The Inter-Secondary Colleges Sports activities Affiliation (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Ladies’ Athletics Championships is broadly known as the best highschool track-and-field meet on the earth.
It’s so dubbed as a result of unimaginable variety of excellent Olympians to have emerged from the over century-old occasion, popularly referred to as ‘Champs’.
However even because the meet has spawned quite a few world-beaters, many are satisfied that its method of development has had an equally debilitating impact on many athletes over time. It is a matter that has sparked many public debates however has typically been quietened by the powers that be, who consider that if it isn’t damaged there isn’t any want to repair it.
The main level of competition has at all times been the workload positioned on the athletes. And, even because the native governing physique the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Affiliation (JAAA) has intervened, many consider it has not executed sufficient to considerably clear up the issue.
The issue is that the JAAA had mandated that athletes take part in not more than two particular person occasions and two relay occasions. However many sprinters, significantly these at colleges severely vying for championship honors, would contest the 100m semis and finals on Friday night time, then the 200m closing on Saturday, adopted by the 4x100m and 4x400m relays.
On the finish of the night time many of those athletes can be exhausted, and the long-term results way more vital.
Some years in the past, a suggestion was made to the authorities chargeable for Champs to mannequin the meet after the schedule seen on the worldwide scene. It was thought that the transformed schedule can be extra athlete and spectator-friendly, however the ISSA officers didn’t budge and caught to their grueling schedule.
It’s typically stated that typically good issues emerge from dangerous conditions, and COVID-19 might have unintentionally been a saving grace. For this 12 months’s version of Champs, which began on Tuesday and can finish on Saturday, main modifications have been made to the schedule.
For starters, 16 finals had been contested on the primary day Tuesday, an unprecedented transfer. By some means, the authorities now consider that this schedule will probably be extra athlete-friendly as a result of interruptions brought on by COVID-19. We preserve that with or with out the COVID-19 influence, an effort ought to have been made way back in the very best curiosity of the athletes.
The brand new schedule has 16 finals on Tuesday, 5 on Wednesday, 18 on Thursday together with all 100m occasions, 11 on Friday together with all 400m hurdle occasions, and the remainder of the totaling 37 on Saturday. That, I dare say, represents aid and friendliness to the opponents.
It’s lengthy overdue. However, as they are saying, it’s higher late than by no means. We solely hope the authorities don’t revert to the previous schedule post-COVID-19.