August 26, 2011
Not So!

Physical Education teacher at the Thomas Saunders Secondary School Godfrey “Fuzzy” Harry is refuting claims that a recently-introduced agreement form for students of the school is designed to debar athletes from the institution{{more}} from participating in Track and Field events, unless he, Harry, is the coach.

Fingers were pointed at Harry when there was hardly any participation of athletes from that institution in the 2011 Winlott Inc. Windward Islands School Games, which took place in Dominica last month.

Harry confirmed to SEARCHLIGHT last Wednesday that there are contractual agreements between the school and the students, but said the agreements were designed so that the students do not focus on Track and Field only, but their academics as well.

The seemingly contentious issue is point number 2, in the eight point agreement, which states: “Students must participate in all athletics events as directed by Coach Harry”.

Harry said it was developed for the renowned Penn Relays, which the school, and by extension St. Vincent and the Grenadines, participated for the first time, last April in the USA.

“We do not want to promote athletes, but student athletes, so if we are exposing scholarship material, then their academics must go with their athletic ability,” Harry stated.

The agreements had to be signed by the students and approved by their parents.

“The agreements with the students are to bring up the academic levels of those who are weak,” Harry reasoned.

As it relates to minimal representation of the Thomas Saunders Secondary School in the Windward Islands School Games Training Squad, Harry said that school’s key athletes were not invited to be part of the squad in the first place, and the few, who were called, were called late.

The Thomas Saunders Secondary School copped the Male and Female Divisions of this year’s Secondary Schools’ Track and Field Meet.

Harry claimed that since copping this year’s Secondary Schools’ Track and Field titles, and attending the Penn Relays, he and his athletes have been maligned by other coaches for bringing that level of commitment to the sport.

Despite the apparent misgivings, Harry said that at present, a core of 23 athletes, eleven males and twelve females, from the Thomas Saunders Secondary, are in training for next year’s Penn Relays.

“Now that it is the school holidays, we train twice per week, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 in the morning to about 10:30,” Harry stated Harry said that next time around, the school will be sending a female team.

At this year’s Penn Relays, the Thomas Saunders Secondary was represented by an all male team of eight athletes.

Harry also confirmed that the journey towards realizing some of the funds for the expensive venture will begin at the turn of the new school year, with several in house fund raising ventures. (RT)