New recruiting regulations are tight - Dyke
Michael Dyke, coach of the successful Edwin Allen Compre-hensive High School track and field programme, believes the new ISSA recruiting regulations are tight. However, while he feels the new rules will probably affect schools who recruit widely, he thinks Edwin Allen won't be severely affected.
"There are schools out there that will probably have good athletes in their schools but don't have the programme to foster their development and probably the funding as well," Dyke outlined thoughtfully. "So I don't see where it should be a harm for schools to facilitate these students by moving them into a better programme, better environment, where they will able to harness their talent and go and achieve to the highest level."
Responding to the new parameter of two transferred students being allowed in each Boys and Girls Championships class, Dyke offered, "It is tight in terms of saying two per class, but it goes to the point where it's going to force probably some of the schools, who have been relying heavily on recruiting, especially in the upper classes, to probably work a little bit harder to get their athletes up to par with the more advanced ones."
Queried on the likelihood of increased recruiting at the primary-school level, Dyke admitted that this may be the best approach.
"Sometimes it's good when you have them develop through your system, your coaching method, everything and it makes them understand and develop a better relationship," reflected the coach, who has guided Edwin Allen to five straight Girls Championship titles. "Sometimes you recruit some of these kids, it takes a year or two for them to really understand and get adapted to your programme."
The soft-spoken Dyke doesn't see the new rules affecting his team. "I know it won't affect us severely because we always try to have a good Class Four and then they will gradually move up the ladder."
ISSA member schools have often recruited from junior high schools. Informed that those institutions are to become high schools starting this academic year, Dyke noted, "It will definitely create a strain because sometimes you might have a class that you have weak layers and you move into those junior schools, you will find talent there and they are good talents probably just needing a little refining and proper development."
He worries that good prospects will walk away from the sport with movement to strong programmes now to be restricted, but doesn't believe the regulations will affect Jamaica's senior team in the future.
"Some will get into some high schools which, as I said, don't have a good programme and they just give it up.
"I honestly don't think it should (affect Jamaica's programme). It can, but I don't think it should, because you have good coaches right around the island and it will just bring out a little more out of them to start to harness the talent from very early."