The just concluded Biennial Congress of the Association of Panamerican Athletics (APA) held at the Hotel Tryp in Medellin, Colombia, was deemed a great success for the hemisperic athletics body according to the body’s President Victor Lopez of Puerto Rico (PUR).
APA is now the supreme body for athletics in the Region, replacing the former 35 year old body, the PanAmerican Athletics Commission (PAC), and comprising the two IAAF Continential Federations of North America, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC)
and that of South America (CONSUDATLE).
Lopez, was lately elected NACAC president at a special election meeting convened by the IAAF during its recent congress in Moscow, Russia. This process was necessary since the death earlier in the year of NACAC’s former president, Neville “Teddy” McCook of Jamaica. In addition to his election as NACAC boss, Lopez will automatically sit on the IAAF’s Council.
Outlining the achievememts of APA since its creation in August 2011, Lopez drew delegates attention to the seemingly increase in Governments attempting to interfere in the internal working of Member Federations (MFs) and encouraged them to follow their constitutions and the Rules and Regulations of the IAAF. In this regard, he called on MFs to immediately contact their Area Representative and the IAAF and not try to solve any matter on the Federation’s own and only bring same to their attention when it is sometimes too late.
At this point he sought to congratulate the Colombian Federation for a great job in hosting the current Junior Championships at such short notice as the appointed host, Peru, found difficulty to gain Governmental support. Lopez noted that the only down size to the Championships was the fact that a number of Federations came with smaller numbers than they had planned to do. This was in part due to a number of athletes from various countries gaining scholarships to Universities in the United States which have since opened.
Not withstanding the fact that MFs came with depleted numbers, it was announced that some 421 athletes were competing at the Championships from 35 MFs and this number was within the range of the 17 previously held competition.
In the area of competitions, Lopez announced the creation in 2014 of a Panamerican Senior Championships to be held in Mexico City and will be sponsored by PASO. It will be the qualifying competition for the Pan Anerican Games to be held in 2015.
The delegate of Canada sought to inform the Congress that the Panamerican Junior Championships will be held in Edmonton, July 31 to August 02,next year and assured delegates that Athletics Canada was working on a system to assist sister Federations with accommodations for those juniors who may qualify for participation in the Pan American Games.
It was noted that CARIFTA had upped its cost for participation to US$50.00 per athlete/official effective 2014, but Lopez assured that any such consideration of an increase in participation cost will be after the Pan Am Juniors in 2015.
The next Congress will be summoned to convene in August 2015 in Edmonton, Canada. Guyana was not represented at the Championships nor the Congress.