JAAA will not make World Champs camp mandatory
The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) will not deter athletes from earning on the circuit if they choose not to participate in the training camp in Hungary before the World Championships.
The camp begins on Wednesday until August 15, when the athletes will move into their village in Budapest, four days before the championships start.
President of the JAAA, Garth Gayle, said the camp was set up with feedback from the coaches, with the governing body endorsing the need to sharpen the athletes' preparations, but with no mandatory requirements for the athletes to be there.
"What we are doing is being inclusive - listening to our coaches, and listening to our managers. There is a strong appreciation and need for the camp. We are providing that. Is it wise to say now, 'You must stop your ability to earn to come now into a camp'? I don't think we have the luxury of that. Our athletes need assistance, and where and whenever possible, we must provide it," Gayle said.
Gayle said the camp would be a feature for the athletes in the future.
"This is now going to become a feature onwards, where we have international competitions that we seek to provide this opportunity for our athletes, and especially new members," Gayle said.
"We would have been speaking to most of the coaches and got their involvement and the willingness of their athletes to participate. The responses were, we need the camp, and please put on the camp."
Assistant team leader Steven McGregor highlighted the importance of the camp, which is more than just track preparation.
"There are other things outside of athletics, and best practices so we can represent Jamaica in a disciplined, unified way. So the camp is necessary not just for track and field, but for your personnel as well," McGregor said.