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Nov 28, 2011

Athletic Association’s 2 Presidents Controversy is International

Deon Sutherland

Not all sporting events have the cooperation of their governing bodies. And a recent disagreement with the Belize Amateur Athletics Association (BAAA) has caused some international repercussions.  The B.A.A.A. has removed Ian Gray as the president and as a member of the association during a special sitting on October fifteenth.  Deon Sutherland, the Vice-President was selected as the interim president. However, the regional body, North American Central American Caribbean Conference has failed to acknowledge this decision made by the association. The Central American Junior A and Infant C Games were held in Nicaragua over the weekend, and  according to Deon Sutherland, who maintains he is the interim President, the BAAA was scheduled to send sixteen athletes, but only one was able to go to Nicaragua. News Five spoke with both Sutherland and Gray, to understand what happened and why the entire contingent didn’t make the trip.

Deon Sutherland, Interim President, BAAA

“To be honest with you, we had sixteen athletes that we had registered for the competition, last week sometime before last Friday; I learnt from organizers in Nicaragua that our list was rejected because Mr. Gray did not sign off on it. Lo and behold, we had made all preparations in terms of transportation and all that. Lo and behold, Mr. Gray sent an email to us that he wanted to meet and discuss the financials for this trip. Other embers of the association say they didn’t want any part to do with him, so I said I will be the bigger person and meet with him. We arranged to meet six o’clock at the MCC, which I showed up. I went and got the check book from the treasurer, he signed. Well there are three signatures that are needed, the secretary had signed. And the treasure said take it and I will sign afterward. So I took the check book and gave it to Mr. Gray and he said ‘I will not sign. ‘I said, why. He said he will not sign a blank check and I told him that the treasurer still needs to work out some of the details. Lo and behold, we end up as far as I had known to the last we had one athlete representing, but that athlete did not travel with Mr. Gray. Mr Gray left the country on Wednesday and the athlete travelled by herself on the Thursday, which the school had told her they would not give permission for her travel alone, however, something was worked out. As far as the athlete performance, which is stellar performance, we will no way take away from the athlete because the athlete has been an outstanding athlete over the years and we will no way take away what she has achieved and of course we will do our best to endeavor that she is praised for her result.”

Andrea Polanco

“So Mr. Gray’s trip to Nicaragua is by no means a representation of the B.A.A.A?”

Deon Sutherland

“No for us, no.”

Andrea Polanco

“At this moment, discuss with us what is your position within the association because from what I understand, the regional body still hasn’t acknowledged this removal by the BAAA?”

Ian Gray

Ian Gray, President, BAAA

“On the twenty-fourth of last month and the twenty-seventh of last month, the regional body known as NACACF sent President, Mr. Teddy McCook sent Mr. Sutherland two correspondences, which the first on the twenty-fourth saying that whatever procedure took place on the fifteenth was null and void and the one on the twenty-seventh told him that Ian Gray was the one running the association. In fact the correspondences were addressed as First Vice President, Sutherland, so that should put things into perspective. As pertaining to the reason why the rest of the contingent didn’t go, the reason is, we had selected and sent in the names for about eight athletes. The Heritage Bank gave us criteria to be met, which was not met by the other members. I was willing to sign the checks and they did not fulfill the end of the bargain and as a result, I will not sign a blank check.”

Sutherland says the B.A.A.A has one more mandatory meet, the Belize Nationals scheduled for December tenth, which he intends to carry out. To fully resolve the conflicts within the B.A.A.A, the parent body, IAAF informed the association that it will be sending representatives by January 2012 to deal with the matter.

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4 Responses for “Athletic Association’s 2 Presidents Controversy is International”

  1. Chunox Buoy says:

    This is typical of our Country, we always focus on the political aspects of our sporting committees instead of focusing on our athletes. This is to show that we should put aside our ego, and let the youths get a chance to show what they are capable of achieving. We need to nuture these kids and stop fighting over those petty little issues like who should be the President of the committee. In this case our athlete came out on top, even though she was against all odds! Compliments to our only athlete who truly wanted to respresent BELIZE.

  2. rasman says:

    when the f… are we as a country going to get out of this kind of f… up attitude.

  3. CEO says:

    Soccer and every other sport will die the same death as basket ball if these guys don’t stop their crap. They are all motivated by self interest. This is the crap why the guys cannot play to their full potential.

    All the years we have been playing foot ball in Belize and we are just able to field a team on home terf: think!

  4. sports fan says:

    I have watched amateur athletics go nowhere for 30 years..I am with IAN GRAY .. I think he represents a change . he is an athlete himself and he is here for the love of the sport. sick with it Mr Gray don’t give up!!!

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