Fri | Jan 22, 2021

IT ‘ISSA’ SHAME - Forbes feels forced out of secondary school sports governing body because of ‘personal feelings’

Published:Thursday | January 23, 2020 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Runners embark on their final lap in the Class Two Girls 800m final at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships (Champs) at the National Stadium on Saturday, March 30, 2019. Departing ISSA competitions director George Forbes was responsible for overseeing the smooth running of the five day event, as well as other secondary school sporting competitions organised by the governing body.

ISSA competition’s director George Forbes, who demits the position this April after 18 years of service, feels hard done by.

Forbes says that he is being forced to make his exit on a technicality because of what he believes are the ‘personal feelings’ of some of the association’s members. But he says he has more to offer the organisation and the continued improvement in the administration of secondary school sports.

“I will go off on [pre-retirement] leave at the end of April,” Forbes told The Gleaner. They say I am 60 now, so they have brought in the age thing. To be honest, I have mixed feelings because I have contributed significantly, but the last couple of years would not have been what I wanted them to be because of some personal reasons on some members’ part – and I have to include myself.

‘Time to move on’

Forbes continued: “Obviously, there is more I could have contributed but this is their stance that I am 60 now so it’s time to go. I have no problem with that. In everything in life, there comes a time when you have to move on. So I am going to work with what they say. I am not going to fight, but some things weren’t done right.”

Although the age of retirement was increased to from 60 to 65 years old on April 1, 2018, public officers employed before this date, and those who turned 60 during the transitional period after that date and wished to extend to their service until they are 65, will have to do so on the blessing of their employers.

“The last year, or so, I have not happy,” he said. “The satisfaction has not been there. I would have liked it to be done in a more amicable manner, but personal feelings came into the fore, and they have used age 60 as a means of getting me out. But nobody paid any attention to any age limit before. Mr [Fred] Green (former director) left when he was about 70. Mr [Walton] Small left when he was 62.”

Forbes says the organisation will remain in very good hands with ISSA president Keith Wellington at the helm, but says that there are not have enough people he describes as competent around him.

“They might think it is there, but it is not there,” Forbes said. “There are a lot of egos, and I just think some egos will have to be cooled, and the competence level has to improve.

Wellington, said he was unaware of the situation and refused to speak on the matter.

Forbes has served under three presidents at ISSA: Clement Radcliffe, Small, and Wellington, in that order. He says that he will now play a greater role as an executive of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association.