Sun | Mar 7, 2021

Find a solution, save Champs – Bennett

Published:Sunday | March 15, 2020 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence - Gleaner Writer

Corey Bennett, coach of the powerful Hydel High School track-and-field team, has proposed measures that would allow the 2020 staging of Boys and Girls’ Championships to go ahead.

They include medical screening of all competitors.

Bennett made the suggestions on March 11 after news of the cancellation of Champs began to circulate.

“I think there are things they could have done,” he said at the UWI Invitational on the grounds of the UWI/Usain Bolt track in Mona.

“They could have got a medical report from each person to compete at Champs and if they’re not cleared by some medical report, then they can’t compete at Champs. Shut down the borders. Don’t allow any visitors to come to Champs this year. Who are out of the island, stay out for now, who remain in, stay in,” the coach enumerated.

“We’re hoping that this is not the end all to our Champs 2020 efforts and I’m really hoping and actually praying that all our efforts collectively will not be in vain,” he interceded.

Asked for his reaction to a March 11 decision to cancel Champs by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, main sponsor GraceKennedy and the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association, the organisers of Champs, he commented, “I don’t think they included the persons they should have included, who are the coaches of the schools and the kids. Who represented us, who represented our 6-7 months of hard work, who represented our collective millions of dollars spent?”

He was also open to having the meet he called a spectacle after the coronavirus threat had passed.

“I would support giving them the opportunity one way or another,” he replied. “Either way, give them a chance. There are persons on my team who were not able to run last year who are on the team this year, it’s their final year, give them a chance, I just believe that. Don’t rush to a decision.”

Bennett, whose Hydel charges placed a close second in the girls’ standing last year, also recommended education for the athletes on preventing the spread of the virus at Champs.