JAAA focused on protocol adherence at track meets this weekendSaturday, March 06, 2021
Buoyed by the successful staging of week one of their four-part Qualification Trial Series, the Jamaica Athletics Administration Association (JAAA) is looking to maintain strict adherence to the protocols that were posited and implemented to ensure the safe return of track and field to the island.
The JAAA has developed a strict code of protocols to ensure safe implementation of its calendar and other developmental meets in preparation for major Global Championships including the Olympic Games which will take place in Tokyo, Japan, starting in July.
President Garth Gayle, along with a highly proficient team, including three senior medical professionals, legal experts, athletes, former athletes, developed the protocols that have now been accepted by the authorising ministries and agencies.
“We proceed with caution, but also with an overwhelming sense of responsibility for the confidence the authorities have afforded us. Approval has been on a case-by-case basis and so we are highly appreciative of the opportunity for our athletes, both juniors and seniors, to perform.
“As the front-runners in this approval process we understand the enormity of the responsibility that we must assume, as this can have a catalytic effect on restart of other sports in the country.
“Given the proximity of the major championships, our job as an association is to facilitate and continue to enshrine the development of the sport that has brought the greatest accolades and brand recognition to our country and economy,” Gayle said.
In order to ensure smooth running of the meets, entries must be completed online no later than the Tuesday (at 5:00 pm) before the trial. All athletes must be entered with their correct date of birth to maintain data integrity. The first incorrect instance will be interpreted as a mistake, the second occurrence will be interpreted as an attempt to deceive and the athlete or the offending team's entry will be deleted.
The Performance List will be released by Wednesday for changes to be submitted by the following day (Thursday). Those changes will be regarded as the Final Declaration for the team. The heats will then be drawn and released the day before (Friday) the competition. Coaches should not enter an athlete in an event which they will not be competing in.
Signed COVID-19 Waivers must be submitted for each athlete to cover their participation in the entire series.
Where the number of entries is low, alternate lanes will be used as an extra level of precaution.
Throwing implements will be sanitised in between athletes and all field event athletes will be required to wear masks except when they are on the runway or in the throwing circle. Teams are encouraged to download a Team Manual from the JAAA ( http://trackandfieldjm.com/) or the JATAFCA ( http://jatafca.org/) website which details the protocols for each event.
Ignorance will not be accepted as a defence. Athletes and coaches must leave the venue immediately upon the completion of the session.
Only team essential persons will be admitted. Coaches and team managers will be issued passes based on the number of athletes registered. One pass for every eight athletes to a maximum of four passes per team (subject to review). The ratio excludes the COVID-19 Protocol Marshal.
An area is designated for team tents at all venues. All teams must use a tent and teams should make their own arrangements for tents. Having a tent is part of the COVID-19 protocol to maintain a controlled space.
Over 600 protocol marshals have been trained so far to ensure the understanding of and adherence to, the protocols by the participants, especially the younger athletes. This was done for the most part last weekend at the various meets and the JAAA is adamant that it must continue this weekend.
— Dwayne Richards
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