Sat | Nov 28, 2020

Coaches submit Champs suggestions

Published:Wednesday | October 21, 2020 | 12:14 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer

The nation’s track and field coaches have presented a proposal for the staging of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships next year.

The proposal follows meetings held by the Jamaica Track and Field Coaches Association and presents several approaches designed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus to athletes, officials and other participants. These include the separation of Boys Championships from Girls Championships and the elimination of spectator attendance.

The proposal is the result of meetings held by the coaches on September 26 and 29, led by the association’s President David Riley, who coaches at Excelsior High School.

It recommends the adoption of the COVID-19 protocols as seen at the recent Velocity Fest series of meets here in Jamaica. These protocols include sanitising starting blocks, batons, landing pits, implements and the wearing of masks by officials.

In addition, to reduce traffic in and around the National Stadium, the coaches recommend that the two championships be held separately as four-day events a week apart. In the event where that suggestion is not accepted, the coaches suggest that the meet be held over six days, with boys and girls competing on alternate days.

The proposal also lists the possibility of spreading Boys and Girls Championships from the existing schedule to six days, from Monday to Saturday, to reduce the COVID-19 risk.

With either format, spectators will be encouraged to watch the event from their homes, either on television or via the Internet.

To ensure sufficient training time, the proposal recommends moving Champs from its late March date the third week in April, with regional qualifying meets set for March and April.