Guyanese heads sports commission

Guyanese heads sports commission
Associated Press / Anja Niedringhaus

Aliann Pompey, an exceptional 400m sprinter, who won a Gold medal at 2002 Commonwealth Games, was recently elected president of the Panam Sports Athletes’ Commission. The Guyanese-born athlete who represented her country four times at the games and competed at the World Championships will be the voice for more than 6,600 athletes in 41 member nations that compete in the Pan American Games.

Pompey, who has served on the athletes’ commission since 2015, and who is the assistant coach for track & field at St. John’s University, “said her job is to make sure that the athlete’s voice is heard on an executive level.

“I’m the link between the athletes and the decision makers,” said Pompey, adding that this also gives her a seat on the International Olympic Committee athletes’ commission and the Association of National Olympic Committees athletes’ commission.

Pompey, an extraordinary athlete, says she has always wanted to have an impact and give back to sports. “Once I got into coaching and running the meet, a few things became more apparent to me. I wanted to do something meaningful on the long-term.”

Pompey said the commission is trying to carry out new ways to engage athletes from smaller countries, make sure they are involved, and have a platform for their voices to be heard. Important input comes from these under-resourced countries, she said.

“One of the things we’ve done the last few years has been to hold an athletes’ forum, which brings at least two athletes from every member country together,” she said. “We put together an agenda aimed at figuring out what everybody’s needs were and how they felt those needs could best be met looking at our overall resources and what we can add to their situations or make things better for them.”

With the success of the annual Aliann Pompey Invitational in Georgetown, that saw over 50 athletes from across the globe vying for top spots in 17 track and field events, the star athlete has blazed a trail for many up and coming track & field runners during her more than twenty-year career.

The top sprinter, who also won silver and bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games, and holds the South American indoor record for the 400m, Pompey, after migrating to the United States, at age 14, graduated from Manhattan College in the Bronx, before putting all of our energies into competition.

Starting in 1995, she successfully reduced her 400m, best time to 53 seconds. She went on to win the state championships, becoming the Manhattan Jasper’s first ever female, national champion setting the NCAA 500m record.

The multi-talented athlete, who participated in World Championships in Athletics for many years, also finds the time to serve on the PASO (Pan Am Sports Organization) Athletes Commission, Manhattan College Hall of Fame Committee, National Sports Commission (Guyana), and is the Vice President of the Metropolitan Conference (NY), according to her webpage.

Pompey’s personal best time is 50.71 seconds, achieved in August 2009 at the World Championships in Berlin.