs to have their Constitutions submitted, but what I find is that most of the Constitutions are written like the clubs are an entity onto themselves, and they are not affiliated to the athletics association. Most of the Constitutions I’ve looked at, I sent it back to them that these are the things you must have in your Constitution and you must say in your Constitution that you are an affiliate of the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association, and you come under the rule and regulation that governs that body, and governs you also, and then you can put whatever you want to put in your Constitution,” the athletics boss said.
Cornelius served as president of the association in 2000 before Dr. Philmore Benjamin took the reins shortly after. The leadership of the association then passed to now Governor General, Sir Dr. Rodney Williams before Cornelius took the reins once more when Sir Rodney left the post in 2014.