Get (back) in the game, JamaicaTuesday, September 22, 2020
BY CAROLE BECKFORD
Sport in Jamaica is being forced to be innovative and creative, while still making sure the athletes compete at the highest levels locally.
When the first series of announcements came regarding postponements, and in some cases cancellations of events, fans were distraught. Later, some of us would come to our collective senses and realise we would all be at risk.
Since March 10 when Jamaica's first case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was announced, the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association, the Jamaica Football Federation, and Netball Jamaica were some of the organisations that had to adjust their schedules.
Since then, with the creation of the concept of a bubble in which athletes, officials, media and support staff can exist for up to six weeks with all protocols being observed, sport could return soon.
Well, I am hoping that it does.
Track and field competitions were held with only athletes and officials and streamed online, as led by the MVP Club, and so track and field athletes have had some exciting performances and some of those athletes are now away competing. We wish them well.
The point of this column though is to encourage sporting organisations like Netball Jamaica, Jamaica Basketball Association, Jamaica Football Federation, and Jamaica Cricket Association to put together a plan to host compact events that can allow efficiently scheduled competition for athletes, while securing their health and safety.
The opportunity I see here, is for a streaming package to be part of the game. Sport TV in Jamaica is lacking content and there is an investment opportunity for fans to see the next generation of athletes perform.
Several sporting bodies also have international schedules coming up and need to be competing. For instance, the World Cup qualifiers for football will start soon. The Reggae Boyz, looking to make another entry in this prestigious event, are way behind in preparation. The opportunity for the Premier League to be held must be a priority.
Truth is, the virus won't be going away any time soon and since we have to exist, let's plan to have sport in a (more) secure way.
Let's get (back) in the game!