Senior Games in a Comatose State

Submitted by Wayne Cadogan
Disappointing crowd attended 2014 Senior Games

Disappointing crowd attended 2014 Senior Games

Barbados is currently going through a recession and it would appear that the 2014 Senior Games has been affected by the recession and has slip into a comatose state based on the quality of the games and number of spectators in attendance this year. Less than 1000 patrons attended the games on Saturday and less than two hundred on Sunday. When the complimentary passes are deducted from those numbers, the number of patrons would have been much less than those that were projected by the media. This is a far cry from past years where thousands of patrons flocked to the stadium to witness the games, but of course there was no entrance fee then to attend.

A number of factors could have been the reason for the rapid decline of the games such as, the games have become too competitive and the fun element has been taken out. This year the organizers wanted to have eliminations by zone and that was a disastrous decision. In the end that decision had to be scraped because the numbers just were not there to follow through on what was a very poor decision by the organizers. It is my belief that the $10.00 entrance fee was the main deterrent, a family of six would have to pay $60.00 entrance fee and would still have to purchase food and in some cases bus fares to and fro, and in these hard economic times one would have had to weigh that against their other priorities.

The decision to hold the games over a two day period was another blunder by the organizers and if it was done to make the games run smoother, it certainly did not achieve that objective.

A number of events were eliminated from the games and the first running event, the 1500 meters started 55 minutes behind schedule and that was the order of the day throughout the games. An occurrence took place at the games where the organizers created history in track and field where a water station was setup on the inside of the track and gave water to the athletes during the 1500 meters race. This was also a first for me, because in all my years of competing and watching track meets around the world, I have never seen that occurred before, only in road races.

It was stated on the airwaves that an entourage of 41 athletes and officials were coming from Utah to compete and as it turned out, only nine people turned up from Utah, seven athletes and two officials. What is more amazing is the fact that they were hosted by the Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Freundel Stuart to a reception at Ilaro Court and their local counterparts. I do not know if the other senior athletes from Trinidad and St. Vincent were in attendance and accorded the same welcome to Barbados. It would be interesting to know if the state paid for this function or the organizers of the games, because a number of athletes did not get shirts in their packets, which was to identify them with their zone team which the organizers implemented for this year games.

The country is currently going through some serious economic times with workers been laid off from their jobs and the unemployment numbers swelling daily. The union has been threatening to shut down the country because of the stringent measures that the government has to take in the laying off workers. It is my understanding that plans are fully entrenched and Barbados has committed to sending a team to Utah this year. I have articulated before why does Barbados have to send a team every year to a meet that is not rated in the top ten senior track meets in America. Yes, it is one of the meets that is used as a qualifying meet for the World Senior Games that are held every two years. This need not to be, because there are meets closer to home that one can qualify including Barbados. What is amazing is that Barbados sends a team every year, even during the off year for the qualifying of the World Senior Games and has never sent one single athlete to any of the three prestigious World Senior Games. There are five outstanding senior athletes in Ainsley Lovell, Shirley Harper, Pearl Yearwood, Mark Norville and Anderson Sealy whose times in their events are rated among the world top ten athletes. Athletes who would like to compete at that level of competition need not have to go overseas to qualify, they can qualify right here at home. These five athletes are the ones that if the government wanted to send a senior team overseas to represent the country and to put Barbados on the map are the athletes that could bring glory to Barbados. Needless to say that it is very costly to send a team every year to the Utah games, when there are many more meets in Florida and other Eastern states that would be much less costlier. Given the financial burden that the country is currently going through, it would not be fair to further burden the tax payers of the country for the same athletes each year to attend a track meet that is of a substandard level.

When the senior games first started, it was one of the best things to happen to this country in terms of bringing awareness to the elderly in terms of their health and the importance of keeping fit. Over the past few years, the games have been diminishing in terms of attendance, number of athletes competing and the fun element of the meet taken out. The local senior games have become too competitive to the point where some athletes have started sledging other athletes and not speaking to each other. It’s no wonder that the games have gone into a comatose state to the point that if the organizers do not wake up the games will peter out and that would be the end of a great idea that came to fruition and allowed to die a natural death.

Water Station used in 1500 race

Water Station used in 1500 race

What the organizers need to do is to highlight those people that compete and because of the games a significant number of them were able to overcome their physical challenges through training and competing at the games. They are a number people who when they first started taking part in the games could barely walk and through persistence training and preparation to participate were able to deal with and over come even some severe life threatening illnesses in some cases. To me, I think that this is what the focus of the senior games should be, healthy living through fitness and dieting. The money that is being spent to send athletes to Utah could better be spent to improve the local games, since the local games appeal to the masses and not just a selected few. This year games were the thirteenth year in a row that the games were held and it is still marred by countless technical flaws. I have stated before, that the politics needs to be taken out of the games which is destroying the games. The games can stay under the relevant ministry, but should allow another entity such as the Barbados Amateur Athletic Association to organize and execute the games since they have all the personnel in place to carry out such games.

