ISSA pressing ahead with plans to stage Champs next year


ISSA pressing ahead with plans to stage Champs next year

Sunday, September 20, 2020

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The Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) is pushing ahead with plans to stage the annual Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships next year after the cancellation of the 2020 edition.

The organising body of high school sport has asked coaches to submit suggestions as to how they can do so safely and within government restrictions in a COVID-19 reality.

Champs was forced to be cancelled in March after the first person was found to have had the highly contagious virus in Jamaica. Consequently, ISSA also cancelled all sports for the Christmas term, including the popular schoolboys football season.

In an e-mail to coaches from Richard Thompson, the principal of Titchfield High and the new chairman of the Champs Committee, the organising body asked each of the various regions to meet and discuss ideas then get back to them by October 2.

“As you are most likely aware, ISSA has cancelled all ISSA competitions scheduled for the 2020 Christmas term, this decision, however, does not by itself have any impact on the staging of the 2021 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Championships,” the e-mail read.

“However, the national COVID-19 protocols dictate that if Champs 2021 is to be a reality, then adjustments may have to be made to the general structure and scheduling of the meet. These changes could possibly have implications for the numbers of athletes, classes, events and days of Champs 2021.”

ISSA suggested that the regions — western, central, eastern and Corporate Area — “meet virtually amongst themselves and discuss possible suggestions as to what the 2021 ISSA/GraceKennedy Champs may look like in the context of COVID-19” and then submit their suggestions to ISSA who will then table all the suggestions at their initial virtual meeting with the organising committee.

The high school sports organising committee had taken a similar approach to the schoolboy football season with consultations, starting from as early as May and had sent in a proposal to the Ministry of Health with the intention of starting the season in late October.

However, the recent steep rise in coronavirus cases had forced ISSA to cancel all sports in the Christmas term, including also basketball, netball and swimming.

— Paul Reid

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