The most important athletics event, the Olympics is set to run off this year, even amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic. With the biggest stage in athletics in sight, it will be a busy one for the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG); this means the local Association will have lots on their plate if they should adequately prepare local athletes for the quadrennial event.
According to Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) President Aubrey Hutson, they are now tasked with adapting to the constraints of the global pandemic.
“For 2021, we are approaching track and field with the understanding that COVID-19 will be apart of our lives and we need to learn to live with it. Probably until a vaccine comes up and does something miraculous for us. We need to just try to function within the frame work of COVID-19 being around,”
During the exclusive interview with the Guyana Times Sport, Hutson shared that consultations with the Minister of Health and the COVID-19 Task Force have already been completed and a calendar drawn up.
However, the Association was forced to make some changes.
Hutson shared, “So, World Athletics would have given us a set of guidelines on how to conduct meet. We would’ve shared those guidelines with the Ministry of Health, through the COVID-19 Task Force. Some of our meets they did approve like the South American 10K, while they did not approve the relay on the grass.”
“Outside of the Guyana Defense Force (GDF) we don’t think we’ll have that kind of control, so in order to satisfy the COVID-19 Task Force we’re going to try to do all of our meets at Leonora,” the AAG Boss admitted.
As it concerns the initial calendar that the AAG had drawn up, Hutson related that they were forced to cut down on some of their activities.
“We would have since met with the Minister of Health and the Head of the Task Force jointly and their advice was ‘take it down to a minimum’. Take it down to the meets that you really and truly must have,” he shared.
Hutson continued saying, “I would have already put the draft calendar out there on how we plan to get to Tokyo and Nairobi, Kenya; that’s for the World Junior Championships. But that had to be changed.”
“So, our new approach will be a revised calendar, with less events locally but once we get the blessings of free travel, we would see more of our athletes going to international competition and testing their skills out there in preparation for Tokyo and onward.”
Expressing his intention to give athletes a path to Tokyo and Nairobi for the World Junior Championships, Hutson shared the initial event on the athletics calendar.
“So, the 6th & 7th of February, we’ll start off with our developmental meet on the track and then we’ll do another one on the 20th and 21st. It is sad that we cannot go to the grass to do any meet because of our fear of not being able to control the crowd,” the AAG President revealed.
As it stands, the AAG is set on conducting a third developmental meet in February, calendared for the 27th and 28th. After which, the National Senior Championships will be held on April 17 &18 and the South American Senior Championships is slated for May 14 to 16.