Jamaica’s largest sporting event for track and field high school students, the 2021 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Athletic Championships, “Champs” is now underway after being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event will run from May 11 to Saturday, May 15 without spectators.
Among the plethora of changes to satisfy the government’s COVID-19 protocols is that ISSA has put a cap on the number of athletes competing. There is also a modification to the qualification system.
“Only 970 athletes are eligible to compete this year, a massive reduction from just under 3000 over the years. “We have entered 68 male teams totalling 506 athletes, 61 female teams totalling 464 athletes. Total athletes will be 970 across 80 schools,” said Champs organising committee chairman Richard Thompson.
The number of competing athletes this year is a far cry from the 2,700 who competed at the 2019 edition.
Kingston College are the defending champions on the boys’ side while Edwin Allen will be defending the trophy on the girls’ side.