After missing out in 2020, the Aliann Pompey Invitational Track meet is on for 2021, as the organizers look for the best ways to compete and combat COVID-19.
Aliann Pompey, who founded the AP Invitational back in 2016, shared an update on the process of organising this year’s meet amidst a global pandemic.
“I am thrilled that we can move forward with this year’s API for a number of reasons. We can’t deny the effects that the pandemic has had on our lives,” Guyanese Olympian Aliann Pompey said in an invited comment.
The Associate Head Coach at St. John’s University, USA stated, “To say the desire for a sense of normalcy is great is an understatement. I think this is the opportunity to bring sports back in a major way. It gives the athletes a chance to qualify for the Olympics Games slated to begin at the end of July. We have a number of challenges we will face as we aim to deliver a competition of the highest quality.”
The meet, which lends exposure and even acts as a qualifying event for Guyanese speedsters, will be welcomed with open arms this year for athletes who are hoping to make the cut for the Tokyo Olympics.
As such, Pompey expressed her elation at being able to put on a high-level event for local and regional track stars.
On that note, the World Olympians Association Executive Board member shared, “The API fits perfectly on the international calendar. It’s late enough to give athletes a chance to get in peak shape and its well within the qualifying window for the Olympics Games. It continues to be a great resource for our region, being one of limited regional competitions on the World Athletics Continental Tour. In talking with athletes and their agents, interest is substantial as they monitor the quickly changing travel restrictions and protocol to make it a reality.”
With some 150 days to go before the June 19 competition date, the event will not be short of sponsors, as some of the usual suspects indicated their interest in the event already.
“I want to point out that none of our previous sponsors have said no, the GOA, Sentinel Security, Sleepin Hotel & Casino and the Ministry of Tourism had made early and resounding commitment – while others are still in the process of evaluating available resources before fully committing,” Pompey informed.
She continued, “I’d like to take this time to appeal to other businesses, corporations and individuals who would like to align themselves with the competition to do so.”
The event will be hosted at the Leonora Track and Field Facility, West Coast Demerara.
“Health and safety are absolutely at the forefront of everything we will do – of the Guyanese public, athletes and other guests. We have to make sure we adhere to local and international protocols and best practices, so that we are not contributing in any way to the spread of the virus. I am thrilled that our partners and sponsors are back for another year. I can’t stress enough how much of our success has been because of their support,” the Olympian concluded.