Gayle promises an inclusive JAAA


Gayle promises an inclusive JAAA

Says all comments, suggestions are welcomed

Observer writer

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

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Newly elected president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Garth Gayle has made it clear that he intends to lead an inclusive group which will embrace everyone and welcome all comments and suggestions.

Gayle, who easily turned back the presidential challenge from track and field legend Donald Quarrie, 236 votes to 28, has stated that he is ready to continue to work with the Jamaican Olympian.

“We have been working with Mr Quarrie in the past, so there is no reason why we can't move to work with him. We are here about the development of track and field, so we will be working with all members. No one will be barred. All comments, all suggestions, everyone that's ready to make a contribution to the development of the sport of track and field, will be welcomed.”

The new Garth Gayle-led JAAA executive swept to power on Saturday with their full 17-member slate in place. Only one of the three contested positions, that of director of records turned out to be a closely contested position, with the incumbent Leroy Cooke just about holding off the challenge of independent candidate Wayne Long to return for another four years.

But the 40-year veteran sports administrator Gayle, said he was always confident that his entire slate would have been successful at Saturday's polls.

“I have been in the sport for 40 years, for 20 years I was the honorary secretary. I knew the landscape and I knew my team would have been 100 per cent successful.

“I'm elated, I am very happy for my team; we put the work in. Mr Marvin Anderson and Mr Ludlow Watts were co-campaign managers and they worked tirelessly to ensure that our team, as well as our members were in place to support and end up with the results.”

Gayle has promised not to waste any time and indicated that work will begin this week to restart the sport that was seriously disrupted by COVID-19 this year.

“We are planning already our first meeting. I have given instructions to my team and in the week coming we will be meeting. We are going to ensure that we begin the work that we would have indicated in our manifesto.”

“The first objective is to get our sport back on track, meaning competition for our juniors as well as our elite athletes. So, it's to get our competition back into full swing.”

He has promised to engage the Government in order to ensure that track and field returns in a safe and secure manner, to the benefit of all involved.

“First and foremost we have to work with the Government, both the ministries of health and sports, protocols are already being established…and we have also put in place the things we need our coaches and our athletes to do in order to ensure their well-being and safety.”

The track and field world governing body, World Athletics has held a number of events this year and their protocols will serve as a guideline in Jamaica, Gayle indicated.

“We will also be using the World Athletics, because they also have guidelines, so whatever we do locally, we must also be in tandem with World Athletics.”

There are rumours that junior track and field could return as early as this month.

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