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BAAA yet to buy airline tickets for the athletes

  • BAAA President Mike Sands (pictured) admitted yesterday that airline tickets for the athletes in Team Bahamas, participating in the 14th IAAF World Championships, have yet to be purchased, due to the financial constraints that the organization finds itself in.

Guardian Staff Reporter

Published: Jul 25, 2013

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According to Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) President Mike Sands, airline tickets for the 27-member team that will compete in the International Association of Athletics Federation’s (IAAF) World Championships has yet to be purchased. The governing body for track and field in the country is in a big financial hole and is currently struggling to meet the expenses for the meet, which is less than 16 days away. The 14th edition of the championships will be held in Moscow, Russia, August 10-18.

“The finances, we are obviously always in need of funds,” said Sands. “Like I always say, our success, in a way, has also become our enemy. The more successful you are means the more athletes qualify and the more the expenses mount up. As indicated, we were able to have all of our relay teams qualify, so that is an additional two relay squads. That’s an additional five persons on each side, so we are looking at 10 more persons. Airline ticket prices are around $2,100 per person or thereabout. The prices go up everyday. We are in a difficult situation where we haven’t purchased the tickets as yet, to date. We have made some pleas, like we have always done, so hopefully corporate Bahamas will come to our assistance so the team can travel.”

The BAAA ratified a 23-member team shortly after the hosting of the BTC National Open Track and Field Championships, and shortly afterwards more members were added after the men’s 4x100m relay team qualified, and Donald Thomas qualified in the men’s high jump. The team members include Sheniqua Ferguson, Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, Anthonique Strachan, Nivea Smith, Shaunae Miller, Bianca Stuart, Cache Armbrister, Lanece Clarke, Amara Jones, Shakeitha Henfield, Miriam Byfield, Cottrell Martin, Derrick Atkins, Shavez Hart, Jamial Rolle, Trevorvano Mackey, Michael Mathieu, Ramon Miller, LaToy Williams, Chris Brown, Jeffery Gibson, Ryan Ingraham, Donald Thomas, Adrian Griffith, Warren Fraser, Wesley Neymour and Stephen Newbold.

Sands said: “As you know, we are hosting the World Relays next year, so it is a good plus for The Bahamas to be able to be in Russia, with a full complement of its team. I am sure that the world will be watching The Bahamas over the next year. This is the first time we will be on the world stage since the Olympics. The couple weeks in Moscow, we are hoping to have a good showing. We are hoping that the full team will be able to travel with the support that we seek.”

The IAAF World Relay Championships will be held in 2014, and again in 2015, here in The Bahamas.

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