Cutting events should not be an option – Dyke
Edwin Allen High School head coach Michael Dyke said cutting events for the 2021 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships would be a non-negotiable option for him as ISSA begins planning for next year's event.
The 2020 staging was cancelled in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, and sporting competitions have been cancelled for the Christmas academic term.
In a letter addressed to coaches, Champs committee chairman Richard Thompson said adjustments would have to be made in order for Champs to take place in a COVID environment.
"These changes could possibly have implications for the number of athletes, classes, events and days of Champs 2021," Thompson said.
However, Dyke says that the number of events should not be sacrificed to put on Champs so as to not disenfranchise any athlete from competing.
"I don't think it would really make sense to eliminate some of the events, because you do not want to marginalise any athlete, and everyone has their events," Dyke told STAR Sports. "So you don't want to rob anyone of their opportunity."
The letter encouraged coaches to submit suggestions as to potential changes for next year's competition by October 2. Dyke suggested the possibility of limiting the number of athletes and possibly extending the schedule to allow multiple rounds of competition.
But he says that any framework that would not give all athletes the chance to compete would be a non-starter for him.
"If it means that you are going to reduce the number of participants, so be it; but don't reduce the events," he said. "You want to give everybody the opportunity and you might cut an event [which could be] the only event a particular athlete would have, and they would not get a chance."
Dyke is hopeful that competition can be held next year, and says that a second successive year without the event would be a massive blow to student athletes, especially those who will be in their senior year.