President Anthony Wilmot says that the Jamaica Surfing Association (JSA) will be ready for the start of the next qualifiers for the rescheduled Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, next year.
Surfing will make its debut at the Tokyo Olympics, which have been postponed until next July because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Wilmot says that because of the nature of the sport, the JSA has been able to provide means of maintaining the fitness of its athletes seeking an Olympic berth.
“Luckily, we are able to try and keep the kids up to speed in terms of competition,” Wilmot said. “We are following the guidelines of the International Surfing Association (ISA) and the International Olympic Committee as well. We are looking at when they are putting the date for the next qualifier, the final qualifier for the Olympics which should be next year, hopefully before the middle of the year in order to make the Olympic Games.”
ISA says the final qualifying event will be the World Surfing Games, which was originally scheduled for El Salvador last May, but was pushed back from May 29, 2021 to June 6, 2021.
Wilmot says that he is encouraged by the increase in interest in the sport, and that those who have had a desire to participate previously have had their interested piqued in doing research of the country’s history in the sport despite no recent activity.
“I think this little COVID thing has actually put a certain kind of urgency within the people who are exposed to surfing and who want to get into it now,” Wilmot said. “They realise how important it is to them individually.”