AAG head gives council C-grade: “We have a lot of talkers and less doers”
By Akeem Greene
Re-elected President of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG), Aubrey Hutson, has rated the performance of his council an average grade of C for his previous four-year tenure. In January 2017, Hutson was elected for the second consecutive time as AAG President.
The other elected officials were Sheryl Hermonstine (First Vice-President), the late Colin Ming (Second Vice-President), along with Nial Stanton (Treasurer) and Elton Bollers (Assistant Treasurer).
The Committee Members were: Keith Campbell, Lyndon Wilson, Yvonne October, Silus Brummell and Buster Wright.
After being re-elected for a third term on Sunday last (June 20), Hutson was quizzed on how he rated the performance of the council over the last four years.
“I think the council as a whole I would not give it a good grade over the past few years. They are few workers and the more workers that come on board, it is the better it will be, but they are few people working, and more people talking,” he bluntly stated.
“So, I would like to give us an A-grade in the future, but if the same thing continues, we will continue to fail our athletes. So, I will take it as average; I will give it as a C.”
The AAG head indicated that he is seeking more assistance from other members of the council in the execution of programmes.
“People don’t want to learn, people don’t want to get involved, because when it comes to hard work, what we find is that we have a lot of talkers and less doers. What we need is more people coming out, learning the stuff, understanding track and field and knowing the athletes, so whenever we sit to do selection, they would know what they are talking about.”
At last Sunday’s election, Hutson won when First Vice-President, Sheryl Hermonstine, conceded after four consecutive rounds of voting were tied 5-5.
Other elected Executives were Rtd. Colonel Paul Arthur (Second Vice-President), Dwayne Carter (Treasurer), and Elton Bollers (Assistant Treasurer).
The Committee Members are Keith Campbell, Linden Phillips, Telson Williams, Nial Stanton, and Major Tyron Smith.
Fewer athletes at Olympics
In 2016, Winston George in the Men’s 400m, Brenessa Thompson in the Women’s 100m and 200m, Aaliyah Abrams in the Women’s 400m and then top world-ranked Men’s Triple Jumper, Troy Doris, formed Guyana’s Track and Field contingent.
To date, only Abrams has qualified for the July-August Games, and Hutson had stated earlier in the year the AAG wants to ensure more athletes attend this year, and if not it would be a “bad reflection” on his tenure.
The entry standard deadline for next month’s Games in Tokyo is June 29 and Abrams is still the lone one to book her ticket. The President said it not a failure, but rather another wake-up call for the need to develop an Elite Programme.
“We have to look back at how we finish our elite programme, how do we deal with our elite athletes, how do we get them to be up there with the rest of the world because these World Championships and Olympic Games [have] over 200 countries vying for those same positions.”
He added, “We have to find a way; do we after our junior programmes send our athletes to the USA to be in the college system, which basically grinds them out and they are no good for us? There are some college athletes who came back to Guyana where their coaches tell them don’t come to this National Senior Championships, so we have those situations to deal with.”
He has the view Guyana could mirror the Jamaica formulae where they don’t send their “serious athletes” to the US college system but yet they do good, and ensure locally coaches are further qualified.
“What we have to start doing is developing our coaches locally and giving them the necessary knowledge of how to deal with elite athletes, try to get a lot more clubs in the process of developing athletes.”