AAG’s National Senior Championships set for July 2-3
By Treiston Joseph
The Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) on Thursday morning (June 22) launched the 2017 edition of the National Senior Championships at its head office in Alberttown. Guyana’s best athletes from age 16 up will have the opportunity to be known as senior champions of the nation at their respective events when track and field takes centre stage on July 2-3 at the Leonora Track and Field Centre.
Addressing media operatives on Thursday, President of the AAG, Aubrey Hutson stated his expectation of the championship. “We anticipate a very large participation from our senior athletes; we are looking at athletes age 16 and above and outside of our normal events we are looking to re-introduce steeplechase, hurdle events and the hammer throw. We also hope (to give) the top three places in each event with money,” Hutson pointed out.
With juniors expected to participate, Hutson explained the dynamic with regards to rewarding the top placing juniors.
“All monies to any of our juniors will be paid to clubs and they will then administer it in the form of a grant or in terms of any need(s) that athlete might have, but to make it clear we are not encouraging our juniors to run for money, but the IAAF implores us to have athletes from 16 up run at these meets,” Hutson explained.
He continued, “For instance if Kadecia Baird had won World Championships the IAAF would pay the money to us and we find ways to develop Baird, but to make it clear the clubs will receive the money.”
The AAG is hoping to build on the success of its recent hosting of the South American Juniors, even by hosting one of its better senior championships, a point made by top coach Julian Edmonds.
“If you witnessed the South American Juniors then you would have seen the level of organisation and we hope to improve on that so when we say a race is 10 then it is at 10 so that the event can be more public friendly and we have clean and fun championships,” Edmonds stated.
Meanwhile, Hutson also gave some insights into the flexibility of overseas athletes having to compete at the national championships in order to gain selection for World games and the Olympics.
“While it is one of the rules we want to be more stringent with we want to have more flexibility because of athletes like Troy Doris that might not have the competition to push them here, so in cases like that where the excuse is valid we can accept,” Hutson shared. The event is set to start at 10:00h on July 2 and 11:00h on July 3.