No position on bleaching - ISSA
Competitions Director at the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) George Forbes notes that the organisation does not have a position on student-athletes bleaching their skin and insists that it is the schools who have to address the issue.
"We cannot tell a student he cannot represent his school because of bleaching. The schools have to set that in their guidelines, so if they bleach, they can't represent the school. We at ISSA can't say we are not allowing someone to play because they are bleaching. We can't do that. Individual schools have to take responsibility," he said.
Forbes said although he personally does not like the act, the association has not received any complaints from sponsors or the public with regard to it having a negative impact.
"It all depends because everything in life is image. Some people see this bleaching phenomenon as OK, while others see it as horrendous. ISSA don't have a problem with it, but we don't endorse it. We are limited in what we can do. We just invite schools to participate in ISSA sports.
"I don't think we are going to reach the stage where we un-invite a school because they have students who bleach. It's a societal problem that the schools will have to monitor for themselves," he added.
"Some schools allow star players to bleach with no attempt to stop them, while some schools will not allow anybody to represent the school while bleaching, so it's individual," Forbes said.