Coaches call for more local meets
Despite a total of 93 track and field meets on the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) 2016-17 calendar year, some top coaches see the need for more.
The coaches believe that the meets have assisted in the development and successes of top Jamaican stars due to their constant exposure to top-level competition.
"I don't think there are too many meets as we have different levels in order to properly develop athletes," said David Riley, president of the Jamaica Track and Field Coaches Association.
"There are not enough meets as the (school) athletes have to qualify for Boys and Girls' Athletic Championship's each year. Based on that, the meets are certainly not enough. Most meets don't cover all events," Riley added.
"Last weekend at the Camperdown Classics, the only qualifying events there included the 4x100 metres relay, 800m, 1500m and 100m. There are very few opportunities for qualification," the Excelsior High school head coach and founder of The Technique Lab added.
ALL IN AGREEMENT
Michael Clarke, who guided Calabar High to five consecutive titles since 2012, also supported his colleague's view.
"There are not too many meets," argued Clarke, who also guided St Jago High and Jamaica College to Boys' Champs titles.
"I believe that there are not enough. These meets bring success globally. I also do believe that there are not enough after Champs," he pointed out.
"The school meets which assist in the development of the athletes are sanctioned by the JAAA," Clarke added.
Meanwhile, JAAA's general secretary, Garth Gayle, is fully in support of the number of meets on the calendar.
"No. The meets are not too many," Gayle said strongly. "Jamaica enjoys a very vibrant and thorough athletic programme renown all over the world."
"Recently, the CEO of the IAAF attended the Kirkvine meet and he was impressed, especially at the number of competitors who participated in the meet," Gayle recounted.
Gayle disclosed that for the past six years there have been JAAA calendar conferences, where plans were put in place for the various meets.
"We have a serious calendar conference, where planning is done. Jamaica have been renown for putting on high quality meets. We need to do more to develop more global stars," Gayle concluded.