Thu | Feb 9, 2023

Delay to next athletics season possible

Published:Thursday | September 30, 2021 | 12:12 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica College’s Kemarrio Bygrave (right) and his teammate, Khandale Frue (left), celebrate after finishing first and second, respectively, in the Class Two 800m final at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships at the National St
Jamaica College’s Kemarrio Bygrave (right) and his teammate, Khandale Frue (left), celebrate after finishing first and second, respectively, in the Class Two 800m final at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships at the National Stadium on Saturday, May 15. The five-day event was held without spectators this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) First Vice-President Ian Forbes said there is a possibility that the 2021-22 local track and field season will be off to another late start because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has caused 1...

Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) First Vice-President Ian Forbes said there is a possibility that the 2021-22 local track and field season will be off to another late start because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The virus has caused 1,859 deaths from a total of 83,342 cases in Jamaica as of yesterday.

The 2020-21 season, which would normally have started in December, was pushed back until March 2021 as the Government established COVID-19 containment measures to curb the virus.

Forbes said the JAAA is closely monitoring the situation.

“It is possible, but hopefully, we don’t have another spike,which could possibly put back events, and it all depends on what is happening with the pandemic,” he said. “We will have to be guided by what is happening with respect to the pandemic because that will directly influence whatever we do as we move forward.

APPLICATION MUST BE SUBMITTED

“The Disaster Risk Management regulations are in place, and it would affect gatherings and events, and we will have to be guided by that. Whatever is being proposed, an application will have to be submitted to the authorities for them to vet it and to ensure that they are satisfied that it can be carried out safely.”

When contacted yesterday, Ministry of Health and Wellness Permanent Secretary Dunstan Bryan told The Gleaner that the Government has not looked into the matter as yet but that it would be brought up at their next meeting.

Forbes is urging the athletes, officials, and spectators to get vaccinated as this is the only way that sporting events will be able to return in a safe environment.

“Everything pretty much comes back to the state of the affairs as far as the pandemic is concerned, and as you know, we are still in the midst of a spike, but we are hoping that moving forward, things will be easier, and we will have more persons vaccinated so that things can get back to some state of normalcy,” he said. “We have seen around the world the resumption of the sports, and we have seen full stadiums, and in some instances, fifty or sixty thousand people [in attendance], and in my understanding in those situations, persons who are given the privilege of attending are all fully vaccinated.

“We will most definitely love to have the fans, but I think that persons must be fully vaccinated before this can happen.”

robert.bailey@gleanerjm.com