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Opportunities squandered by the Belize Athletics Association?

Photo: (l to r) NSC Director, Marvin Ottley; Hon. Gilroy Usher; BAA Vice-President, Jaheed Smith; NACAC President, Mike Sands; RSPCSC rep. Harry Flowers; BAA public relations/coach Greg Meyers.

BELIZE CITY, Mon. June 12, 2023

Arriving in Belize yesterday for the funeral tomorrow of Belize Athletics Association (BAA) General Secretary, Harry Pilgrim, were the BAA public relations officer and athletic coach, Gregory Meyers, and Mike Sands, the regional president of NACAC (North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association.

A moving force in sports and community sponsorship in Belize for some time now has been the Rogers Stadium Physical Culture and Sporting Club (RSPCSC), with a group of diaspora Belizean sponsors and one of whose main representatives on Belizean soil has been Harry “Harry Dawg” Flowers.

Harry visited Amandala this morning with visible emotion in describing his frustration with some officials of the BAA executive. The incumbent president Deon Sutherland has reportedly resigned under pressure from a movement within the association towards “housecleaning”. But change is always a turbulent process, and Harry’s gripe today is that some of the old guard are sacrificing the future of some young athletes because of their selfish egos and negative attitude towards the efforts of Meyers to give young athletes with the potential an opportunity to make big strides in their education and athletic advancement in the U.S. Through the efforts and connections of Meyers and Sands, arrangements were apparently going smoothly to see a group of young athletes travel to the U.S. to train under the care of Meyers. But suddenly there has been a block to their communication with the youths. What’s going on?

Harry Dawg explains in a WhatsApp message:

“Hillary Gladden, Ashontie Carr, Ashanti Carr and Keemar Wagner (2 gold medals in Guatemala recently) were all chosen to go to the U.S. on scholarships; but for some reason, when asked, the response was that they have to get permission from the then president, Mr. Deon Sutherland, and from then this is the kind of energy we are receiving.

“We, the Rogers Stadium Physical Cultural and Sporting Club demand to know why is the Belize Athletic Association denying our grassroots kids who finally have an opportunity to advance their education and their track and field skills. We, the RSPCSC will send these kids to train with Mr. Greg Meyers, the father of Demetrie Meyers who won 2 gold medals at the CARIFTA Games in the Bahamas. Mr. Andre Cason is the other coach who will help develop these kids, and this is the thanks we here at RSPCSC receive from the Belize Athletic Association, by brainwashing the young athletes and having some kind of hold on these kids. We need to investigate these allegations so that these kids don’t lose a golden opportunity of a lifetime that may never come again like this.”