Busy Independence weekend scheduled for local athletes
While others may celebrate Guyana’s Independence with song and dance, Guyana’s athletes will be able to celebrate on the track with a series of events for the Independence season.
The Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG), in collaboration with the Ex-Athletes and Friends Association, will be running off three track events over the course of Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26.
On Saturday morning, a Plaisance/ Sparendaam one-mile race will be hosted for children within the area. Later in the afternoon at 17:00h (5pm), the 5K/10K race will run off. The route is from the GNS Ground on Carifesta Avenue to the University of Guyana turn and back to the starting point.
When the sun begins to set on Sunday, the athletes will head to the Leonora Track and Field Centre, West Coast Demerara for the relay festival.
Organiser Kenrick Smith disclosed some additions would be made for the second edition of the relay event.
“This year, we’re trying to make it more exciting by adding two events and that is the SMR and the BMR. The SMR is a sprint medley relay, which consists of four legs – that is two 100m, a 200m and a 400m. The BMR, which is a mixed medley relay, also consists of four legs and we have the 1200m, a 400m, an 800m and a 1600m,” Smith noted.
Citing the reason for the BMR relay, Smith explained that the organisers wanted to give the middle and long-distance athletes an opportunity to shine in the relay format which is often linked to sprint alone.
Sixteen events are currently on the relay programme, with 13 local clubs already registered. As it relates to the one-mile event, athletes under eight will run a 400m race while those aged 9 to 18 years will be required to run the mile.
The athletes will be given many incentives to bring home the gold medals as the Ex-Athletes and Friends Association disclosed some of the prizes.
A total of 14 tablets, 8 bicycles and 65 pairs of running shoes are up for grabs while the male and female winners of the 5K/ 10K road race will pocket $50,000 each.
AAG President Aubrey Hutson expressed his gratitude to the organisers, stating that they should take credit for the successes of Guyanese athletes.
“The evidence of your work is reflected in what we’re doing internationally. I’m saying that the medals that we earn at CARIFTA and the performances that we’ve been having internationally comes directly from a collaborative effort. Every one of us here has a part to play and the initiative of these events is one such good thing that is happening in track and field, and it is being manifested in the results we’re getting. So, thanks a whole lot,” Hutson stated.