New track ready for Pure Water JC/Danny Williams meet
All is now set for the first track and field meet on the Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association (JAAA) 2019 calendar, the Pure Water JC/Danny Williams Invitational Meet, to be held on January 5 on the new synthetic track at Jamaica College.
The eight-lane track is the third of its kind among high schools locally, following tracks constructed at Calabar High and Kingston College.
There were some concerns that the track would not be ready for the early January meet, but chairman of the organising committee, Ian Forbes, told The Sunday Gleaner on Friday that the track would be ready.
"Our new track will definitely be ready to host our meet in January as it has been completed, and all needs to be done now is to mark the lanes and staggers," said Forbes.
According to Forbes, a lot of work was done to meet the target date.
"The workmen did a fabulous job. Preparation started in February, and it was a lot of work in the initial stages, especially beneath the synthetic surface," he said.
Forbes boasted that this would be one of the best tracks in the island and would not only be beneficial to Jamaica College.
"I must say that our track is in line with IAAF standards. We have a full 400 metres eight-lane track just like those at the National Stadium, Stadium East and at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay, and this will not only benefit our students, but the country on a whole," he said.
In addition to the track, there will be stands to seat spectators, and there are plans to have lights at the venue.
"At present, there is a stand that can seat approximately 1,000 spectators, but this will be upgraded to 5,000 as soon as we have the space for this. Also, we will be able to host events at night as we will have lights," said Forbes. He revealed, however, that the lights would not be ready for the first meet, but that the equipment was already in the island and would be put up at a later date.
He also stated that there would be adequate parking.
"Those attending the meet will not have to worry about parking as we have a big space behind the school for this."
Forbes also revealed that the synthetic track at JC was the brainchild of old boy R. Danny Williams.
"In the 1980s, it was he who had this vision for a mini sports stadium at the school, and as time went by, we saw the urgent need for this. Now, it is a reality, and the athletes and coaching staff are excited as this will definitely help in motivating the team for success at Boys' Champs. We are not getting ahead of ourselves as the hard work will still have to be done, but something like this will definitely help," Forbes said.
Entries for the meet have been overwhelming, according to Forbes.
"We expect over 2,000 athletes, and with this being the first meet after the Christmas break, the entries are normally good. This time around, I think the coaches will be happy to see their charges competing on a brand-new synthetic track as it will also be used as a qualifier for the upcoming ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championships."
As usual, the organising committee will use the occasion to honour an individual who has made a major contribution to the meet, and this year's honouree will be statistician Trevor McCain.