$12m assistance for Trials welcomed - Gayle

June 18, 2021
Garth Gayle
Garth Gayle

Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA) president Garth Gayle says that the monetary assistance for the upcoming National Senior and Junior Championships will help to alleviate the expenditure that has already been incurred for this season.

The Sports Development Foundation presented a cheque to the JAAA for $12 million towards the staging of the championships at yesterday's event launch. The championships, also known as Trials, will begin on Thursday to determine the national senior and junior teams for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo Japan and World Under-20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.

Gayle said that the assistance is welcomed given the huge sums which have to be spent in hosting events during this pandemic-affected calendar.

Various qualification series

"We have spent more than $60 million for the various qualification series and so forth," Gayle told STAR Sports. "This assistance will go a far way in meeting our financial expenditures and expectations for our national senior and junior championships."

Among the various meets that have taken place so far this year is the Destiny Series which had been staged in collaboration with the Jamaica Olympic Association.

One of the major concerns, Organising Committee chairman Ludlow Watts said was the lack of preparation for the athletes this season and this led to meets such as the Destiny Series which has been a huge financial undertaking in the current climate.

"The biggest issue is that athletes did not get adequate preparation earlier this season in terms of competition and that is why we had to engage and (put on) the qualifying series (as well as) the Destiny Series," Watts said. "We realised that the athletes were very uncomfortable not knowing whether the Olympics were going to take place, also whether the championships were going to take place ..."

Watts said that being able to guarantee and stage the national championships was important for the athletes to give them peace of mind as they prepare for the Tokyo Games.

The Trials will run from June 24-27 at the National Stadium without fans in attendance.

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