15 thoughts on “Senior Games in a Comatose State

  1. Pingback: Senior Games in a Comatose State | Black In Barbados


    This is the chain reaction of Fraud, and its very clear as warned,
    All the Post of BU is part of that reaction that will continue until this oils spill is cleaned up in the ocean of land called Barbados, As they look for Slave money to get them out of this Man-made and Woman-made Problem of PONZI, Those who want to make fun and jokes about PLANTATION DEEDS Will soon be renting rooms in stead of House, Power is the next to be turned off as power Bills go up from being home and no money to pay for it,
    Sweet bread and water will give you most of what is needed to make it day by day ,
    Wayne Cadogan @ $60bds is a lot to pay to watch maybe some of the now older people ran around a track who may have helped to get us in this mess.Some made a good living off this mess and the others involved in the Massive PONZI IN AMERICAN NOW LOOKING AT JAIL TIME,
    THIS IS THE LIST OF THE OTHER MADOFF 5 FOUND GUILTY , employees that helped pull off $20Billion scam .

    Annette Bongiorno 66 face 78 years 20 charges Guilty AG/CJ Simmons
    Dan Bonventre 67 face 220 years 20 charges Guilty Owen PM/ BLP
    JoAnn Crupi 53 face 175 years 13 charges Guilty MIA AG / BLP
    Jerome O’Hara 51 face 100 years 8 charges Guilty DPP BLP
    George Perze 48 faces 100 years 8 charges Guilty Dottin COP BLP


  3. @ memyselfandi,

    The games should be supported.

    The health benefit to those who are encouraged by the senior athletes to be more active is worth the cost.

  4. Maybe the Games are crying out for fresh personnel green verb man Rawle Clarke did an excellent job maybe its time to thank him and infuse fresh blood and we are not advocating for the likes of Cathy Harper Hall. These folks who undoubtedly have made tremendous contributions must realize when its time to move on and pass the baton to a younger generation. If they don’t their contributions run the risk of being tarnished.

  5. Of course they should be supported and BU should sponsor its own people….Piece, BT, ac, Gabriel and even RR for the egg and spoon.

  6. @ David
    In answer to your question to memyselfandI
    … Fan’s comment again.
    THAT is the problem with ALL sport in Barbados.
    The intent is good, but VERY quickly the “leaders” get distracted with the glitz and glitter (read that as the perks, trips, per diems, and acclaim).
    They then focus on KEEPING PERSONAL CONTROL and in the process turn off and frustrate all the REALLY TALENTED persons who seek to get involved and raise the level.

    Call ANY sport in Barbados – and do a check…..

    In this case, why not ask some questions about that annual ‘vacation’ to Utah….paid for by the Government sport fund?

    Why not ask about the details about some of the lotta “medals” won….? The selection process….

    ….think people don’t know that sugar sweet…? 🙂

  7. @ Ross
    What egg and spoon what!?!
    …your ONLY possible event would be the rum and coke…..
    …or was that RUN and coke… 🙂

  8. @ Wayne Cadogan,
    A observation of what passes for cricket and soccer in Barbados today compared to the product produced by the BCA and BFA when run by volunteers like Ben Hoyos, Mitch Hewitt, Cristy Smith, etc. back in the 60s and 70s should tell you that things will most likely get worse rather than better.

  9. It is just sad that these games which were conceptualized as fun for seniors and as a way to a healthier lifestyle have now deteriorated to such an extent that as the writer says…….in a comatose state.

    Fierce competition and the quest to go to Utah have brought about this sorry impasse and the empty stands as seen last weekend. It was noteworthy that CBC cameras did not pan the stands on Saturday night during the news. Poor CBC.

    Political interference in every thing will be the sinking of Barbados!

  10. I did attend the sports.

    The problem with things like these is that old people, mindful of our ever dwindling purchasing power and much smaller incomes and forced to be frugal with our money.

    I went to a bar the other day and almost had a heart attack when i was told that a glass of lemonade costed $8 and the glass was 3/4’s full of ice.

    Money tight and we old peoples does get wiser because we simply cant afford it..

    david [BU] a low blow was delivered by one Ross when he assigned four of his elders to an egg and spoon race, I hope that you are taking note of these grievous insults that hit us in the “unspeakables”

    “We were once young…looka Sterling and his leekle latina lovie dovey..and weep Robert..we does still pretend real good thank you… lol…while dribbling on it….

  11. If there was a race for men like Bushie and Piece called follow de pussy yuh would have seen broken records. Like these games needed a shot of bois bande!

  12. @ Islandgal
    You feel Pieceuhderock foolish to willingly pay money to go to look at old people running with canes…..when he could do like Bushie and go and check out the young things …fuh free?
    …you get a look at Jade? …..ya joke!!!
    Pieceuhderock get CARRIED to the games by the wife….she did not trust him home alone with the cuntputer….. LOL Ha. Ha

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