BELIZE CITY, Thurs. June 24, 2021– Following its National Senior Championships at the end of last month, the Belize Athletics Association (BAA) announced on June 16 on its Facebook page the list of athletes it had selected to represent the country in the upcoming meet in Costa Rica; but a week later, it was disappointment for a number of athletes whose names have been dropped from the contingent list due to “financial constraints.” We have tried, unsuccessfully, to contact BAA president, Deon Sutherland by phone.
In its June 16 post, the BAA said:
“Attached below is the team chosen for CADICA Senior Championships. They’ll be representing us in San Jose, Costa Rica on the 26th-27th of June. Congratulation to all!”
And it proceeded to list the names of 6 female athletes and 15 male athletes. Those were: FEMALES – Hillary Gladden, Samantha Dirks, Ashontie Carr, Tricia Flores, Ashantie Carr, Leonellie Myers; and MALES – Shaun Gill, Mark Anderson, Rahim Monsanto, Jihad Ahmad, Gary Neal, Hance Card, Brandon Adolphus, Christopher Broaster, Amir Ramos, Kerwin Palacio, Faisal Ahmad, Martin Flowers, Brandon Jones, Cojac Smith, Waylon Gordon.
But a week later, on June 23 the BAA had this Facebook post:
“The executive of the BAA regrets to inform some of its athletes that due to financial constraints, we are unable to take the team we had originally planned to represent at the Central American Senior Championship to be held in San Jose, Costa Rica on 26-27 June, 2021.
The high cost of attending these events due to the protocols instituted by the organizers and governments have made it very difficult financially, coupled with the fact that the government and business community cannot assist with donations at this time.
We therefore encourage you to continue training and be prepared for the other events coming later this year.”
A day later, today, June 24, the BAA felt it had to reiterate:
“The Belize Athletics Association wants to make it categorically clear that it is not withdrawing from participation in the Central American Senior Championship to be hosted in Costa Rica this weekend. Due to financial constraints, the team numbers have been reduced only. The contingent presently consists of sixteen (16) athletes and three (3) officials. With assistance from the National Olympic Committee and a few funds from the BAA coffers, we have managed to put together the best competitive team for this event and our best athletes to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.”
The BAA contingent list now includes: FEMALE ATHLETES – Hillary Gladden, Samantha Dirks, Tricia Flores, Leonellie Myers; MALE ATHLETES – Shaun Gill, Mark Anderson, Rahim Monsanto, Jihad Ahmad, Gary Neal, Hance Card, Brandon Adolphus, Amir Ramos, Faisal Ahmad, Brandon Jones, Cojac Smith; and OFFICIALS – Deon Sutherland (President), Fred Evans (Coach), Shelmadine Carr (Coach).
We noted from the above that only fifteen athletes’ names are listed. Also, from the BAA Excel attachment, female athlete Leonellie Myers is participating in the discus and javelin throws; while the three other females are all track athletes, and they are entered in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays.
We tried contacting BAA president Deon Sutherland for the missing female name, since their last Facebook post had mentioned 16 athletes, and only 15 names were listed. But up to press time we were unsuccessful.
The athletes whose names were dropped and therefore not making the trip are: FEMALES – Ashontie Carr and Ashantie Carr; and MALES – Christopher Broaster, Kerwin Palacio, Martin Flowers and Waylon Gordon.