Sports
November 13, 2009
Ballantyne peeved over prize money

“I felt disrespected [getting] $100 for my efforts.”

That was Pamenos Ballantyne’s reaction after winning the Log Enterprises 5K last Sunday afternoon from the Rabacca Bridge to Byera Hill.{{more}}

An obviously peeved Ballantyne, a veteran at distance racing, told SEARCHLIGHT: “When I opened the envelope I felt like tearing it up. I thought I was getting about $500 or even $300.”

Referring to the prize money of $100, Ballantyne said: “That cannot even go to the pharmacy to get some supplements.”

He complained, too, that at least a medal should have been given to all finishers at last Sunday’s race, as an incentive.

In addition, Ballantyne was dissatisfied with the refreshments served at the end of last the race, describing them as “not nutritious for athletes”.

Ballantyne, who competes in Trinidad and Tobago on a regular basis, reported that in that country he gets sports drinks and other supplements, unlike what happens in races here. He added that he had been scheduled to compete in Trinidad last weekend, but opted to remain home instead.

Meanwhile, head of the road racing of Team Athletics SVG Leroy Llewellyn, in defence of his organisation, revealed to SEARCHLIGHT that Log Enterprises sponsorship was to the tune of $5,000 spilt for two races: last Sunday’s and the North Leeward 5K, the previous weekend.

“If it were not for the school buses we would have been in difficulty to transport the athletes”, Llewellyn stated.

Llewellyn, who also holds the portfolio of First Vice President of Team Athletics SVG, disclosed that on one occasion they had to fork out $700 to a bus owner when one of the school buses was unavailable. Llewellyn admitted to shaving off some of the prize monies to meet additional costs.

“We had to take $20 off the open categories, but that was the only category that was affected,” Llewellyn added.

In a direct response to Ballantyne’s claims, Llewellyn opined: “He should have been generous enough to donate the $100 to a young athlete.”

“He is too ravenous,” a blunt Llewellyn said of this country’s most decorated male distance athlete.

Ballantyne, who over the years has not backed down from controversy, also took a swipe at the upcoming Nemwil/Guardian General Insurance/National Lotteries Authority Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Half Marathon, which takes place here this Sunday.

Ballantyne said he believes it is high time the winner’s purse be increased from US $1,000.

The nine-time winner of the sub regional event wants more to be done by local and regional athletics organisations to encourage more persons to get involved in road racing.