Posted: Friday, July 1, 2022. 11:08 am CST.
Photo Credit: US National Hurricane Center
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Belize Athletics Association (BAA) canceled their trip to compete in XXXII CADICA Central American Senior Championships in Nicaragua due to Tropical Storm Bonnie.
The Belize National Athletics Team, comprising 18 athletes, was due to travel on Tuesday to arrive in Managua on Wednesday for the annual regional championships to be held on Saturday and Sunday, but due to the tropical disturbance that has developed into Tropical Storm Bonnie, decided not to travel.
“The going was not going to be a problem but being there and coming back would have been an issue,” said Deon Sutherland, president of the Belize Athletics Association.
“Being there and returning would have put the team at risk because we were looking at (the possibility of) the storm coming in Saturday, Sunday, we cannot have the competition, and then coming back or when we’re ready to leave the storm is there. Roads blocked, mudslides, and stuff like that. We would be putting the team at a risk.”
The United States National Hurricane Center on Friday morning said hurricane conditions are possible along the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua this evening or tonight. The NHC said heavy rainfall is forecast across portions of Nicaragua and Costa Rica today and into Saturday with life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides expected.
Apart from the physical risk they could expose the athletes to, the BAA stood to lose $20,000 if they had travelled and gotten into a bind.
“For us it was too great a risk and too costly because it would have cost us over $20,000 just to go there and if nothing happened, we would lose all those funds,” said Sutherland.
Sixteen of the 18 athletes were travelling from Belize, but Brandon Adolphus and Brandon Jones were flying from the United States to Managua. With the early and timely decision, the BAA was able to avert losing any of its traveling funds.
According to the competition website, the XXXII CADICA Central American Senior Championships are still on for Saturday and Sunday. However, since Belize withdrew, CADICA, the Central American Athletics Association, has removed Belize from the list of participants. The first event is slated for 7:00 am on Saturday.
“As far as we know they have not yet postponed, but I will see what happens by the end of the day because as the weather gets closer, I believe they will see the greater risk,” said Sutherland.
“If they postpone it, we will attend whenever they have it. If they continue and have the games we’ll try to see if we can arrange something with either Guatemala or EI Salvador, which are closer, and have a little competition just for our athletes to do something.”
The Central American Senior Championships are held annually.
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