Thu | Jan 23, 2020

No MoBay track forces Western Relays back to GC Foster

Published:Wednesday | January 15, 2020 | 12:57 AMKavarly Arnold/Gleaner Writer
Chairman of the organising committee, Ray Harvey (left), makes a point to World Championships bronze medallist and guest speaker Rushell Clayton (centre) and throws coach Julian Robinson at the launch of the 42nd staging of the Milo Western Relays at the Holy Trinity Church in Montego Bay, yesterday.
Chairman of the organising committee, Ray Harvey (left), makes a point to World Championships bronze medallist and guest speaker Rushell Clayton (centre) and throws coach Julian Robinson at the launch of the 42nd staging of the Milo Western Relays at the Holy Trinity Church in Montego Bay, yesterday.

Western Bureau

Ray Harvey, chairman of the organising committee of the Milo Western Relays, said the absence of the synthetic track in Montego Bay has a negative effect on the development of the sport in western Jamaica.

Harvey was speaking at the press launch of the 42nd staging of the Milo Western Relays at the Holy Trinity Church in Montego Bay. For the second consecutive staging, the meet will be held at GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport in St Catherine on February 8.

“There is no question about it, we are losing ground. The fact that we don’t have our precious track, which is the catalyst for development. The sooner we get our track back, the quicker we will be able to get back on track and the rapid development triggers in again,” Harvey said.

“Our Minister of Sport made a statement a few months ago that she was going to move all stones to see that the track will be ready for next year, and I am just holding on to that very tight,” he added.

2019 World Championships 400m hurdles bronze medallist Rushell Clayton, who was the guest speaker, agreed that the absence of the track has its effect on the upcoming athletes and noted that she would like to see it repaired and in operation soon.

Clayton traced her journey back to the Milo Western Relays when she was at Frome Technical to her last high school year at Edwin Allen and her final outing, while at The University of the West Indies.

“I think it (lack of synthetic track) affects them a great deal. Most schools in western Jamaica don’t really have sponsorship and to travel all that way (to the Corporate Area) may be quite expensive. When it is being held at home it is easily accessible, so more students will get to compete from primary all the way up to high school level,” Clayton said.

“To compete at a different stadium outside of Kingston is really refreshing and also Montego Bay people are always coming out to support, so that energy that they give us is really amazing. I would like to see the track in Montego Bay back up and in operation,” she added.