The 2021 staging of the Milo Western Relays has been cancelled as a consequence of logistical challenges and the continued menace of the coronavirus illness, in line with meet director, Ray Harvey.
That is the primary time since its inception in 1978 that the meet is not going to be held.
Regardless of being doubtful for the final two stagings as a result of poor situation of the artificial monitor on the Montego Bay Sports activities Advanced, the relay carnival discovered refuge at G.C. Foster School in St. Catherine.
Nevertheless, Harvey, who admitted that organisers didn’t even get so far as submitting a proposal to the Ministry of Well being and Wellness, instructed The Gleaner that the challenges of staging the meet in St Catherine, coupled with the dynamics offered by the pandemic, led to this yr’s cancellation.
“The relocation of the meet from Montego Bay to G.C. Foster School is unbelievably troublesome underneath regular circumstances, so within the time of COVID-19, the place we must spend per week in St. Catherine, we don’t have that form of time. If it was right here in Montego Bay, we might do what was essential to attempt to fulfil the protocols,” mentioned Harvey.
“This resolution is simply due to well being circumstances. Over time, we might have overcome all the pieces else. We ran the meet when there was solely the monitor, no gentle, no water, no stadium facility. We ran the meet even once we needed to go to G.C. Foster School,” added Harvey, who famous that the supply of the monitor in Montego Bay will go a great distance in figuring out whether or not or not the meet will return subsequent yr.
“If we now have the monitor subsequent yr, COVID-19 or no COVID-19, we will do it. If the monitor isn’t mounted, then I don’t know. It should rely on what COVID will probably be like at that time,” Harvey mentioned.
AFFECTING LOCAL ATHLETES
Machell Woolery, coach of Petersfield Excessive Faculty, describes the cancellation as a giant blow to trace and area regionally.
“Numerous prime golf equipment, in addition to excessive colleges, compete on the meet as part of their preparation in the direction of Champs or World Championship occasions. Not having the Milo Western Relays is an actual dent within the monitor and area season. We solely have two relay carnivals in Jamaica, in Milo and Gibson Relays, so not having one will probably be a problem. And likewise it’s a qualifying meet for Champs,” Woolery identified.
“It is a huge blow, particularly for me, as one of many colleges which were getting ready for Champs and worldwide occasions, whether or not or not it’s CARIFTA or World Juniors. It will likely be a problem to seek out high quality meets to carry out at close by,” he added.
Roderick Myles, coach of Rusea’s Excessive Faculty, additionally vented his frustration after listening to the information, noting that not having the ability to have high quality meets within the area may have a harmful affect on monitor and area programmes within the west.
“The area has performed a lot for the game, and we now have to endure essentially the most. COVID-19 is simply highlighting the necessity for a (artificial) monitor so we will have meets within the west. Each time we now have to journey to Kingston, which we should do, it would price $90,000 and to not point out staying over and different issues,” Myles mentioned.