Start of ISSA Under-14 football pushed back to AprilThursday, July 09, 2020
BY PAUL A REID
Cornwall College will not start the defence of their Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) All-island Under-14 football title until April 2021, after the organisers decided to push the competition back to almost the end of the next academic year.
The competition was traditionally held during the regular football season, after the start of the senior competitions ending in December, but ISSA took the decision to delay the start out of concern over the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on sports.
The timing of the competition would see it being staged at the same time as the St James Football Association/VMBS Under-13, which will be played between primary and preparatory schools for the first time ever.
The Under-14 is usually played alongside the Under-16 football competition among rural and Corporate Area schools with the winners of each section meeting in the all- island final.
Cornwall College won the Under-14 all-island title last year, beating St George's College in the play-off, their second win since 2016, and third time in the final in that span.
St Elizabeth Technical won the all-island Under-16 title, beating Calabar High.
The onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March forced the cancellation of all ISSA- run sporting events including the National Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships, popularly known as 'Champs'. ISSA is now putting together protocols for the restart of sports in October.
ISSA's plans, if they are given the go ahead by the Government, is to start Under-16 football and netball on October 12 , and then the daCosta Cup and Manning Cup, as well as boys' basketball, later in the month.
A decision was taken, ISSA President Keith Wellington told the Jamaica Observer West, not to crowd the sporting calendar too much, and also to allow the youngsters who would have had their final year in primary/preparatory schools interrupted by the pandemic.
“We are trying to cut down on the exposure for students, because it would involve mainly first and second form students whose introduction to high school has been significantly impacted, we want them to settle down in school for the new school year,” said Wellington.
He added that the youngsters “don't have external exams at the end of the year, so it allows us more time for our competitions based on the late start.”
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