Wed | Jan 20, 2021

Blake welcomes training boost

Published:Tuesday | June 2, 2020 | 12:20 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer

President of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association, Dr Warren Blake, said it is very pleasing to see local athletes get the opportunity to go out and train in groups once again.

He added that he is now hopeful that World Athletics will be able to gradually resume competitions in the not-too-distant future, so the men and women of the sport can begin to start earning once more.

The Government reopened the Stadium East facility to national athletes for training, while some, including sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, have been given the approval to do their workout inside the National Stadium.

“They can now start doing some training again, and hopefully they will soon be able to start competing as World Athletic begins to gear up for a delayed season,” Blake said.

Local and international sports on a whole have been brought to a halt by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the cancellation and postponement of the many international events scheduled for 202, have had a severe impact on the psyche and earnings of the country’s many sporting representatives, both in track and field and other sports.

“Overall, it (lockdown) has been quite depressing for them (athletes) not to be able to fully train and not to be able to fully earn, so I think this will give them a sense of worth and that things are slowly getting back to some normality,” Blake continued.

“Some of the athletes have been having extreme (financial) difficulties and that is why I have repeatedly called for some assistance to be given to them. Our resources are limited, but the association is trying to do its best to assist them. But World Athletics is trying to open the season in July, so, hopefully, that will happen and that would signal the start to athletes starting to earn again,” he added.

World Athletics recently annouced a calendar for the Diamond League and Continental Tour series, which will see meets all around the world from August to October 2020.