No Visa for 21
Twenty-one athletes from John Mills and Constant Spring Primary and Junior High Schools were recently denied US visas to compete at the Miami Classics, which will held at Miami Dade College in June.
Coaches from the affected the schools yesterday complained to STAR Sports that their athletes are devastated after they were denied visas by the United States Embassy in Kingston, recently.
"What I have asked the meet director from overseas to do is to get to the head consulate here because I think it is unfair and it is an injustice to the little ones," said John Mills coach, Ransford Spaulding.
"I think that when you have the youngsters training so hard, and they turn them down (at the Embassy), then it devastating for these kids," Spaulding said.
The Retirement Road-based John Mills has seen 14 of their athletes being denied visas so far, with another set to face the United States Consulate in the coming weeks.
"What I think that the consulate can do is to check with the organisation to see if these are bona fide athletes," Spaulding said.
He added: "I think about 14 athletes have been denied visas from my school. I think that our ministers of sports need to come forward and address this matter.
Nardia Hanson, coach of Constant Spring, said she is very disappointed that all her athletes who visited the embassy have been denied visas.
"All seven athletes that I have sent so far have been denied visas, and I have some more to go next week," said Hanson.
"I am truly disappointed and I really wish I could get a refund and not send the others next week," she said.
She added: "It has affected us badly because four students that went are on my relay team and these are athletes that I know could make it to the final in Miami," Hanson.
When contacted, Public affairs officer of the United States Embassy in Kingston, Joshua Polacheck, said the embassy does not comment on individual visa cases and he was not informed of the situation anyway.