Sat | Sep 18, 2021

ISSA working on football plan

Published:Wednesday | June 10, 2020 | 1:05 PMDaniel Wheeler/Gleaner Writer
Richard Thompson (left) from Jamaica College (JC) holds off a challenge from Kaman Davis from St Andrew Technical during the 2019 ISSA Manning Cup football final. JC won 5-4 on penalties to win the title.
Richard Thompson (left) from Jamaica College (JC) holds off a challenge from Kaman Davis from St Andrew Technical during the 2019 ISSA Manning Cup football final. JC won 5-4 on penalties to win the title.

Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) President Keith Wellington says that a concrete plan for the 2020 schoolboy football season will be presented to the schools by the end of the month.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected the staging of ISSA competitions since March, highlighted by the cancellation of this year’s ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships.

ISSA’s competitions Chairman Oneil Ankle recently stated that the start of this year’s schoolboy football season could be pushed back by a month to October, given the concerns related to COVID-19.

However, Wellington informed that discussions are currently now taking place to determine how the season would be conducted, with special attention being given to protocols aimed at ensuring the protection of student athletes and all stakeholders involved.

“We are in the process of having deliberations about what the season will look like. Included in those deliberations are discussions about health protocols and so on. We had promised the coaches that by the end of June we would come back to them with something more definitive,” Wellington told The Gleaner yesterday.

Among the many issues to be considered is guidance regarding training for teams, but Wellington noted that the schools, which have all been asked not to begin preseason training until after June 30, will have the final say on how sessions are conducted.

Guidelines and Expectations

“We are thinking that when we get back to them before June 30, we would also be providing schools with guidelines and what our expectations are in terms of preparation of the teams for our competitions, whenever they are to start,” he said. “We would make recommendations as to what we think would be ideal to our principals, but ultimately, the schools will make the final decisions as to what they expect of their coaches and their students.”

Wellington added that the consensus among stakeholders is that safety is the primary objective for the 2020 season.

“We would have had discussions not only with our coaches, but with our principals and sponsors, as well as media partners, and the consensus is that safety is our priority, but once you are able to stage the competitions, then we would be able to find a format and a time that will allow us to have a successful staging of our competition,” said Wellington.

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com