Former athlete and coach take association to task over lack of communication during pandemic

Evans Jones
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By Neto Baptiste

The Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA) has “false-started” regarding the manner in which it has communicated and dealt with its membership throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

This is the belief of former national athlete and coach, Evans Jones, who said the body has not sought an audience with its membership throughout the ordeal, neither has it sought to offer any kind of assistance to the athletes.

“Priorities in terms of the athletes’ wellbeing and how are the athletes coping? What’s going on with these athletes? Is anyone training? Nothing of this nature have been sorted through my club and through myself as a coach and these are some of the things that I look at as a negative going forward when we should be looking to build among this pandemic to make us much better than we were before,” he said.

Jones said he has been working with a number of athletes in an effort to keep them in shape, owing to the uncertainty of the current situation.

The popular coach said many others like him have been forced to put similar plans in motion in the absence of a national strategy put in place by the association.

“You would have heard other associations going on air, on this forum and other forums speaking of what preparations they would have put in place, but there is nothing being put in place. We have not been told of anything and as you would have probably known that early in April, I had a set of athletes training at McPond. We used our initiative because we were not going to lay down and play [dead]. We had to train just in case that there was competition coming up here in July going into August,” the coach said.

During a previous interview, the president of the athletics association Everton Cornelius said that his main focus is the completion of the YASCO Sports Complex.

The project has been on standstill since March after technicians from US-based track builders Mondo were forced to leave for their respective countries owing to the pandemic.

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