By Anthony Foster, Special to TrackAlerts.com
The lack of respect shown to Jamaica’s junior athletes by the country’s governing T&F body – the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), continues to rear it's ugly head.
Over the past few years, these athletes who will become the stars of tomorrow, have not be taken care of in the way they ought to be.
Too often the JAAA has failed to select and take control of the nation’s teams in a timely manner, which at times resulted in injured athletes being taken on tour by the clueless administration and then having them not being able to perform.
Athletes have been taken on tour injured because the JAAA have failed to monitor their health status appropriately, from the time they are selected on teams, to the time they leave the shores for international duties.
Far too many times it is left up to the school and their coaches to prepare selected athletes and because of stringent budgets, the athletes are not able to be at the level they would have, if the necessary help the JAAA was put in place to offer, was given.
The trials to select Jamaica’s team for the World Junior Championships was held on the weekend of June 14, and up to this minute, the JAAA has failed to inform the athletes of their selection status.
To make matters worse, many athletes, some of whom are expected to make the team, have stopped training… with some even staying away from trials because of a lack of interest, fully knowing what they are usually faced with.
There are also athletes who would have been in training from last year September for their school duties, who if not informed of their selection at this point, would feel it too burdensome to continue training, blindly.
A few of the athletes who shared their story with TrackAlerts.com is accusing the JAAA of wasting their time…There contention is whether it's worth the effort and time to stay in training, only to find out they didn't make the team.
A few coaches who requested not to be named, spoke of how difficult it is to have an athlete stop training, start all over again and be ready to be competitive.
Gone are the days when the JAAA under the leadership of Pat Anderson and youth chairman Alfred Francis, would bring all these athletes into weekend camps, at GC Foster College.
Athletes in the 2004 World Junior camp for example, would be subjected to time trial runs every Sunday morning, an exercise which would tend to forge better overall team results, under any situation.
A question which is continually asked in Jamaican T&F circles is, why do the JAAA force their professional senior athletes into training camps, when the juniors who need them but can't afford them, beg for similar treatment and are not afforded them.
Please Mr JAAA, I’m a concerned citizen and fan, begging you to pay more attention to our junior athletic program, with special attention to our junior female sprinters. They are in need of urgent attention.
*The views expressed in this article are those of the author (Anthony Foster) and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, trackalerts.com.