Chief security organiser promises safe Champs
Edwin Allen High athletes and supporters celebrate winning the Girls' Athletics Championships inside the National Stadium in 2016. (Photo: Bryan Cummings)

Despite the country's removal of COVID-19-related restrictions, people entering the National Stadium for this year's Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships will be asked to sanitise and adhere to other safety protocols by the organisers of the meet.

The highly anticipated championships is scheduled to begin today and is to end Saturday.

Retired army Captain Astley Jones, the championships' chief security organiser, told the Jamaica Observer that the necessary steps are being taken to ensure the event is safe for everyone in attendance.

"Persons will be sanitising at [the] point of entry — because we are not totally disrespecting the COVID-19 possibilities — and so there will be some sanitisation entering the venue," said Jones.

"I want persons to come out and observe the protocols and instructions that are given to them at all times."

Jones noted that security will be tight at the venue during the five-day championships.

"We are planning for a large turnout. And by virtue of what I have been told so far, the ticket sales have been excellent and so our security team will be out in their numbers at all entry points at the National Stadium," he said.

"All I want is for people to just come and behave themselves because there are certain things that you are not allowed to take into the venue like a pointed umbrella, no knives, no guns, no cigarettes and no lighters," Jones pointed out.

"This is a high school event and it is no-smoking event and so persons must remember that when coming into the venue for the championships because we will be having our security [personnel] patrolling the space throughout the championships," he stated.

The tough-talking Jones, a former member of the Jamaica Defence Force, said online tickets will be properly vetted at the gates.

"The police will be out in their numbers because we are going to have more this year at each gate and point of entry in case persons come to the gate and... [if their online] ticket is scanned already then they are not going to be allowed entry into the venue. The gates have been prepared to have those people extracted from the venue," Jones pointed out.

BY ROBERT BAILEY Staff reporter

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