On Target
April 6, 2023

IPSAC/ ISSAC in review Pt 1

The finals of the National Lotteries Authority Inter-Primary Schools Athletics Championships (IPSAC), and the Inter-Secondary Schools Athletics Championships (ISSAC), have come and gone.

Considered marquee events on the annual schools’ calendar, the championships took place on Wednesday March 29, and Thursday, March 30 at the Sir Vincent Beache Stadium.

Both events drew large crowds and were fitting of their billings.

As it turned out, the Kingstown Preparatory School showed a more all round representation and to some extent, better preparation, thus champing the Primary Schools title, deposing the Stephanie Browne Primary of Union Island.

One cannot help but admire though the tenacity of the primary schools athletes who gave of their all on the day of the finals.

Then came the older ones on Thursday, when the Secondary Schools’ Championships were staged.

When the excitement subsided, the dust settled, and the points tallied, it was the Barrouallie Secondary that ran away with the Female title, while the St Vincent Grammar School toppled the Barrouallie Secondary from their perched position.

Fittingly, the Male title was decided on the last race of the day, the Senior 4 x400m. Nothing else could have been asked for, or a better script could not have been written as the Grammar School had to come from behind to pip the Union Island Secondary on the straight.

The final tally showed the Grammar School posting 314 points to the Barrouallie Secondary’s 310.

The nail-biting final race kept the patrons, athletes and supporters of both schools on the edge in what was a grand stand finish.

On analysis, the two days were reflective of the relatively healthy condition of Track and Field in St Vincent and the Grenadines at this juncture.

Sixteen records were set at the IPSAC and another twenty at ISSAC.

Indeed, this augurs well for the sport that is regaining some lost ground, and doing so with some speed.

It is undeniable that the sport is on an upward trajectory and it can only grow once the right ingredients are added at all times.

The state of the sport and the feats being attained by our local athletes are in no small measure attributed to the commissioning of the synthetic surface at the Sir Vincent Beache Stadium.
Completed in the latter part of 2020, the track has spurred interest and its magnetic force has drawn many young athletes to get involved.

As a result, the gap is closing on some of the established institutions, as more and more coaches are getting into the sport, and along with parental involvement and support, continue to gather momentum.

As a consequence, it was heartening to see the St Martin’s Secondary, the Troumaca Ontario, as well as the Georgetown Secondary showing sparks and revealing potential.

Likewise, in the case of the primary institutions, the Paget Farm Government seems to have a niche in the High Jump, while the Lauders Primary is carving out a name for themselves.

Congratulations are in order for all the athletes, parents, schools’ principals, sponsors, Physical Education teachers, coaches, massage therapists, doctors, and any other personnel who in any way contributed to the student athletes’ performances.

From evidence of last week’s expose, one can only hope that the relevant authorities will look beyond the spectacle of the two days, the trappings and the pomp, and apply the necessary harnessing of the young athletes’ abilities.

It is not gainsaying that from the two days of finals competition, there were some diamonds in the rough that emerged and, hopefully, they will be given their fair share to realise some of that latent talents.

Here is where the work begins for the possible transition of talent to stardom to whatever level that is accepted.

The 2023 editions of IPSAC and ISSAC have come and gone, now is the time to prepare for and surpass these achievements when the 2024 Schools Athletics season is fully here with us.

Part two of the review will look at the not so bright side of the two days.