The Boyce & Jefford Track and Field Classic was founded with the principal goal of giving athletics a prominent place among sports in Guyana. Five years ago, when we examined the local landscape, there was no prominent athletics meet which attracted national and international attention and corporate funding.
We created a meet to put the spotlight on athletics in Guyana. It is unfortunate that we are forced to issue this statement to clarify some misconceptions.
First, we believe that someone cannot “pull out” from what they have not been in. We read a report whose headline stated, ‘Kadecia Baird pulls out of Boyce/Jefford Classic’; Baird was never confirmed for the meet, which we made clear when we launched the event, and kept repeating to the media. We made it clear that we were in discussion with Baird’s team and other stakeholders to have her compete in Guyana. We had also said the same about Adam Harris.
As was the case when Aliann Pompey and Marian Burnett competed at the Boyce-Jefford Classic, we believe that prominent Guyanese athletes who are based overseas, should be encouraged and allowed to compete in Guyana. We will continue to extend such invitations and leave the decision to the discretion of those athletes.
Second, we believe, based on the entries we have received from local clubs and Caribbean countries, that our competition will rise to new heights this year. This is in direct response to the belief of some that because a particular club decided to not compete for its own internal reason(s), the quality of the meet would be reduced. That is not accurate.
We have all the other major clubs in Guyana competing at full strength this year, in addition to contingents from Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada as well as a US-based Guyanese athlete. We are expecting very keen competition in Linden on August 16-17 based on the evidence of the entries we have in our possession.
No one athlete or club will ever be allowed to decide the quality of the Boyce-Jefford Classic. We believe that no one should lay claim to such invincibility.
Third, the Mackenzie Sports Club Ground is a multi-sport venue. Our preparation phase for the ground occurs when the ground is handed over to us, having cleared all other activities at the venue. This is usually done a little over a week before the meet. Hence, while minor works would have been ongoing to have the venue ready, extensive works will begin today with nothing apart from the Boyce-Jefford Classic happening at the venue over the next week.
We were assured, as was the case in previous years, that our venue will be ready as major stakeholders are involved in this process. We are moving apace with our plan to continue to grow the sport and to provide the best platform possible for athletes to perform.
For the Boyce/Jefford Track and