THE BAAA High School Relays will serve as the test event for the IAAF World Relays for the third consecutive time. The BAAA High School Relays is scheduled for Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19 at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium.
In 2014 and 2015, the BAAA High School Relays was critical to test the preparedness of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) to host the Relays. The event would closely mimic the IAAF World Relays, testing areas such as competition, information technology, logistics and operations. For this year’s event, these systems will be tested again.
The IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2017 LOC, headed by Chief Executive Officer, Rosamunde Carey, and her team are working feverishly to ensure that this event goes off without a hitch.
“With the World Relays exactly four weeks away from the test event, this will give the organisers a chance to test the logistics, accreditation, transportation, accommodations and every aspect of the games,” Carey noted. “They will still have time to make adjustments to any areas in need of attention.
“One of the critical areas is the security. We realised last time that we needed to ensure our security detail and protocols needed to be a little more efficient. We have worked on this and will also use the test event as an opportunity to tweak anything in this area that might need adjusting.”
Carey said in 2015 the test event allowed the organiser to test the robustness of its IT system. It actually crashed during the test event, giving them an opportunity to correct the deficiencies ahead of the big event.
So far, 44 schools have confirmed their participation. Twenty-two of those schools are from the major Family Islands and the remaining 22 are from New Providence.
Over 600 athletes are confirmed for this event. This number is very close to the numbers expected to participate in the IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2017 with 42 countries already confirmed and an expected 700-plus athletes.
The event schedule will be closely aligned with the schools for the IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2017.
For the first time the BAAA High School Relays will feature a mixed gender race, the newest feature of the IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2017. The only difference, the sprint medley in the test event will replace the 4x800m race on the IAAF World Relays schedule.
Carey continued: “Aside from the opportunity this provides for the LOC to test its readiness, it gives the younger athletes a chance to compete and display their talents. Not to mention the excitement it builds among the fans. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
“This year is even more exciting as the test event comes on the heels of the High School Nationals. The test event will bring the under 20 seniors together in the same races as the world relays, including the mixed relays featuring male and females for the first time.”
Top schools and islands in each event competing at the BAAA High Schools Relays will once again contend for the opportunity to part of the Junior Programme at the IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2017 - an incentive to compete on the world stage to millions of viewers worldwide.
For more information please contact Mrs Margarita Wilson, junior programme coordinator, at the Balmoral Club at 1-242- 603-1315/603-1312.