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Jamaican athletes bracing for economic fallout from Covid-19 ruined track season

Report by RJRGLEANER Communications Group Sports Reporter Kayon Raynor

Athletes are expected to struggle financially during the course of this track and field season as Covid-19 continues to affect the track and field calendar. With this month's World Indoor Championships postponed until next year and three Diamond League meets already postponed by World Athletics, the economic struggle of athletes could be catastrophic.

Top American agent Paul Doyle, who has  represented a number of Jamaicans in the past said: “It’s absolute massive at all different levels. I would say probably 50 percent of my athletes that I have under contract right now, have their contract ending December 31, 2020. So with the Olympics being postponed until 2021, the shoe companies are going to have a couple of very tough decisions to make; do they can (end) people’s contracts? Do they let them go? We could end up potentially with a lot of Olympians without any support from shoe companies.

Two local top coaches, Glen Mills and Maurice Wilson agree that the fall out could be massive for athletes. “The fallout started from January where a number of athletes were preparing themselves for the World Indoor Championships . They would have traveled; they would have attended various meets trying to attain the various standards and the meet was cancelled. So all of that money in terms of them promoting themselves trying to get the qualifying times, they would have lost that money,” said Wilson.

According to Mills: “The economic fallout is going to be catastrophic, especially those from the lower scale going up will suffer significant financial damage and by extension coaches, managers and organizers.” The major hope now among stakeholders is that the entire season is not lost.

 

 



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