Transparency, Consistency and Management skills these are just few of the qualities that is lacking when it comes to the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA). Now let me just say I am not an overnight fan of track and field; this is a sport that I am passionate about on all levels from basic to the professional. Now let's just jump into it .
I'm doing this op-ed piece because of an issue I have observed recently and this has to do with the lack of support when it comes to development meets leading up the boys and girl championship. The Recent cancellation of the Central hurdles and field events meet which was supposed to be held at GC foster was a shocker!! Now, this is the issue I have; does the JAAA have set meetings or discussion when it comes to meet organizers prior to the track and field sessions?
These would enable them to find out if organisers have sufficient sponsorships, venue availability, trained officials, proper working equipment etc. I'm not talking about having these discussions or meetings a day before, I mean months before and if they don't have these things in place, it should in the best interest of the JAAA to set out and help these organizers obtain some kind of support/sponsorship for these development meets, after all they are the ones who takes the praises when these athletes perform beyond their capabilities.
We are quick to jump and praise the Bolts (Usain Bolt), VCBs (Veronica Campbell-Brown) and Pocket Rockets (Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce); but they had to compete in these development met in order to get to the next level. Am I not correct?
What about these young athletes?
When are these so called JAAA officials going to start governing something? They don't seem to have a plan for anything. The recent Douglas Forrest Invitational Meet at the National Stadium was a disappointment. The talented athletes did their thing as always; big up to dem!! The lack of support from JAAA is clear as midday. They need to communicate with meet organizers, help them obtain sponsorship for their meet, outsource, research and improving these condition these kid are running in. After all, this is Jamaica the number one track and field nation in the world.
Now to the lack of hurdles and field event equipment, this should not be a reason why meets are being canceled!! Just recently at the JC Wata Invitational meet, an official who was officiating one of the field events decided it was his time to leave. He packed up his equipment before the competition was over, or even near completion and left. Now, how professional is this?
If JAAA was doing their job as well as following up and having dialogue we meet organizers and they (the organizers) hypothetically expressed "we can't have the meet because we don't have enough relay batons or bars for the high jump", the JAAA in turn, should be able to say, "OK use these", or, "let us reach out to some clubs or schools and assist you in making your meet happen" instead of cancelling the event. This should the backbone of Jamaica track and field and they are acting like an uninformed organization. Hey, maybe they are !!
Does the JAAA know that people all over the world anticipate a track session in Jamaica to see the next big name. I stated this before, and I will constantly say it, the JAAA is not acting like the governing body when it come track and field in Jamaica. They just want a title to sit in a office and show up at meets and say I'm from JAAA … Wtf !! who cares . We can sit here and say we have a phenomenal track and field factory producing the best, and yes we do, but compared to other track and field power house nations and their systems, they take proper care and interest in their juniors. While we are lacking when it comes proper organization.
I hope this will open some eyes !! #blessed
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**The views expressed in this article are those of the author (A Concern) and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Trackalerts.Com.