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Blake to seek second term as JAAA president

Published:Monday | January 25, 2016 | 1:00 AMHubert Lawrence

Warren Blake, the president of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA), says he intends to offer himself for a second term.

Speaking in an exclusive interview, Dr Blake told The Gleaner his time in office had been challenging and successful. He hopes to seek re-election at the JAAA annual general meeting later this year.

Blake first took office in 2011, just after the untimely passing of sitting JAAA president, Howard Aris, and served the last year of Aris' term in office. He was elected in 2012 to continue as president.

"I still intend to go again, to offer myself for a second term," he said quietly, "and the second term would be my final term.

"It has been a very challenging four years, and I think the team that I have worked with is a very good team, he reflected." We have had quite a lot of successes, I would say, and if you look at medal counts, except for that one major games that we spoke about, one medal at World Youth Championships, this has really been the most successful period in Jamaica's track and field history."

In 2012, Jamaica took home 12 medals with four gold, four silver and four bronze from the London Olympics. That is one more than the previous Olympic high of 11 from the 2008 Games in Beijing.

 

MORE SUCCESS

 

That was followed by a six gold medal portion of a total nine at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow and seven gold from a haul of 12 at the 2015 Worlds.

That's just one short of Jamaica's 13-medal collection at the 2009 World Championships. That team performance garnered seven gold medals.

JAAA elections occur after each Olympic Games.

One of Blake's major objectives for the rest of his current term and any other time he might have in office is to take the JAAA into what he calls 'a more professional approach to track and field'. One area under his stethoscope is the running of the JAAA office.

"Right now, we survive in the office because we have a treasurer, Mr (Ludlow) Watts, who is really a full-time worker without any pay," he remarked. "He comes to the office every day and puts in a full shift."

According to the president, general secretary Garth Gayle also does extensive work there.

"If we didn't have workers like this who really sacrifice tremendous time and effort to keep the day to day affairs of the organisation going we'd be in serious trouble," he explained.

"I think we do need to find a way, find a sponsor, or find out if our budget is able to pay someone full time to be in the office to do the day to day activities of the association.

"I think that is something that must happen," he asserted.