(CMR) Cayman shotputter Lacee Barnes-Riley and her husband were reportedly escorted out of the warm-up area at the 2023 CARIFTA games in the Bahamas over the weekend by soldiers after the Cayman Islands Athletics Association filed a complaint against them.
They were reportedly removed in full view of an audience, including Caymanian athletes, a move that several people said could have been handled more tactfully.
In a video on Instagram, Barnes-Riley said she went to the track to coach her two athletes but was told she would not be able to coach them.
She said she was told the executive did not know where she got her accreditation for the games. Barnes-Riley, who acquired accreditation without the help of the CIAA, said she left the track in tears because she was given permission by the parents to offer her services to the two athletes.
Shortly after she was told she would not be able to continue coaching, the Bahamian Athletics Association president, along with two soldiers, then approached her and told her the Cayman Islands Association had reported her to the governing bodies regarding her accreditation, and she was being escorted out of the facility.
Barnes-Riley, a current athlete and volunteer coach, said, “The CIAA is not for Caymanian athletes.”
“I am a Caymanian. I am a national athlete, I am still a national athlete, coaching these children. We pay our money just to come and coach these children, and my Association that is supposed to be here to help and support has reported me and my husband to World Athletes to get us escorted out of the games,” she stated.
Barnes-Riley explained they went about getting the passes for the CARIFTA games the legitimate way by filling out the application form online. However, she was told that because the passes had the Cayman Islands on them if the Association made a complaint, actions had to be taken.
The CIAA has denied that Barnes-Riley and her husband are coaches for any athlete at the CARIFTA games.
“They all want ready-made athletes and need to go into the schools like the other coaches and take these kids from grass root and train. She just bring her husband here to take over other coaches' athletes …about they can get scholarships for them. She was not accredited by the Cayman Islands Association to attend Carifta as a coach,” one person told CMR.
Barnes-Riley, whose dad Lance Barnes, served as president of the CIAA for four years before deciding not to seek reelection in 2021, said they attained the accreditations on their own after the CIAA refused to do it for them.
“I coach these athletes at home; why wouldn't you want me to coach them here, ” Barnes-Riley said, explaining she had been coaching the two athletes for months.
She also stated that the Cayman staff needed help at the CARIFTA games as insufficient coaches were available. There were reportedly two coaches for 18 track and field athletes.
Barnes-Riley also stated that she and her husband have been instrumental in acquiring gear for athletes who did not have the required shoes.
One person who said that the Association “is in shambles” said there is still a right way of doing things and that Barnes-Riley and her husband did not acquire their accreditation through the Association. He said this could have proven problematic if something had happened to one of the athletes.
Barnes-Riley, who is also the daughter of MollyAnn Moore, is a three-time Carifta Gold Medalist. She is also the national shotput record holder.
Members of the CIAA executive include Delroy Murray, Osbert Francis, Maxine Anglin, Cydonie Mothersill, Ray McLeod, Paula Dawkins, Carl Morgan, Theo Cuffy, and Darrell Porter.
Join Sandy Hill on The Cold Hard Truth on Tuesday as she discusses the situation which unfolded at the CARIFTA games.