JAAA, SDF partner for race series
Jamaica Athletics AdministrativeAssociation President Garth Gayle (Photo:Observer file)

THE Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has announced a partnership with the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) for the staging of four track and field meets from February to June.

The organisers say the JAAA/SDF Jubilee series is to assist athletes in preparation for major competitions scheduled for later this year.

The meets will offer attractive prize monies from a kitty of $1.6 million to the professional athletes in “premium” events, but juniors will also be encouraged to participate.

According to a release from the JAAA each staging will see 14 individual individual events, with four being designated as premium. The selected premium events for the first meet, set for this coming weekend of February 19th at the National Stadium, are the 400m for men and women and the discus for men and women.

“At the end of the premium events the top three finishers, providing they meet a set minimum standard, will earn a total of one hundred thousand dollars. Winners will receive $50,000, second will pocket $30,000 while third-place athletes will bank $20,000,” the release said.

“It's up to us to ensure that our athletes, especially those based locally, are given as much assistance as possible in their preparation,” JAAA President Garth Gayle was quoted as saying.

“We have limited resources but thanks to the SDF, who have decided to partner with us, we are able to offer some financial incentives.”

Denzil Wilks, general manager of the SDF, said his organisation is happy to play its part.

“Jamaica's standing in this sport is second to none. This speaks volumes of the organisation that runs the sport locally. The SDF has worked with the JAAA over the years and we have never been disappointed; we have always received value for money. This is just a continuation of that long-standing partnership,” he said.

Junior athletes will compete earlier in the day, between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm, before the start of the senior section, the release stated.

“No approval for spectators was granted for the first meet, with only athletes, officials and medical personnel to be allowed entry,” it added

Only one meet will be staged in February, with the other three scheduled between May and June.

— Paul A Reid

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