There is quite a bit of excitement brewing about the 2022-2023 local track and field season which gets underway this Saturday with the staging of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) Odd Distance Track and Field Meet.
The meet, a staple event on the calendar over the years, is set for 12-6 p.m. on Saturday at the original Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium. The young athletes have been gearing up all through the fall months and are now ready to go.
Track events from the 60 meters (m) to the 1000m will be contested in all age divisions – from under-seven to open. In the field, the javelin, shot put, discus, long, triple and high jump events will be contested from the under-15 to open divisions.
Close to 400 young athletes are expected to compete at the one-day event, and admission is set for $5 general section and $10 for VIP.
Initially, there was some talk about electronic timing being done for the meet, but that option was deemed not feasible at this particular time, particularly with the meet not serving as an official qualifier for track events for the CARIFTA Games.
“The executive board considered the views of the coaching community as it relates to the usage of electronic timing at the upcoming BAAA Odd Distance Track and Field Meet. Since the inception of this meet, the general position has been that there is little benefit to using electronic timing since track events would not serve as a qualifying event,” as stated in a BAAA communication. “We have considered allowing long approaches in the horizontal and vertical jumps and throwing events since these events are qualifying events for the CARIFTA Games.
“We forecast that approximately 350 athletes will be competing at a cost of $12 per athlete, generating registration income of $4,200 of an overall estimated competition cost of $13,000. The objective of this event is to transition athletes from offseason training to competition and to establish a benchmark of where your athletes are currently positioned. At the same time, we intend to make the highest and best use of our limited resources now and into the remaining season. It is therefore intended that performances at future BAAA meets would be electronically recorded.”
As mentioned, the odd distance meet is the first track and field event on the 2022-2023 local athletics calendar.
In the new year, the BAAA will stage its annual church service on Sunday January 8, 2023. The first meet of the new year will be the T-Bird Flyers Track and Field Classic, set for January 13-14 at the Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium.