Sun | Jun 20, 2021

Independence Park tightening measures for Champs

Published:Friday | May 7, 2021 | 12:24 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Holmwood Technical High School’s Taj Ham wins the Class Two Boys’ 400m final at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships at the National Stadium on Saturday, March 30, 2019.
Holmwood Technical High School’s Taj Ham wins the Class Two Boys’ 400m final at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships at the National Stadium on Saturday, March 30, 2019.
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General Manager of Independence Park Limited General Manager Major Desmon Brown says that despite there being no spectators at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships next week, they are leaving nothing to chance regarding...

General Manager of Independence Park Limited General Manager Major Desmon Brown says that despite there being no spectators at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships next week, they are leaving nothing to chance regarding security.

Brown says that all the COVID-19 protocols will be adhered to over the five days (May 11-15) of Champs at the National Stadium as well.

“We are ready based on the information that we have because we will be having a final walk- through with ISSA on Friday morning,” Brown said.

“We will be double checking to ensure that everything is in place and all the equipment is also in place and to make sure that we are ready and everybody understands what they are supposed to do.

“We don’t have any problems with ISSA because they understand the importance of the regulations, so it is for us just to monitor things just in case something slips. We have to make sure that the proper protocols are followed and people are adhering to social distancing and there is no congregation of the athletes after the events.” Organising Committee Chairman Richard Thompson describes the security arrangements as “robust”.

NO-SPECTATOR EVENTS

“I can say the job this year is not to keep people in, and for them to be orderly, but to keep them out, so we have to put adequate security to ensure that there remains a no-spectator events, so private security and the police will be in place at the meet,” he said at the virtual launch yesterday.

“We are keen to ensure that the protocols are observed in terms of transportation, in terms of competition, so we are confident that with the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test (for COVID-19), which we have been told by the experts is the most reliable test, we should be fine with one test.”

Champs is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday, then from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, the final day.

The event will be scaled down to just 700 athletes participating this year because of the pandemic.

robert.bailey@gleanerjm.com