Mon | Dec 4, 2023

Gayle bats for more NACAC competitions

Published:Sunday | August 13, 2023 | 12:10 AMDaniel Wheeler - Staff Reporter

New NACAC vice-president, Garth Gayle.
New NACAC vice-president, Garth Gayle.

JAMAICA ATHLETIC Administrative Association (JAAA) president Garth Gayle says better freedom of movement for athletes, increased partnerships and competition are just two things he is hoping to implement in his new role as North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) vice-president.

Gayle was voted to the position in June during the NACAC Under-20 Championships in Costa Rica.

It was a trip not without challenges, as visa issues resulted in a number of the athletes being unable to participate.

It was one of the things that Gayle said he hopes to address as a member of the board.

“I want to improve the playing field, or rather, the opportunities. We do very well in athletics but the immigration requirements for Jamaicans are very difficult. So I believe we must put measures in place as the NACAC governing body to make the movement of our athletes and officials similar to the CARICOM market, free. We need to advocate that each of the territories that have agreed to take on the management of a championships have that as the forefront of their minds,” Gayle told The Sunday Gleaner.

“We benefit from that at the Carifta Games. We have no issues moving our athletes to any of the Caribbean territories to compete at Carifta.”

In addition to more partnerships to bring in revenue, he hopes for increased competition for both juniors as well as elite athletes.

“We need more competition, competition for our juniors and competition for our elite athletes here in the region. So the circuit is also another aspect to which I will be working with the new executive to ensure we have more events within the region for our athletes, rather than them having to go all over Europe,” Gayle said.

His manifesto comes as he is also in contention of being elected to the World Athletics Council. The elections will be held next Thursday in Budapest, two days before the World Championships.

While acknowledging how competitive the race for one of the five designated spots will be, Gayle says he stands a chance of winning.

“It is not going to be easy because of the numbers game. It is going to be only five male spots available, and there are 13 candidates. But I believe I ought to be one of the five and so I am pushing ahead,” Gayle said.