By Carlena Knight
Longtime President of the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA), Everton “Mano” Cornelius says he has no issue in stepping down as the head of the sporting organisation once the person taking over has the progress of the sport at heart.
Cornelius made his position known during an appearance on the Good Morning JoJo Sports Show while he was speaking on the topic of elections which, according to reports, should be set for 2021.
“I don’t really have to be at the helm of athletics to stay in athletics. I will stay in athletics while I know I can contribute to it, that’s how much I love it,” he said.
“If I see people coming up who I think can take the rein and take it to the next level, then I will step aside and give it to them. What I don’t want to happen is for people to come inside there and say ‘oh get rid of John, get rid of this’ and when you give it to them nothing happens. We have been down that road before with athletics and that has been the problem over the years.
“It should not be a situation that we are dealing with personalities. We need to deal with people who bring something and add something to the sport for the sport to progress. I am at a point in my life where I am just doing this because I know it can benefit the young people of this country. I know what I got out of it and I would like to give back that and even more if I can,” Cornelius added.
The former Olympian further spoke of his intent, once he is still in office, to continue to fight for the progression of the sport, not only on the local front, but the regional scene as well.
He believes with his new position as Council member on the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) board that he can now become a voice for the various territories.
“I am a member of NACAC. NACAC is the governing body that takes in Canada, North America, Central America and the Caribbean. We govern all track and field in those areas, and I have a direct ear to the information and the powers to at least get the information so that we can get something out of this.
“I think it is time enough that we have people on that board so that we, as smaller territories, have a voice there and where at least somebody can push our agenda along the way. That is my full intention of sitting on that board — to see exactly how I can push the agenda for the smaller territories and, in addition, Antigua and Barbuda would definitely benefit,” Cornelius said.