JAAA pleased with record participation in virtual calendar conference

JAAA pleased with record participation in virtual calendar conference

Observer writer

Thursday, December 31, 2020

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The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) says it is pleased with the outcome of Monday's calendar conference that was held virtually for the very first time and which drew a record number of over 50 participants.

The event is usually held earlier in the year, but was pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic, and newly elected President Garth Gayle gave it two thumbs up and said all the objectives had been achieved.

Assistant Honourary Secretary Brian Smith, who directed proceedings during the discussions about the scheduling of the remainder of meets to be held in 2021, said given the success of the virtual meeting that route may be the way to go in the future.

Despite calls for the recent annual general meeting, the JAAA had staunchly refused to stage it and the voting virtually as outgoing President Dr Warren Blake had cast doubts about the veracity of the platforms.

In a post-conference interview on Monday, Smith said: “Things have changed and this is why we are having a virtual meeting, but I must say it has been very successful. Normally when we have our calendar conference and when we invite person to come in person we never have this amount of attendance, so I must say that this is a big plus for us and this might be the way going forward.”

A total of 57 persons participated in the conference, the purpose of which Smith explained.

“The calendar conference is very important as if you don't plan then it is a recipe for disaster. What we did today was to go through the calendar for next year 2021, and get a feedback from our stakeholders what they are expect of it,” he said.

Smith, a former vice-president of the JAAA and who also served a president of the softball association until earlier this year, said: “We are in a pandemic now and so what this does for us to is to ensure that meets don't overlap or interfere with others, that is really the basis of the calendar it seeks to get structure, that we can have meets at different intervals right through the year right up to the national trails in June when we will have out National trials for international championships.”

Gayle, who was the honourary secretary for 20 years before replacing Blake at the helm of the assocation, said all the boxes were ticked.

“Our team did fantastically well, all our objectives were met...based on the pandemic and the situation that we are faced with all our presenters were on point with their presentations. We will keep in touch with meet organisers as they are the life line of the development of the sport here in Jamaica,” he noted.

In his opening remarks to the conference, Gayle said that while there were challenges in 2020, there were also successes.

He urged all stakeholders to “keep up with established protocols as the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our way of operations and more so our lives”.

“Twnety-twenty has had its fair share of challenges and severely impacted the planned programme of activities, despite it all we have been able to stage meets in the summer and we had the Tyser Mills meet recently, this is undoubtedly an achievement for us and as we prepare for a smooth start in January 2021, I will be doing my utmost best to continue to work on your behalf,” Gayle ended.

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