ISSA un­able to help schools – Welling­ton

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Daniel Wheeler/Gleaner Writer daniel.wheeler@glean­erjm.com

PRES­I­DENT OF the In­ter-Se­condary Schools Sports As­so­ci­a­tion (ISSA), Keith Welling­ton, says that the or­gan­i­sa­tion is not in a po­si­tion to pro­vide funds to schools to off­set losses in­curred due to the can­cel­la­tion of events be­cause of the coro­n­avirus out­break.

The high-school sport­ing scene has been sig­nif­i­cantly af­fected by the COVID-19 pan­demic, with sev­eral events and com­pe­ti­tions, such as the ex­tremely pop­u­lar Boys and Girls’ Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships, be­ing can­celled by the or­gan­is­ers.

Welling­ton, when asked if there would be any mone­tary sup­port for schools that had al­ready spent to­wards the ex­e­cu­tion of their re­spec­tive pro­grammes and com­pe­ti­tions, said that any sup­port would have to come from else­where.

“I think that it is un­likely that we will see funds go­ing di­rectly to our schools or ath­letes from ISSA or the Govern­ment. Where I think schools are likely to get sup­port is ac­tu­ally from their other in­ter­est groups, their past stu­dents as­so­ci­a­tion or in­di­vid­ual schools that have spon­sors,” Welling­ton said.

“Our high-school sports are strictly am­a­teur sports and, there­fore, schools are en­cour­aged to spend only what they are able to af­ford. Some schools are able to af­ford more than oth­ers be­cause of the sup­port they get from ex­ter­nal stake­hold­ers,” added Welling­ton.

Com­pe­ti­tions that had been ac­tive up to

March 12 were sus­pended be­cause of the lo­cal out­break, while other com­pe­ti­tions, such as un­der-14 cricket, un­der-14 bas­ket­ball and net­ball tour­na­ments, which were yet to start, were even­tu­ally can­celled.

Welling­ton noted that there are chal­lenges to help schools that may need as­sis­tance be­cause not enough cash has been gen­er­ated af­ter cov­er­ing ex­penses to host the events.

“(From) ISSA’s per­spec­tive, we do not gen­er­ate enough fund­ing to al­low us to pro­vide cash to our mem­ber schools, es­pe­cially where we are un­able to stage our com­pe­ti­tions, be­cause all our fund­ing comes from spon­sor­ship and gate re­ceipts for our com­pe­ti­tions,” said Welling­ton. “Right now, those spon­sor­ship amounts are re­stricted to what we get for cricket, foot­ball and track and field, which, in turn, has to be spread across all the dif­fer­ent sports.”

“We are able to, each year, prop­erly fund these events but not carry over enough monies across years so that we will able to have monies to do that.”

FILE PHOTOS

Wayne Pin­nock of Kingston Col­lege (left) cel­e­brates his record-break­ing win in the Class 1 boys’ 110m hur­dles fi­nal while be­ing chased by his fa­ther, Wayne Pin­nock Sr, at the ISSA/GraceKenne­dy Boys and Girls’ Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships at the Na­tional Sta­dium in Kingston on Satur­day, March 30, 2019.

WELLING­TON

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