Guyana has a bright future in athletics – De Melo tells AAG

President of the AAG Aubrey Hutson (left) honours South America Consudatle’s President Roberto De Melo (Romario Samaroo)

President of the South American Consudatle, Roberto De Melo during his brief remarks at the 70th anniversary of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) told the gathering that Guyana has a bright future.

The President of the Consudatle, which is also celebrating its centenary year assured the handful in attendance that they are very important to the development of South American Athletics.

“After 100 years of Consudatle’s existence and 70 years in Guyana, it is our time, we have a bright future. I am sure that in a few years we will be among the best in the world.” De Melo said.

 De Melo was in awe of the Umana Yana’s decor which displayed old newspaper clippings of past performances in local athletics.

 “I could see in the photographs and newspapers around the place, the achievements of the Guyanese athletes for those year and it’s something that will stay always in my mind.” he stated.

 The Consudatle’s head remembered when he first took over, Guyana and Suriname were not members, but today that has transformed.

 He added that when he was first elected as president of the Consudatle, Guyana and Suriname did not take part, but now he feels very fortunate to have them as important members of the confederation. The man at the helm of the continent’s athletics recapped his first experience with the dedication of Guyanese and their ability to ‘make hay while the sun shines’, recalling the first time Guyana hosted the South American Junior Championships which he recalled was satisfactorily done. De Melo recalled coming to Guyana for the first time to attend the South American Junior Championship. It was a big success, since they were supposed to organise the event in another country and at the last moment those people declined. He then attended a meeting where his friend Aubrey Hutson decided to accept the challenge of hosting the event. He added that he was very much satisfied with the decision and disclosed that some people did not believe at that moment that it would be possible for Guyana, who had just constructed the synthetic track, to organise such an event. De Melo stated that he was impressed at the level of organisation that was displayed and the quality of the athletes (both men and women), who took the spot -light by earning many medals.

 President of the local Athletics body, Aubrey Hutson, was also in a reminiscent mode on the evening celebrating organised athletics by recollecting his first time as President of the AAG.

 “When I became president in 2013 at first congress in Moscow, I got information from people who have been around a long time. They said I was wasting time in South America but if I joined up with the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC), I would get more money since they were more supportive of Guyana athletics. ‘Look, these people don’t even talk our language.’ So I went to Moscow with that thought in mind to ask the executive or the powers that be to kindly switch and I remember talking to Bobb Hurst of the United States and I asked the question. He looked around and pulled me to a corner and said ‘stay right where you are’. He said, ‘it is the best family you will be a part of.’’

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