Late registration depletes St Jago
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
They finished in sixth position in the boys' section last year, but St Jago's ambitions of improving on that performance at next week's Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships at the National Stadium suffered a massive blow after some 10 athletes were not registered in time.
George Forbes, ISSA's competitions officer, confirmed to The Gleaner early yesterday that officials at St Jago failed to meet the deadline for the submission of completed registration forms for '10 to 13' male athletes and, as a result, will have to do without them at this year's championships.
Forbes, who stated clearly that the rules and regulations of the competition are well documented and without compromise, explained the situation and underlined that the Spanish Town-based institution, which ended on 120.5 points last year, had more than enough time to get their athletes properly registered.
"The form is due on the 16th and 17th of February," said Forbes. "On the submission of these forms, there must also be the birth certificate, grades and attendance records of the athletes.
"If this is not done in time, there is an additional 48 hours where you are allowed to make the adjustments," Forbes continued. "St Jago did not bring in their forms until two weeks after the closing date, so as a consequence of that they (affected athletes) are out."
According to Forbes, the affected athletes were from classes one, two and three.
Forbes also pointed out that the registration of the school's female athletes went by without any issues.
"The female forms were perfect. If you are a teacher marking then the St Jago female team registration process would get 100 per cent, so it begs the question, why at the same school entries from one team were perfect and the other had so many problems?" Forbes queried rhetorically, before expressing disappointment that this problem persists.
Last year, St George's College and eight other schools were barred from participating at Champs because of similar registration issues.
"Our mantra is for everybody to participate, but at the same time there are rules and regulations that everyone must adhere to regardless," said Forbes. "We have gone through all the forms since January, we went over all the rules and regulations during our planning meetings, so I don't know how we end up here every year."
Several efforts to contact officials by phone at St Jago High proved futile.