Friday 27 November, 2020

Jamaica Squash Association working towards a return to competition

Chris Hind, (left) president of the Jamaica Squash Association, is seen here in conversation with Sports Minister Olivia Grange last July when the minister met with the national junior team just ahead of its departure for the 2019 CASA Junior Championships in Trinidad and Tobago.

Chris Hind, (left) president of the Jamaica Squash Association, is seen here in conversation with Sports Minister Olivia Grange last July when the minister met with the national junior team just ahead of its departure for the 2019 CASA Junior Championships in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Jamaica Squash Association (JSA) is working towards the safe resumption of national squad training, and competitions as soon as possible after suspending all tournaments earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The JSA is actively engaging health and sporting authorities in discussions regarding strategies for restarting competitive play within the bounds dictated by established health and safety protocols.

The onset of COVID19 abruptly halted the 2020 squash calendar causing the suspension of the popular KPMG League in March, and the cancelation of the prestigious All Jamaica Junior and Senior Championships.  In addition, although Jamaica was set to host the Caribbean Area Squash Association’s (CASA) Senior Championships for the first time in over 10 years, the much-anticipated tournament has been delayed until 2021.

“We started 2020 with a packed schedule of exciting events, the highlight of which would have been the hosting of Senior CASA Championships in the summer but COVID-19 called a halt to all competitive activity,” JSA President, Chris Hind explained.

“Now, like other sporting associations, we are developing methodologies to execute competitions, and other events in a manner that preserves the health and safety of our athletes, officials, and spectators, and as part of that process we have reached out to the relevant authorities for guidance in deciding the way forward,” he added.

High on the JSA’s agenda is devising a strategy for a meaningful execution of Senior CASA Championships in 2021, and readying its younger players for Junior CASA, which is also tentatively on the agenda for next year.  The association is also contemplating participation in major international competitions such as the 2021 Men’s World Teams Championships and the Commonwealth Games scheduled for 2022.

Although the future is uncertain, Hind emphasised that the JSA was planning for every eventuality. 

“There are a lot of moving variables at this point because we do not know what the landscape will look like in terms of travelling, and the staging of international competitions in the post-COVID era but it is important to plan ahead in terms of training and fundraising so that when international competitions resume team Jamaica will be ready,” he said.

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