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March Madness 2019

From qualifications to finances, calls continue for CIAA change

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Many of those involved with the Cayman Islands Athletics Association (CIAA) are calling for changes with the way the Association conducts its business.

On Tuesday (4 October) we brought you a story about those involved in track and field outlining issues with the way the CIAA selects athletes for international competitions.

On 5 October, we hear from more stakeholders who say the CIAA issues are deep-rooted — from a lack of qualified coaches to questionable accounting.

Mustang Track Club’s Tyrone Yen is one of them. He says more certified coaches are needed in Cayman.

“You can’t just walk into a school and start teaching,” Yen said. “You can’t just walk into an airline and fly an airplane (sic). There’s certain things and certain work and certain studies you have to go through. I do believe it will have an effect down the line.”

There are 19 coaches certified as Level II coaches or above, according to the IAAF Regional Develop Center, in Puerto Rico. Of those, most are not actively coaching. And one — Errington Webster — faces charges of gross indecency with a minor. A different track coach this year also was charged with sex crimes involving a minor.

“It has to be an issue,” Yen said. “If you’re gonna take children from a young stage, adolescence, straight through to adult, you have to have the necessary prerequisites.”

Some say there’s also an issue surrounding CIAA finances.

The Sports Ministry is set to dole out more than $135,000 to the CIAA during this budget cycle.

E-mails obtained by Cayman 27 and circulated to the members of the Executive Committee show members asking about “urgent expenditures” they say weren’t reflected or explained in the Association’s financial records.

Others question the overall accounting methods used in generating financial statements.

Furthermore, others have complained about payment issues surrounding the Cayman Invitational, a meet overseen by the CIAA and organised by KYStar Athletics, a company run by former CIAA President Cydonie Mothersill.

“I actually received communication from a number of athletes overseas — professional athletes — who were complaining to me that they hadn’t been paid for previous years’ track meets here in Cayman,” former Sports Ministry Councillor Alva Suckoo said.

E-mails obtained by Cayman show at least one local athlete who complained of not receiving appearance fees and award money for the meet in 2013 and 2014. That athlete said the situation eventually was resolved.

Other e-mails from a sports agent to a local accountant shows the agent complaining that those owed money for the 2014 meet did not receive payment. It goes on to read that managers were advising athletes to boycott the meet. The agent told Cayman 27 none of the athletes the agent represents competed in Cayman in 2016.

“My concern was the Cayman Islands’ reputation,” Suckoo said. “Because we were being accused — the Government was being accused — of not paying these bills.”

KYStar Athletics is budgeted to receive $30,000 from the Sports Ministry next year to host the meet.

Several e-mails sent to CIAA Executive Committee members seeking comment on these matters, including Ms. Mothersill, were not returned.

About the author

Kevin Morales

Kevin Morales

Cayman 27 News Director Kevin Morales is an award-winning journalist with more than 12 years of experience. Kevin is a Milwaukee, Wis., native. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2005 from the University of Minnesota. He's a proud father and a loyal fan of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks and U of M Golden Gophers.

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