AAG awaiting government’s approval before restarting season

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By Akeem Greene

After a series of postponements, World Athletics (formerly IAAF) is hoping that a shortened season can take place between August and October, including a number of elite Diamond League meetings.

Closer to home, Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association is set to meet with a number of coaches later this week to discuss the restart of competitions after the coronavirus pandemic forced the sport to go on hold since early March.

Guyana is ready to do similar, and though the green light has been given by the World governing body, the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) is waiting on the approval of the government and the guidelines to be followed.

“We are basically waiting on the government of Guyana to say through the Ministry of Public Health or the COVID-19 Task Force to say we can go ahead with competitions and let them give us their guidelines in terms of how many feet away they would want us to have the athletes or the spectators and then we can ensure Leonora [Synthetic Track] complies with those regulations,” AAG President Aubrey Hutson told News Room Sport this week.

Athletics Association of Guyana President, Aubrey Hutson

World Athletics has advised organisers to put chlorine in the water jump, clean relay batons between each use and add a solution containing a virucide agent to sandpits as part of hygiene guidelines for events during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“I am very confident we can meet the guidelines; we will not go into the international guidelines in terms of the airport because we have no control over that…we have control over making sure our officials are properly outfitted, maintaining the length of time in the call room and checking everyone before they get into the arena I don’t think that is too step to follow.”

Initially, July was touted as a possible restart date, but that was before the COVID-19 Task Force extended the curfew measures to June 17.

“We are more looking at August. When I said July, we were looking forward to the opening back taking place at May month-end…we still have to wait for them to officially say we can use the facility [at Leonora] but we still have to plan for when they decide to open back.”

Hutson further indicated most clubs are training, albeit not structured group sessions outdoor or indoors, but rather coaches have found innovative ways to keep athletes fit.

He said he has received feedback that the dates for resumption were too soon, but those came from coaches who have not found ways to continue sessions.

The AAG head is hopeful of a quick but safe return to the sport since it is imperative athletes begin to get into shape for next year’s Olympics, which was shifted from 2020.

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