IAAF honours Champs and Carifta Games with World Athletics Heritage Plaque

Friday, April 26, 2019

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THE Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships, or Champs, was honoured by the world governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Champs and the just concluded regional Carifta Games are the latest recipients of the IAAF World Athletics Heritage Plaque, it was announced by IAAF President Sebastian Coe in a press release.

“I am delighted to announce the award of the IAAF World Athletics Heritage Plaque to two internationally famous youth and junior competitions in the NACAC area,” Coe, who won four Olympic medals including gold at the Olympics in 1980 and 1984, was quoted as saying.

He continued: “They are the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships, Jamaica and the CARIFTA Games.

“Many congratulations to the Jamaican schools and CARIFTA Games, your historic contribution to the development of athletics is unquestionable,” said Coe, who was at the CARIFTA Games and visited Champs on a number of occasions.

The IAAF World Athletics Heritage Plaque is a location-based recognition which highlights, celebrates and links together iconic and historic athletics competitions, careers, performances, cities, venues, landmarks and culture around the world.”

Champs, the world renown high school competition, has been around since 1910 and has produced the likes of Arthur Wint, Herb McKenley, Donald Quarrie, Merlene Ottey, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Melaine Walker, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson and the greatest athlete of all time — Usain Bolt.

Outgoing president of ISSA, Dr Walton Small, in response to the announcement, said: “We are honoured and humbled to be the recipient of this prestigious award.”

“In this the 109th year of the staging of the event, this is an awesome achievement. As an organisation of high school principals we are gratified for the recognition by the IAAF,” Small noted.

“We dedicate the award to the thousands of athletes, coaches, school communities, Jamaican fans and sponsors who have made Champs possible throughout the years,” he ended.

- Howard Walker

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