Aris: We have done well
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
President of the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA) Howard Aris is quite satisfied with the work that his administration has managed to successfully undertake over the past 12 months, but is cognisant that there is still a lot more to done.
Aris pointed to the continued achievements of the island's junior athletes, the successes of the senior programme as well as the administrative developments, as signs that the organisation is moving in the right direction. He was, however, quick to point out that a lot is left to be done and expects that further strides will be made in the coming months.
Aris and his team have embarked on an ambitious project to fully capitalise, especially from a commercial standpoint, on the successes of the country's athletic programmes. To this end, they have secured a couple important partnerships with international entities IEC, which will feed the upcoming JN International Invitational and Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships to over 20 countries across the world, and marketing outlet Octagon, which will be marketing the association and Jamaican teams across the globe.
"Looking ahead to next year, we laid the foundation in improving our status in terms of the JN International Invitational Meet," Aris added, in reference to the May 7, 2011 meet which has been upgraded by the IAAF to World Challenge status, just one tier below the lucrative Diamond League. "We also provided licensing rights to IEC, from Stockholm, Sweden, so that the Invitational meet and our National Trials can be carried live worldwide, and that's a first in Jamaica."
Areas of concern
The much-vaunted administrator did, however, highlight a few areas that he believes must be addressed in earnest come 2011, among them the improved training of coaches and a further popularisation of the sport at all levels in Jamaica. He also pointed to the JAAA's website as a sore point and informed that work will be done to transform that into an effective, revenue-earning space.
"We still have to keep improving the training of coaches and officials through our IAAF-sponsored programmes. We also have to try and generate more interest in track and field in Jamaica. We have to implore our local companies to see how they can partner in us, not only to showcase their products but to also aid in that development," said Aris.
"Fundamentally also, we have to continue to improve our website. It is not where we want it to be, and it is one of the areas that we hope to be able to generate additional income and provide information for all the stakeholders involved. We are working on it and, hopefully, we will see some positive result soon," he closed.