As we noted earlier there was the election of the executive for the Belize Olympic Commonwealth Games Association (BOCGA) over the weekend. It has been five years since the association was formed and for the most part its executive remains the same. While its social media page is not updated frequently and the website link posted on its Facebook page is unreachable, the association’s President, Hilly Martinez says the mandate of the BOCGA is clear and under it, persons can obtain training in specific areas.
“We have coaching courses we can bring coaches to Belize to train our coaches and athletes. The funding is very specific, we cannot use funding to assist federations to go to their meetings or their fees or to assist in refereeing it’s just for coaches and athletes. They have asked each association during 2013 to 2017 the National Olympic Comitee has assisted every single federations that had applied and the assistance came up to over a million Belize dollars in assisting each federation in participating in events.”
Martinez says there is the need for more participation in regional and international events.
“What we need now are programs for development. Like I said the days of participation I think are days by gone we need to be competing and to be competing and to be representing Belize at a higher level and for medals. For the Youth Common Wealth games like I said there is Athletic Cycling, Tennis and those are the disciplines allocated to us. I have spoken to each federation and tried to select a number of young athletes so that they can be training from now so that when they go to the Youth Olympic Games they are properly prepared and properly coached so that the training is there. We want them to be representing Belize and in the best of shape and we have said that if they need financial assistance in certain areas that we can help we are prepared to do it. As far as the Central American games are concerned that is one event that you need to qualify it is open for each sport but it does not necessarily mean that each sport will be going. We are not going to be sending disciplines that has to stop. It’s expensive, those games will cost us about $250,000 to send everybody to Nicaragua but the associations and national federations also have to pull their own weight in preparing their athletes.”
While this is the second election to be had by the BOCGA, they have been a recognized body of the International Olympics Association since January 1, 1968.