'Still Waiting'

Regional

'Still Waiting'

ISSA remains positive as it awaits Gov't's decision on sports for Christmas term

BY PAUL A REID
Observer West writer
reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, August 13, 2020

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MONTEGO BAY, St James -The Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) is still awaiting the go ahead from the Government to find out whether it will sanction sports after schools reopen in September for the Christmas.

ISSA has said that the resumption of competitions would only happen “if, and when, it is safe to do so”.

The resumption of sports has been in doubt since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that ruled out a number of events, including the ISSA Boys' and Girls' Championships in March, as well as cricket, and schoolgirls' football and basketball.

ISSA has been in consultation with their various stakeholders since May, however, and are still positive that sports can be played, and has given themselves a deadline of “no later than mid-September as to whether or not we will stage any competition during the Christmas term of the new school year”.

In a release last week, ISSA said, “the significant majority of our stakeholders /partners, including sponsors and the ministries of education and health, have expressed support for our plans to resume competitions, should it be deemed safe for us to do so at the proposed time.

“Although we have shared our plans and protocol documents with the ministries of education and health as well as engaged them verbally on same, we are yet to receive written permission confirming their approval and support which they have verbally expressed,” said the statement.

ISSA wants to restart sports in mid-October with netball, boys' basketball and Under- 16 football, before starting the popular daCosta Cup and Manning Cup competitions in late October. It also wants to stage the one-day swimming championships in November.

ISSA had proposed a stripped- down format for the schoolboys' football competitions that would end on December 19, and would see games being played at centralised locations that can offer sanitisation, security and other COVID-19 protocols.

“The executive continues to be mindful of the fluidity of issues relating to the spread of COVID-19 and the inherent risks that may be involved with engaging students for training and competition.

As a result, while we will continue to engage our stakeholders and make plans for the resumption of competitions, if and when it is safe to do so, we are encouraging principals to carefully assess the current circumstances and make a determination as to their individual school's capabilities of engaging students in training activities at this time.

“Any such assessment must be aligned to our draft protocol document as well as related guidelines previously shared with schools.”


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