Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) president Keith Wellington has warned that organisers are running out of room to reschedule the Boys and Girls Championships with any further date adjustments risking potential cancellation.
The popular high school track and field meet was cancelled last year amidst the country’s efforts to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
One year later, Jamaica, however, remains in the thick of the battle with the COVID-19 virus and, for a time, the meet had looked uncertain to resume. However, following a decision by the government to resume sports on a case-by-case basis, with strict adherence to the infectious disease protocols, there is hope that athletes will be able to compete in this year’s event.
Originally, ISSA had set March 23-27 as the dates for Champs, but given uncertainty about the current situation, had May 4-8 as alternate dates. With the Jamaica International Invitational meet already set for May 8, however, the high school sports body set April 27-May 1 as the new date.
Following a recent surge in positive tests across the island, with 878 cases reported on Sunday, some have questioned whether the meet might once again be affected. With roughly seven weeks to go, however, Wellington has assured that the organisation is proceeding as planned.
“It’s difficult to plan an alternative now, given that students will be involved in exams four to six weeks after that. The exams go into the summer then there’s World Juniors and so on, so our focus right now is getting Champs off,”
Wellington said in a recent television interview.
“We have approximately seven weeks left. We are planning carefully, so we have to be measured about how fast and how deep we go into our planning, but we think once things are ok regarding the environment and COVID, we will be able to stage a successful Champs.”