The work begins now – Gayle
GARTH Gayle is the new president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), after crossing the line well in front, in a resounding victory over Jamaican sprinting great Donald Quarrie by 236 to 28 votes at yesterday’s annual general meeting at the National Arena. Gayle claimed 89 per cent of the available votes, on what, as expected, turned out to be a good day for the members of the former long-serving honorary secretary’s slate of candidates.
Nonetheless, the Charlemont High School principal, in outlining the short-term objectives of the administration, extended the olive branch to Quarrie, in a promise of running an inclusive organisation.
“I am very elated that the delegates have given me this resounding win today (yesterday). We now have to meet immediately to put our team together. We have a lot to do, to begin the work put forward in our manifesto. We have a lot to do as we have the pandemic and we need to get the sport back on track,” said Gayle. “I am here to work with anyone who is willing to work on behalf of track and field and Jamaica.”
Marie Tavares, who served for years as assistant secretary, was promoted to honorary secretary, becoming the first woman to hold that post in the history of the organisation. She defeated Anthony Davis 210 to 50 votes.
Tavares’ replacement as assistant secretary, Brian Smith, a former vice-president of the body, is the only newcomer to the ‘old’ executive, with Ian Forbes (first vice-president), Lincoln Eatmon (second vice-president), Michael Frater (third vice-president), Vilma Charlton (fourth vice-president) and Ludlow Watts (treasurer) were all returned unopposed.
In the other contested position, Leroy Cooke held on to the director of records post after getting the better of Wayne Long 135-121.
FAR FROM OPTIMISTIC
Meanwhile, Quarrie seemed far from optimistic about the future of Jamaica’s track and field programme under the elected administration.
“I am feeling fantastic despite things not going as expected. The main thing is I go by what I said earlier and hope most of it will sink in eventually to the members, coaches and athletes. I am looking on the development of the future for the youngsters. My goal was to make a difference and in a couple years it will come, as we may be forced to, and when that change comes, people would say it could have been a bit earlier,” said Quarrie.
Outgoing JAAA president Dr Warren Blake was more positive in his outlook, as he believes Gayle’s experience will serve him and the programme well.
“It was a convincing victory for Garth (Gayle). Garth has a wealth of knowledge to bring to track and field as he has served on the IAAF Technical Committee for many years and he has also served as chairman of the NACAC Commission. He is well known internationally and he will do wonders for Jamaica’s track and field, as he is also a good administrator,” Blake said.
There were 261 registered individual voters and 34 clubs.
President - Garth Gayle
First Vice president - Ian Forbes
Second Vice President- Lincoln Eatmon
Third Vice President - Michael Frater
Fourth Vice President - Vilma Charlton
Director of Records - Leroy Cooke
Treasurer - Ludlow Watts
Honorary Secretary - Marie Tavares
Assistant Secretary - Brian Smith
Julette Parkes Livermore