Still waiting ...JAAA wants response from Govt on hosting World Relays

May 19, 2018
File Jamari Rose collects the baton from Natoya Goule in the mixed 4x400m relay finals at the 2017 World Relays in the Bahamas.

Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) president, Dr Warren Blake, said the body is yet to receive a response from the Government regarding its proposal to host the IAAF World Relays.

Blake said following recent comments from Sports Minister Olivia 'Babsy' Grange that there is intent to host more international athletic events in Jamaica, the JAAA remains very hopeful and optimistic that it will get the 'positive' response. He anticipates a number of other benefits that will come directly to the nation from this massive international event.

"We are in full support. It is just for the Government to say yes they will back the JAAA to host it," he said.

"We have sent (a request) to the Government and we are waiting on their response and we are hoping they will respond positively, as it wouldn't diminish our stated intent to host international meets here. But I can't say (anything on the subject), the Government needs to say something to show that they back the idea," he said.

He also believes hosting the relays would be valuable to the nation in many ways. "It would take Jamaica's name to the world as it would be broadcast internationally, plus the tourism spill-off would be phenomenal and it could lead to a positive growth in tourism industry.

"It is one of the major global meets and it would be good to host it. We are the second strongest relay nation, so it would be good to have this spectacle in our backyard. They (local athletes) would get a positive feel, it would encourage them positively, as they would see they can compete internationally and it would be motivating to perform in front of their home crowd on an international stage," he said.

Recently, IAAF spokesman Yannis Nikolaou confirmed Jamaica was interested in hosting the 2020 World Under-20 Championships, while noting that the sport's governing body would love to see Jamaica as host for such an event. Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations president, Rosamunde Carey, said she thinks Jamaica would make a perfect host for the World Relays. "Jamaica is our sister country and they have been known to host international meets, and so hosting the World Relays would not be a stretch," she said.

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