Tue | Nov 24, 2020

Cycling president plans constitutional overhaul

Published:Friday | October 30, 2020 | 12:10 AM
Local riders engage in a Jamaica Cycling Federation road race staged at the Kingston waterfront on Sunday, December 3, 2017.
Local riders engage in a Jamaica Cycling Federation road race staged at the Kingston waterfront on Sunday, December 3, 2017.

President Wayne Palmer says that the Jamaica Cycling Federation’s (JCF) constitution will be amended to include measures to operate in a safe manner during a pandemic.

Palmer says that the JCF’s constitution is significantly outdated and that there are several aspects that need to be addressed.

He said that the COVID-19 pandemic has compromised the security of all stakeholders, and the constitution must always reflect the importance of their safety.

“We are currently in a pandemic, and the constitution does not speak to hosting meetings online or having virtual annual general meetings (AGM), and those are things that should be amended,” he said.“When you’re doing an AGM, there will be a cluster of people that will exceed the number of persons that should legally gather in one space. It is more likely that you will get a better turnout and achieve each goal via online platforms, but it must be in the constitution.

“Adding virtual meetings to the constitution during a pandemic allows for a more effective executive. There are people on the federation’s executive body that live in Montego Bay or even in Portmore, and to have meetings, regular meetings, it is better to do it online. Every organisation should look at their constitution now that we have a pandemic, which forces us to work remotely, or conduct most of our businesses virtually.”

Palmer said that to put effective and efficient objectives in place and see proper results, it will require four years in office.


“Most sporting bodies are aligning the term of office with the Olympic cycle, which is every four years, and the JCF currently isn’t,” he said. “The president stays on for two years and the other members of the executive are one year, with the exception of the general secretary, which is for two years as well.

“We believe that is insufficient time to make any meaningful change in the sport. So, that’s one major thing I think needs to be reviewed. That’s also consistent with what most overseas sporting bodies are recommending.”

But, former JCF President Dennis Chung said that he does not agree with extending the time spent in office to four years.

He said that the two years should be spent doing as much as possible to ensure that within those years, they make the necessary assessment and make an impact on the sport.

“Obviously, constitutions need a tweak every now and then,” he said. “If any administration in office is doing well in relation to the constituents, it means that persons will actually elect those executives for a second term. However, if they are not doing well, they have the right opportunity to vote them out of office. You don’t want a situation where the administration is in for four years and not doing well, and no one is able to select a new governing body.

“I know that the current president has a lot of interest in cycling, so I expect a lot of things from him. Cycling needs to be built from the bottom up and it is in a bad state, which he has said publicly. I’m looking forward to the plans that he has in place because it’s an excellent sport, and it is a good thing to get children involved in it from early. Jamaica has not done well on the international stage since David Weller, so, hopefully, we can get back there one day.”

Weller is the only Jamaican to win an Olympic medal outside of athletics. He achieved this with bronze in the 1000 metres time trial at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Russia.

Athena Clarke