Syn­thetic track for JC?

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Hu­bert Lawrence Gleaner Writer

JA­MAICA COL­LEGE (JC) could join Cal­abar High and Kingston Col­lege (KC) as lo­ca­tions for syn­thetic tracks for athletics.

That’s the word from Ian Forbes, the chair­man of the JC sports com­mit­tee. Forbes said his school had been con­tem­plat­ing the ac­qui­si­tion of such a track for some time.

Speak­ing in the wake of an­nounced work by KC to in­stall a syn­thetic track at its Melbourne cam­pus.

Forbes said: “It’s some­thing we have con­sid­ered over a long pe­riod of time and I think the will is there to do it.”

He con­tin­ued: “There’s noth­ing wrong with the nat­u­ral sur­face, but as you know, the sport has moved rapidly and we must change with the time.

“It’s cer­tainly un­der con­sid­er­a­tion,” he re­it­er­ated.

The Dark Blues’ spa­cious 189 Old Hope Road cam­pus could com­fort­ably ac­com­mo­date a syn­thetic re­place­ment for its ex­ist­ing 320-me­tre grass sur­face, he noted.

“It’s just a mat­ter of mo­bil­is­ing or com­plet­ing the process of mo­bil­is­ing the req­ui­site re­sources,” he es­ti­mated.

FUNDS RAISED

Ac­cord­ing to fig­ures re­leased last week, the KC track will cost $58 mil­lion. Cal­abar High School, the first high school to in­stall such a fa­cil­ity, raised $55 mil­lion to com­plete the works ear­lier this year.

In 2011, JC in­au­gu­rated an in­no­va­tive five-run­way jumps fa­cil­ity, which has helped the school to promi­nence in the long and triple jumps. Since then, the school has also built and equipped a top class gym.

Forbes, who is the man­ager of the JC foot­ball and track and field teams, knows rais­ing that amount of cash will be a chal­lenge, but is con­fi­dent.

“It will al­ways be a chal­lenge,” he eval­u­ated. “But you know we have a rich his­tory and tra­di­tion, and we have a com­mit­ted alumni as well.

“It will have to be all hands on deck,” he said in a call to JC alumni and friends of the school.

“It is pos­si­ble, most def­i­nitely and it will hap­pen.”

Ja­maica Col­lege, KC and Cal­abar have dom­i­nated the male sec­tion of ISSA Boys and Girls’ Cham­pi­onships since it was first con­tested in 1910. Ja­maica Col­lege last won in 2011 to bring its to­tal of team ti­tles to 21. Kingston Col­lege has been on top 31 times, with Cal­abar first on 26 oc­ca­sions.

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