Dacres plans to bridge gap between athletes, JAAA as committee member

Dacres plans to bridge gap between athletes, JAAA as committee member

Observer writer

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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Commonwealth record holder Fedrick Dacres has taken the step to getting into the administrative side of track and field and says that given his experience in leadership positions throughout his life, he would be a good advocate for his fellow athletes at the highest level.

The 26-year-old Commonwealth Games discus gold medallist is one of eight candidates who nominated unopposed as Committee Members who will form part of the executive of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) and his position will be confirmed at Saturday's annual general meeting (AGM) to be held at the National Arena.

In response to the question of why was he taking the step in the prime of his competitive career, the former Calabar High and University of the West Indies,Mona standout told the Jamaica Observer, “I never wanted age to be a factor in me actually getting into the administrative part of track and field, people normally start from being competitors but we all have a limited time so I decided OK I want to get into administration from now.”

Given he was still competing, Dacres, a former World Youth and World Junior champion, said it gave him a “first-hand point of view of what is going on with the athletes, what they need and what their cry is about”.

Dacres said one of the main reasons he decided to make the step into the boardroom was because of “a lack of intimacy” between the athletes and the administrators.

His being on the JAAA board, he said, would help to bridge that gap and give him the chance to advocate for his fellow athletes.

“I am pretty sure that I can so this,” he said. “This is my 10th year in track and field, I did four years as a junior and it has been six years as a senior and I have seen where what is needed and I always thought there was a lack of intimacy between those who are competing and the admin, so to have someone who is there who can advocate on their behalf, I can bridge that gap.”

Former sprinter Michael Frater, who will be returned unopposed as third vice-president he said, had occupied that position of being the bridge between the athletes and the board. “He started doing this when he retired, so I am still in my prime right now but I don't want to wait until I am leaving before I make my stance in the admin side of sports.”

This would not be his first stint in administration and he was positive he could do both at the same time. “It wont't be a big transition for me, I have held numerous leadership positions, I have been on councils, have been captain of national teams for a few years, I was captain of the team to the 2018 Commonwealth Games which was the largest contingent we ever had at any major championships.”

Dacres said leadership positions came naturally as “I have been a leader on halls at UWI,Mona and I am still an ambassador for the university, so this is a no-brainer really.”

Dacres admitted that not enough athletes were members of the federation. “Not many know they can be members of the JAAA but to be honest not many have shown the interest,” he said, pointing out that “it could have been highlighted more and I will definitely be trying to get the athletes to know their rights. I will be the voice of the athletes because I am an athlete myself and I will be in touch with everyone.”

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