Tue | Sep 22, 2020

JAAA must make plans for juniors, says Blake

Published:Tuesday | September 8, 2020 | 12:26 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter

Outgoing president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), Dr Warren Blake, says the federation should look to orchestrate a plan to keep junior athletes competitive next season.

This, as the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) contemplates cancelling all sporting activities for the 2020-21 school year.

The JAAA has, for a very long time, worked with ISSA to formulate the high school athletics season as it facilitates development of the nation’s athletic talents.

However, with the high school sports association already forced to cancel activities scheduled for the Christmas term because of the steady rise in the number of coronavirus cases, Blake and those who are likely to succeed him in the presidency will have to devise a plan to have athletic meets which are not centred around inter-school competitions.

“We can’t force ISSA to have school sports and if they cancel the season, it will have an impact on us,” Blake explained. “It is something that we will have to examine in order to keep the youngsters competitive because we have international competition next year.”

The World Under-20 Championship slated for Nairobi, Kenya, had to be rescheduled for 2021 because of the outbreak of COVID-19.

The event was among a series of athletic meets, including the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships and the Carifta Games, that student-athletes had to miss this year because of the virus.

“Like how the Government is finding ways for students to continue to learn, we have to also find ways to keep the athletes competitive,” Blake added.

The JAAA president announced a few weeks ago that he will be stepping down at the next annual general meeting, set for later this year.