Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Tuesday | July 10, 2012
Home : Sports
Royal treatment
Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter


Hola mis amigos!

Immediately on arrival at the Barcelona El Prat Airport I was hit smack in the face by the disparity relating to how media practitioners are dealt with in Jamaica and the treatment I have been greeted with in Spain; a country I am visiting for the first time, no one knows me and a language barrier exists.

This, by the way, is after having survived roughly 11 hours of flying - nine of which were, ironically, spent beside a nice young lady called Sheryl, a name also belonging to the lady who carried me in her stomach for nine months and the many years yet still.

Fresh in my memory is the run-in between Jamaican sports journalists and the Jamaica Athletics Admini-strative Association (JAAA) prior to the recently staged National Senior Trials. The JAAA had attempted to impose a cost for members of the media wishing to get accredited to cover the event and even after that was strongly opposed and abandoned; I for one was still made to feel as if the association was doing me a favour by allowing me to cover the event.

I had to wait in a crowded room until someone had pity on me to get me my accreditation the day before the trials and then while at the venue, I remember hearing the announcer repeatedly announce over the PA system reminding us (media representatives) that we were not guaranteed a seat.

Now fast-forward to more pleasant experiences, as after clearing immigration at the Barcelona El Prat Airport there was a booth set up specifically to welcome persons affiliated to the World Junior Championships.

Royal treatment

There was a list including my name. I was then escorted to an awaiting van, with the volunteer even offering to carry my bag - an offer I had to respectfully decline, as it was an attractive young lady and a woman carrying my bag is not how grandma raised me. Yes, this little country boy from Resource District in South Manchester was being given the royal treatment.

I was then transported to the Montjuic Olympic Stadium to pick up my accreditation, which I did not have to pay for and it was ready and waiting.

We copy plenty things from abroad and if the JAAA is striving to run a first world meet they could start by taking a leaf out of the sport's governing body's (International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF) book on how media persons are to be treated.

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