Barnes ready to mend bridges as athletics president

New CIAA President Lance Barnes

Lance Barnes is tasked with leading the Cayman Islands Athletic Association (CIAA) after taking over as president following an election that saw many members of the former executive remaining on the body. He has taken over at a time when there is a crisis of confidence in the association but acknowledged from the get-go that there’s no escaping that reality.

“We have ongoing issues that are unresolved. We’re going to discuss those ongoing issues and also, one of my main tasks is to mend the bridges,” Barnes told moments after being elected on 28 August.

“We have to realise we’re in this together as a team. It’s a team effort, it’s not about us but about the youth of these islands. So that [has] to be top and centre of our priority.”

Joining Barnes on the CIAA executive are: 1st Vice President – Theo Cuffy, 2nd Vice President -Maxine Anglin, General Secretary – Cydonie Mothersill, Treasurer – Ventisha Conolly, and ordinary members – Mollyann Moore, Paula Dawkins and Kenrick Williams, who is also the CIAA technical director. The position of Assistant Secretary will be filled at a later election.

Barnes said he plans to meet with the new executive later this week to get started on a new direction for the CIAA.

“We haven’t been seen as [being] in good standing by our parent body, so we have to organise ourselves in a way that we represent what they stand for. It means we need to have open communication amongst our members; we need to have open communication with our parent body as well. So, we have to establish some framework where transparency is integral and is at the forefront of everything we do as well,” the new president told

In his day job, Barnes is tasked with managing leadership learning at the Cayman Islands Civil Service College. He hopes this will translate well in taking the reins of a beleaguered organisation that had its funding cut from the IAAF and was on the verge of further sanctions from the word governing body for the sport.

“I’ll definitely hold people accountable. We have a constitution and if you go back to some of the issues we’ve had in the past, we had folks who never showed up to meetings but they were still part of the executive body. One of my main tasks is that I’m going to hold my members accountable because as president, whatever they do has some sort of effect on me as a leader,” he said.

“The constitution must be followed and adhered to, and those people will be held accountable. If it means that we have to meet and we have to have new elections to replace some of those members, it will be done,” Barnes vowed.

Proud father: Lance Barnes with his daughter, Lacee.

The new president is also the father of collegiate thrower Lacee Barnes, who has just started her freshman year at University of Texas at San Antonio. He was eager to stress that the CIAA is not just about the members elected to the executive but the athletes and the many parents “who bring their children to the track every single day”.

Ensuring the association is fully compliant with the IAAF, Cayman Islands Olympic Committee and the government are also at the top of his agenda as head of the national federation. As such, Barnes said he would be reaching out to the parents and other stakeholders as he forges the way forward.

CIAA gets new president after messy election


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  1. Pingback: Commentary: Another dark cloud over Cayman Islands athletics – Cayman Sports Buzz

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