COVID forces cancellation of Milo Western Relays

COVID forces cancellation of Milo Western Relays

Thursday, January 28, 2021

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — The Milo Western Relay's 42 years of continuous staging will be broken after the organisers announced yesterday they were cancelling this year's staging set for February 13 at G C Foster College of Physical Education & Sport in Angels, St Catherine.

The cancellation came out of concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

The event that started in 1978 at Cornwall College, and was run on grass until 2003 when it was relocated to the Mondo track at Montego Bay Sports Complex, had been a regular fixture on the local track and field calendar and had attracted the top high schools, colleges and club teams in the island.

The Milo Western Relays is the first major meet to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic after all 13 local meets that were scheduled for January were called off and a number are expected to be rescheduled.

There are hopes, however, that track and field meets will resume in February following Tuesday's announcement in Parliament by Prime Minister Andrew Holness that sports will resume on a phased basis soon.

In a release sent out yesterday, Ray Harvey, meet director for Western Relays, said the decision was “a hard and painful” one but “it was the right decision at this time”.

Because of the unavailability of the track at Montego Bay Sports Complex the one-day meet had been moved to G C Foster College of Physical Education & Sport, and the organisers said that along with the protocols that had been proposed by the Government, it had put undue pressures on the organisers.

The release read additionally that, “After an extensive examination of the current state of COVID-19 in the country and discussions with title sponsor Milo, the decision was taken to cancel this year's staging of the meet in the interest of the health and safety of all stakeholders.”

Harvey added that he was looking “forward to being able to stage the meet at its scheduled [time] for the second Saturday of February in 2022”.

“[We] look forward to staging the meet on the refurbished track at the home of Milo Western Relays – the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Catherine Hall,” he said.

— Paul Reid

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