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AAA gearing up for hectic 2011


SHERRYLYN A. TOPPIN

AAA gearing up for hectic 2011

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With a packed international calendar this season, the Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) will have to place added emphasis on fund-raising to ensure that Barbadian athletes who qualify are not left out in the cold.
Starting with the CARIFTA Games in April, the regional and international calendar shifts into high gear in July with the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Age Group Championships in the British Virgin Islands.
The World Youth Championships will be staged in Lille, France; Mayaguez, Puerto Rico will host the CAC Senior Championships; Pan Am Juniors will be in Miramar, Florida, and the World Championships will run from August 27 to September 4 in Daegu, South Korea.
Also on the calendar, but falling under the umbrella of the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) will be the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Isle of Man and the Pan American Games in Mexico in October.
When asked if the AAA was committed to having a team at all of the games: “Yes. Most definitely,” was the emphatic reply from president Esther Maynard.
“The size of the team will depend on the athletes qualifying. Everything is by qualification mark.
Fundraising
“It means that the AAA will have over the next six months to look to ensure they can get as much funds as possible. Once we elect a new council in January, that should be priority No. 1, looking at the financial commitments for the year, in addition to ensuring that you have a vibrant domestic programme.”
The final figures are still to be determined.
“We haven’t sat down and worked it out. CARIFTA is one of the major expenses and until we know the venue, we can’t work the figures,” the president added.
With just over three months to go, Maynard said no host had come forward for the April 23 to 25 games, with decisions still to be made regarding regional sponsorship. Looming in the background is the possibility that the games may not be held.
“It has never happened before and I dread to think it would happen this year. Something has to happen pretty quickly. We’ve had situations where people have stepped in at the last minute but the economic times were different,” she said.
With Easter later this year, Maynard said they would host CARIFTA Trials on April 2 to 3 instead of the National Junior Championships, and a meet for the Juniors vs the Rest will be held on April 16.
The 2011 season gets underway at 10 a.m. Saturday with the Field Events and Relays meet at the National Stadium. League 1 and 2 will be held on January 15 and 22 respectively, and the CW Foundation will host the Joseph Payne Memorial on the 28th.
The postponed annual general meeting will be held on January 13 at 6 p.m. at the BOA.

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