AAG kicks off calendar this weekend

first_img… Improved focus on seniors for 2018THE Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) will kick off its track and field activities this Sunday, January 14, with a developmental meet at the National Track and Field Centre (NTAFC), Leonora, one of three such meets to be held this month, as things get underway in what is looking to be a very packed year for the association.With several senior events including the introduction of five Senior Grand Prix events, this year’s calendar presents a more balanced list than that of last year, where the association received much backlash over neglect of the senior athletes, after a year of much junior progress.AAG president Aubrey Hutson, noted that the reproach did not fall on deaf ears, and the Grand Prix are the Association’s deliberate effort to address the issue.“It is primarily done to give senior athletes competition. This is one of our first tests in having a solid programme for senior track and field athletes,” he said.Explaining the format, Hutson says that the Prix will all be held in the evening and will all run somewhere between 3 and 4 hours. Apart from giving the seniors more competition the event is also aimed at putting some cash in the pockets of the athletes.Totalling five, so far, the Senior Grand Prix are scattered throughout the year, with the first two set for April 14 and 28, just a few weeks before the South American Games, which will run from May 17 to 20 in Cochabamba, Bolivia.A third is scheduled for June 9, followed by the National Seniors Championships from June 23 to 24. Guyana’s premier senior event, the Aliann Pompey (AP) Invitational, will also be on June 30.The final Grand Prix is scheduled for August 25, and all of them will be held at the NTAFC.“Five Senior Grand Prix may work but I think, ideally, we should have six – four preliminary ones and two final ones. It should be two because we would do the different distances at different meets. For example, we would not do the 100m and 200m at the same meet,” Hutson reported.“There is prize moneys that will be given from first to eighth place in every one of the preliminaries, and it (prize money) will be doubled in the finals. For me this is a step in the right direction in giving some kind of financial support to our senior athletes.”Prior to the Grand Prix, however, the first test for the seniors this year will be the Commonwealth Games in Australia from April 4 to 15. Another major senior event on the calendar is the quadrennial Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Colombia from July 27 to August 3.For the younger athletes, their first major event of the year will be the CARIFTA Games set for the Bahamas from March 31 to April 2. In preparation for this the AAG will be having a CARIFTA/Senior Camp from February 2 to 4. The CARIFTA trials will be held on February 11, 18 and 24-25.Another CARIFTA Camp is set for March 10 and 11.The National Youth and Junior Championships will be held May 12-13. This event will also serve as trials for the World Juniors and South American Youth (U-18) ChampionshipsThe South American Youth (U-18) Athletics Championships is set for Colombia June 30-July 1, and the World Juniors (IAAF World U-20 Championships) is in Finland from July 10 to 15.Later in the year there is also the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina from October 6 to 18.The AAG calendar will feature the addition of a number of other local meets, as well as the continuance of others such as the Boyce and Jefford Classic in August.New meets include the Burgett Williams 5K/10K Road Races Relay Championships (May 27) and Main Street Mile on September 2.last_img

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