President of the Jamaica Track and Field Coaches Association, David Riley, believes it was wrong to cancel the ISSA GraceKennedy Boys & Girls Athletics Championships. ISSA along with title sponsors GraceKennedy, the Ministry of Sports, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education representatives took the decision to cancel the 2020 championships due to the confirmed cases of Covid 19 coronavirus in the country.
Riley who is also the Technical Director of Excelsior High's School’s athletics programme, says a postponement would have been the more sensible option.
“The coaches have maintained that we don’t have a disagreement with the Champs not being held next week; it’s the calculation. Find another date. ISSA is a body of principals and the posture is because the coaches are employees of the school they (ISSA() are not answerable to the coaches but only to the principals and so they don’t engage the coaches,” said Riley.
Riley who was speaking with Simon Crosskill on Hitz 92 FM's Sports Grill, blasted the high schools’ sports governing body for not consulting the coaches before taking a decision.
“If you are not on the ground doing coaching on a daily basis you will not understand why the coaches are as disappointed as they are. It seems as if the concerns of the athletes to participate did not weigh heavily in the decision as to whether to postpone or cancel,” he said.
The annual event was scheduled for March 24-28 at the National Stadium. ISSA president Keith Wellington on TVJ's Eye on Sports on Thursday, said student athletes should eye the National Junior Championships in June as an alternative.