ISSA targets Champs improvements

August 30, 2018
Jhevaughn Matherson (right) of Kingston College and friend Tyreke Wilson from Calabar share a laugh during the Class One boys 100m heats at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships in March.

The local schoolboy football season is a mere week and a half away but the governing body for high school sport is already planning ahead to the 2019 staging of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships.

The Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) is looking to help new coaches and aims to make the National Stadium's East Field more comfortable for student-athletes. Colleen Montague, chair of the ISSA Championship planning committee, says that will be its main thrust.

Montague expects that an October meeting with coaches will review the 2018 staging and give additional direction to the work of the planning committee.

"In terms of the experience for the students, we're still in the planning stage but we want to make Stadium East have an Athletes Village", she proposed at her Wolmer's Girls School office in Kingston on August 23.

"We're also looking at the possibilities, which we're going into discussions with sponsors and looking into our budget also, to see how we can best provide meals for the students even for the first two days of the Championships, the teams themselves, that we provide for their needs and making sure that every child, every coach, every part of the management team is provided for and well fed," she added.

Those initiatives are foremost on the committee's 2019 Champs agenda.

"The fans, I think, we have basically covered a lot for them in terms of the final event, the final day", she inferred with possible reference in part to a spectacular post Champs light show and concert which have been well received by patrons. "We're trying to ensure it runs smoothly but really we are trying to focus on the students' (student athletes) experience and making sure we provide more for them."

On the cards is a pre-Champs workshop that will help to guide coaches through the track and field season.

"We recognise that several of the them (coaches) are not graduates of any of the colleges, they are pre-trained coaches, so to speak so we're trying to give them some information they can work with," said Montague.

The Champs chairperson also hopes to pair newcomer coaches with veterans to help them deal with the burgeoning scale of the event.

"You'd like to provide some mentor-ship and assign them possibly to older, more experienced coaches so that they can get their mentor-ship as against just a booklet that indicates what you ought to do", said Montague.

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