JAAA awards to return in 2017
Few probably noticed but the annual Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA)-Scotiabank Golden Cleats awards fell away from its usual December slot on the sports calendar.
According to JAAA president Dr Warren Blake, the event disappeared due to the lack of sponsorship. He says the JAAA is grateful to Scotiabank for supporting the event in the past and promises it will return this year.
Speaking recently, the JAAA president explained: "We lost our main sponsor because they said a number of the top athletes we had each year kept on not appearing and the sponsors felt that they weren't getting value for money so they pulled away, but they still are going to be a sponsor of track and field in Jamaica, but just not at an awards function."
UNABLE TO ATTEND
When the Golden Cleats were staged in 2015, top awardees Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce were both unable to attend. They both made their presence felt through video recordings, which conveyed their thanks for their respective awards.
Blake promises that the event will be staged in 2017.
"We're going to have it in 2017. It's just that when we got the news it was really late in the day, and not being able to put it on that year," he outlined. "It became a matter of timing."
"Normally, we want to have it before the RJR Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Award, and for us to start planning then, it would have made it later than the RJR thing, so we decided to scrap it ... but we are going to have it this year."
Despite the difficulty, he underscored his association's gratitude to Scotiabank for supporting the awards event and track and field in Jamaica.
Scotiabank is a consistent supporter of sports in Jamaica, with significant sponsorships of athletics, cricket and netball.
The JAAA president also that indicated a name change may be coming for the awards.