Given his subtle campaigning, reflected in the numerous media interviews given in recent days, Colin Boyce seems overly desperate to retain the presidency of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG).
But if he is honest to himself, Boyce should know he is the last suitable individual to head the national governing body for the sport, outside of his predecessor Claude Blackmore.
Blackmore’s tenure was one of the worst in his history of the sport and nothing much has changed during Boyce’s term.
He brought zero development to the sport and so mismanaged the association it was like a mirror image of Blackmore’s playbook in undermining athletics once one of the premier disciplines in the country.
The sport continued to suffer from a woeful lack of money. Bias and favoritism went unchecked and worst of all the downright victimization of athletes and coaches continued to keep athletics in the dark days.
Participation in international competition for the great majority of athletes continued to be a double burden of training and begging. Guyana must be one of the few countries in the world where athletes have to find money to cover their expenses when selected by the national ruling body to represent their country.
Boyce was unable to bring money to the sport to relieve athletes, their parents and coaches of those stresses. And when the few successful ones met the travelling and accommodation requirements, they had to endure being managed by members of the Boyce clique, all clueless in bringing out the best in athletes as coaches and managers, on the track.
Boyce is a ranking member of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the officials who journeyed to the London Olympics with the Guyana contingent could have been mistaken for one going to the Caribbean Police championships.
It was Boyce as manager, Linden Wilson as coach and sprinter Jeremy Bascom who has strong connections to the GPF through his coach.
And the AAG President could be accused of using certain types of methods to get his way, including utilizing his close connection with a few media operatives.
One can ask coaches like Diallo Shabazz, Leslie Black and Raymond Daw, the latter a longstanding official from the East Coast Demerara, who was issued with a ridiculous law suit threat for speaking out on injustices meted out to his charges at Boyce’s modus operandi.
The rutted grass track at the National Park, several decades old, continues to be the premier training facility for our determined athletes and despite having to deal with such stone-age circumstances, those coaches continue to produce talented competitors, the great majority frustrated by the association’s limitations and Boyce’s flaws.
Alika Morgan, one of the best – a double Junior Carifta Games silver medalist and a winner of countless senior Caribbean road race titles, has been subjected to such treatment one might be tempted to get the impression the AAG President is doing his best not to enhance her career.
He once reportedly horrendously turned his back on the young lady who collapsed in pain in his presence at the finish line upon winning a recent road race that ended at the Police Sports Club ground.
Then, to add fuel to the fire, a few weeks later Boyce refused to intervene and make provisions for Morgan to compete at the trials for selection on the national team for last year’s South American Under-23 championships.
In her last year of eligibility Morgan was thus denied a chance to compete at that competition and a number of others from which Guyana would have benefitted.
Like Daw, Black, Morgan‘s coach is an outspoken critic and thus no friend of Boyce who it seems, is clueless about the best way to develop Guyana’s athletics.
Such behavior by the AAG president surely is not the type to take the sport to the next level.
In a recent pronouncement, Boyce boasts of the success of Kadecia Baird at the World Junior Championships, last year, as a highlight of his term in office.
If he knows better, Boyce would never dare mention the New-York based athlete’s success in any breath. Because so far he has done more to frustrate the 17-year-old’s career, like others living overseas, from a Guyana prospective. Other than enter her for the World championships, he has done absolutely nothing in her rise to the top.
Prior to the World event, Baird told this writer she wanted to represent her country at the Carifta Games last year.
It never happened.
Then when she was eminently qualified for the London Olympics, the AAG gave the lame excuse of the youngster not being eligible for accreditation in time which is basically is hogwash because, for example, the United States and Jamaica teams are selected after their respective national trials in the month of June, prior to the Olympics held in August.
So there is no way the athletes from those two countries could have been accredited before the March date that Boyce and GOA president K. Juman Yassin stridently argued, closed Olympics entries.
For the record, Baird’s record breaking and Olympic `A’ standard qualifying run in winning the United States Outdoor High School girls’ 400 metres title was accomplished in May.
Since then, ask Boyce what he has done to help encourage Baird to continue representing Guyana instead of being gobbled up by the United States. It would amount to another zero effort.
There is also the case of Rollyce Boston, another U.S. based competitor who won the first and only medal for Guyana at the Pan American Junior Championships in 2011.
Nothing has been heard of him since.
Boyce speaks of the building of Guyana’s first ever all-weather track in his tenure.
But he should be embarrassed to keep harping on this issue as his association has been unable to influence the Government to finish the facility that has been in construction for three years and still counting.
On reflection, Boyce should abandon all plans to continue heading his AAG and encourage someone like Colin Ming to replace him at the helm, to amend for all the damage inflicted on the sport in his tenure.
Ming loves the sport and the athletes who continue to keep it alive. The many young competitors he has sponsored over the years can attest. It goes without saying that Ming is a successful businessman, not interested in the perks of the sport and who is capable of getting things done.
His expertise is the shot-in-the arm Guyana’s athletics needs to step up to the next level.