Run down! - JAAA president blasts JISA for hosting meet on unfit track

April 05, 2019
Blake
Blake
Soares
Soares
Nataniel Gibbs (right), formerly of Corinaldi Primary School, wins ahead of Rackeem Grizzle, formerly of Barracks Road Primary School, in the 200m final at the Western Primary School Championships at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Catherine Hall, St James last June. File
Nataniel Gibbs (right), formerly of Corinaldi Primary School, wins ahead of Rackeem Grizzle, formerly of Barracks Road Primary School, in the 200m final at the Western Primary School Championships at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Catherine Hall, St James last June. File
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Despite the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) ruling the running track at the Montego Bay Sports Complex (MBSC) in Catherine Hall, St James, unfit for competition, it hosted the Jamaica Independent Schools Association (JISA) Invitational Friendship Meet yesterday. It was an event that saw 20 preparatory schools participating.

In their defence, Courtland Soares, a member of the organising committee for the meet, said the event is on the JAAA's calendar and there were no other options for venues, as the MBSC is the only all-weather track in Western Jamaica. He said that it poses no harm to the children competing.

"The fact of the matter is that there is no denying that the running surface is in a very bad condition," Soares told STAR Sports. "However, we need to distinguish the force effect of the youngsters running on the track as opposed to adult athletes. (It is a) Very, very big difference in weight and the forces of energy when they are exerting their energy to run. As it stands now, there is a very slight risk of this age group having injuries from the condition of the track," Soares said.

JAAA president Dr Warren Blake said the body has declared the track unsafe for competition to all, regardless of age or nature of competition.

"I don't know if this competition is one that is recognised, but we wouldn't have given any recognition for any competition on that track," said Blake.

Blake, who is also a medical doctor and as a sports medicine specialist, continued to take aim at the persons with responsibility for the complex who gave the clearance to JISA for the meet. The complex is in the hands of the St James Municipal Corporation.

"If we have certified the track unfit, the people who are responsible for the facility should not have given permission to anybody to run on the track," he said. "We can just hope that the Ministry sees it fit to hurry up with the work on the track, because we have been assured that it will be ready for the next track and field season. We are hoping that the work will get under way."

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