If their boycott stands, one of St Lucia’s most successful junior clubs will not compete at Sunday’s 19th edition of the First National Bank 13 and Under Juvenile Track and Field Championships set for Mindoo Phillip Park.
In the following email, the Rockets Athletic Club stated their reason for boycotting the competition:
Please be informed of the following. Rockets Athletic Club will NOT be participating in the Juvenile Games this coming weekend. The parents of the athletes and the Management of the Club have taken the decision to boycott the games due to the fact the Athletic Association has limited the number of participants for the competition. Each team is only allowed to register 25 athletes, three athletes can be registered per event but only two will be allowed to participate.
Who stipulated the number 25 athletes per club/ per school. Were affiliates properly informed and consulted on such an important decision? In the spirit of collaborative development of young athletes SLAA as the custodian responsible for promoting and developing athletics, should have consulted the affiliates on such a decision.
Rockets Athletic Club has 39 athletes who had been in training for this, the only event for the juveniles and we strongly believe that this is unfair to the children who have been preparing for this event.
Late last year, the Association introduced the IAAF kiddies athletics which promotes team sports and events specifically for children of that age category. IAAF indicate that sport for that age should be fun and exciting with the emphasis on fun. Is this promoting fun? Is this promoting kiddies athletics?
If we can’t get all our athletes in, then we will boycott the Juvenile Games and possibly the Club Relay, since the events are not including our younger athletes only two categories are there-male and female seniors and male and female 14 and under. And if this is a club event then all categories should be taken into context. A fair chance should be given.
Mrs M James-Charlery
Rockets Athletic Club