Coaches speak on Cayman’s track-and-field sanction

Officials have remained quiet over the last month, providing no update on the sanction over the Cayman Islands track and field circuit. Coaches have now joined the public in asking the one question that no one seems to have the answer for. Who is responsible for the situation?

“It’s not quite clear-cut to me what exactly has happened and it’s easy to see the end result but to say who is responsible for the situation it’s difficult,” said Mustang head coach Tyrone Yen, who has been training athletes in Cayman for nearly 20 years.

The sanction, which bans the Cayman Islands Athletics Association (CIAA) from hosting any official competitions and prevents national athletes from participating in all major pro/amateur meets including the Olympics, came after the CIAA claimed there was unpaid funds by Cayman’s 2019 CARIFTA local organising committee (LOC).

However, the LOC denied those claims through a press release, stating they had been “accused” of causing the sanction and had not received any direct communication outlining their alleged wrongdoing from the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC).

Cayman’s national track coach Kenrick Williams who has served for the past 24 expressed his frustrations with the current state of uncertainty.

“I haven’t seen anything like this happen before,” said Williams. “I am hopeful that the CIAA along with the government would at least in a couple of months resolve the sanction that we are facing.”

In a recent interview, NACAC president Mike Sands said they are currently in discussions with both the CIAA and the LOC but will not discuss the issue with the media at this time. Meanwhile coaches remain hopeful.

“It’s very unfortunate that we have to suffer because of this situation but there’s no point in me finger pointing,” said distance coach Derek Larner. “Let’s get ourselves back in line with the world athletics and NACAC.”

In addition, coach Yen said the situation has prompt concerns out of parents as well. “A lot of parents are asking where do we go next,” said Yen. “Parents who have kids around the CARIFTA age limit are asking if their children will be able to go to the CARIFTA Games for next year and of course I don’t have the answers. Hopefully we can get this resolved as soon as possible.”

Coach Larner, Yen and Williams have all continued to train their athletes despite the uncertainty and are hopeful that more information from the CIAA will be release in the coming weeks.

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