Some track and field coaches in the Cayman Islands say there are problems with the way the Cayman Islands Athletics Association selects athletes for international competition.
Mustang Track Club’s Tyrone Yen says too many times in the past athletes have qualified for major international meets but are not sent to compete by the CIAA.
“It’s difficult to have a 10-, 11-year old child that trains all year with the expectation of making a team — the expectation of going places — only to be told, ‘look you’ve made the time but you’re not going.'”
Mr. Yen says in 2016 alone, four athletes he coaches qualified for the Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT) championships but did not get to go because the CIAA was late sending out results.
Also in 2016, Cayman Islands hurdles record holder Ronald Forbes qualified for the IAAF World Indoor Championships but did not get to run because the CIAA apparently forget to register him for the meet.
Coaches say there are many more cases like these over the years.
“It can devastate them,” 345 Athletics Club coach Derek Larner said. “We’ve actuallly seen it where athletes have had that happen to them and now show up for training again.”
Marlon Goddard knows the feeling and says he worried that’s what would happen with his son.
“It was so disappointing for me that I couldn’t even tell my son that he made the time because I know how disappointed he would be.”
He believes the CIAA needs to hold itself to a higher standard.
“A lot of these kids — like my son — take this really seriously,” Mr. Goddard said. “I just feel like it was really disappointing. The whole apology and everything about it wasn’t heartfelt. At the end of the day these kids do work hard. I just think there needs to be accountability at the highest level.”
Cayman 27 did reach out to the CIAA Selections Committee Chair, who declined comment and referred us to the Executive Committee.
E-mails sent to Executive Committee members more than one month ago seeking comment on the matter were not returned.
The CIAA is budgeted to receive more than $135,000 from the public purse during this budget cycle.