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BAAA sets the record straight on the hosting of the IAAF World Relays

  • Mike Sands, BAAA president. TNG FILE PHOTO

Published: Jun 11, 2013

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The general sporting fraternity and the public at large, combined with the international track and field world, should be aware that after much effort The Bahamas, through its governing body for track and field, the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA), and the support of the government of The Bahamas has been awarded the opportunity to host the first two editions of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Relays beginning in 2014 with the second such competition being in 2015.

Much work has gone into courting and ultimately being awarded the said events by the Council of the IAAF, the governing body of track and field worldwide, and plans are in full gear to welcome the world relay teams from member federations of the IAAF.

It is important to note that negotiations for these relays began and were successfully awarded under the previous government, and once there was a change in the government after the national

general elections in 2012, the new government, with Prime Minister Perry G. Christie at the helm, confirmed the government’s commitment to proceed with the said competitions.

According to reports coming out of the BAAA, that body is at a loss, as to why the question of uncertainty of hosting the events would arise, since a change in national government did not create any such concern.

As a consequence, the BAAA wishes to confirm that the record would show, that the hosting of these events is a national honor, and as it relates to the federation and certainly, it is significant and has a national objective which is much larger than any one individual.

The BAAA wishes to state for the record that, the events and circumstances leading to the removal of three individuals from the executive board, are well documented, have been communicated to the world governing body and should in no way affect the hosting of the IAAF World Relays.

A number of scholars are fond of stating that “everyone is entitled to their own opinion… which they can hold strongly to…. but you are not entitled to your own facts.”

There is, needless to say, a channel through which concerns can be raised, but according to reports, the federation finds it rather curious that a number of opinions have been raised relative to the hosting of the relays, but no effort has been made, to make inquiries of the federation nor the resident IAAF Council Member.

In setting the record straight, the BAAA wishes to embrace the statement issued by Pauline Davis-Thompson, who had reason to advise the secretary general of the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) as follows:

“I am in receipt of your note, where you raise questions concerning possible uncertainty surrounding the hosting of the IAAF World Relays in Nassau. I wish to advise that this is irresponsible speculation for I sit on the IAAF Council and no such discussion or communication has been received to that effect. We should all, in the interest of nation-building, temper our speculation on matters that could have implications, by sending out wrong or uninformed signals. I remain available to assist you in understanding the nature and functioning of the International Association of Athletics Federations, as the world’s governing body of track and field.”

BAAA President Mike Sands said through a press release: “We, as a federation, call on all individuals of good faith, including corporate sponsors, to come forward and volunteer to assist in making their contribution to this national effort. You need not be reminded that in the regional and international sporting arena, The Bahamas is well known for its successes in relays, both male and female. It is our expectation to continue that tradition.”

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