Athletes paid, preparations underway for 2018 meet

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, CMC – One of the two remaining directors of Grenada Invitational Inc, Karline Purcell, has confirmed that all outstanding payments to athletes have been settled and the company is presently in the process of finalising details to apply for permission to host the 2019 games.

The company, which owns and administers the Grenada Invitational Track and Field meet, had struggled to meet its financial obligations, especially to athletes who participated in last year’s event.

“To the best of our knowledge, we have paid up all athletes who participated in the 2017 and 2018 meet, if there is anything outstanding it will be something that was not drawn to our attention,” said Purcell who confirmed that paying up the athletes was critical to the execution of this year’s meet.

“There are criteria we have to follow for us to apply to host the 2019 games and payment to athletes is one of the main things. Now that we have completed that, we will be meeting with officials from the Grenada Athletics Association because this is the only body who can make the application on behalf of us.”

She continued: “Once the GAA is satisfied with what we present to them, then the application can be made and the date can be announced officially for 2019.”

The first Grenada Invitational was first hosted in April 2017, with the second edition taking place last year also at the Kirani James Stadium.

Approximately fours months after the last event, information was leaked that organisers were in financial difficulty and were unable to pay its bills.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, who endorsed the meet because of its potential to boost the sports tourism sector, said at the time he had been aware of the organisers inability to meet their financial obligation and urged them to “honour its obligations to athletes and all concerned”.

Last September, chairman of Grenada Invitational Inc, Michael Bascombe, who was also a director, quit his post and later that month organisers said in a news release that international standards provided for a six months grace period in meeting outstanding debts.

Purcell said that between October and December last year more than 100 athletes were paid in full for participation in the 2017 and 2018 meet.

While she did not disclose how the funds were acquired, it is understood that a statutory body was assisting with fulfilling the financial obligations.

Legal documents filed with the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office (CAIPO) said the Grenada Invitational Inc’s total indebtedness of the kind which were required to be registered with the registrar under the Companies Act, was at a zero balance.

According to CAIPO documents, Fenton Frederick ceased to hold office as a director since October 4 last year, leaving Purcell and Dexter Mitchell as the only two remaining directors.

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