ISSA unable to help schools – Wellington
President of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA), Keith Wellington, says that the organisation is not in a position to provide funds to schools to offset losses incurred due to the cancellation of events because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The high-school sporting scene has been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with several events and competitions, such as the extremely popular Boys and Girls? Athletics Championships, being cancelled by the organisers.
Wellington, when asked if there would be any monetary support for schools that had already spent towards the execution of their respective programmes and competitions, said that any support would have to come from elsewhere.
"I think that it is unlikely that we will see funds going directly to our schools or athletes from ISSA or the Government. Where I think schools are likely to get support is actually from their other interest groups, their past students association or individual schools that have sponsors," Wellington said.
"Our high-school sports are strictly amateur sports and, therefore, schools are encouraged to spend only what they are able to afford. Some schools are able to afford more than others because of the support they get from external stakeholders," added Wellington.
Competitions that had been active up to March 12 were suspended because of the local outbreak, while other competitions, such as under-14 cricket, under-14 basketball and netball tournaments, which were yet to start, were eventually cancelled.
Wellington noted that there are challenges to help schools that may need assistance because not enough cash has been generated after covering expenses to host the events.
"(From) ISSA's perspective, we do not generate enough funding to allow us to provide cash to our member schools, especially where we are unable to stage our competitions, because all our funding comes from sponsorship and gate receipts for our competitions," said Wellington. "Right now, those sponsorship amounts are restricted to what we get for cricket, football and track and field, which, in turn, has to be spread across all the different sports."
"We are able to, each year, properly fund these events but not carry over enough monies across years so that we will able to have monies to do that."