March 6, 2015
Date announced for Inter-Secondary School Athletics Championships

This year’s Inter-Primary School Athletics Championships will be held on Tuesday March 24, while the Inter-Secondary School Athletics Championships will be held on Wednesday March 25.{{more}}

The games were launched last Tuesday March 3 at the Carnival Development Corporation’s (CDC) conference room at the Victoria Park under the theme, ‘Phenomenal’.

Speaking at the launch, Deputy Chairperson of the National School Games Committee and Chairperson of the Subcommittee that deals with Athletics Keith Joseph said that the championships provide an opportunity for the athletes both at the junior and senior level to showcase their talent and bring honour and glory to their schools, communities and families.

He said that while the secondary school games have been a fixture on the national calendar for a number of years, the primary school games, “had its share of ups and downs and was re-introduced two years ago under a different format” with the help of the National Lotteries Authority (NLA).

Joseph said that the primary school games, which were re-introduced two years ago saw 15 schools participating in 2013 and that rose to 20 in 2014. That number has now reached to over 40 schools and Joseph stressed that persons have welcomed the various innovations which include live streaming of the event by LIME and VC3, colorful banners and other paraphernalia and a multicolored track that looks like a synthetic surface.

Joseph stressed that the quality of the games have developed as a result of the cooperation between the Ministry of Education (Education media unit responsible for marketing), the Ministry of Sports, the Athletics Association and sponsors that include the NLA and LIME.

Also speaking at the launch, Media and Promotions Coordinator Marla Nanton who is also part of the National School Games Committee said that to promote this year’s theme ‘Phenomenal’, a number of inter-secondary school sports meets begin with the various teams marching onto the field with the popular Soca song ‘Phenomenal’ by ‘Benjai’ LeBlanc playing in the background.

She said that students relate to the song and it has been working to promote the March 24 and 25 events and has prompted them (the organizers) to recognize phenomenal athletes, schools and coaches during their pre-sports promotions.

Nanton said that the secondary school flyer features Shontel Rouse, the 2014 senior female athlete of the games and Akeni Slater, the 2014 male athlete of the games.

“We intend to use many more faces of phenomenal athletes and entertainment will be used to boost the overall event,” said Nanton who added that once again this year, they will we injecting fun and healthy competition into the events.

The primary school event will feature Dora the Explorer as mascot while children will also be able to get their face painted and photographs taken with various cartoon characters. Face painting will cost $1 while the photos are free according to Nanton. Dora will escort the various school teams onto the pitch during the march pass.

“We are appealing to teachers to bring the children to see the exciting package,” said Nanton.

As it relates to the secondary school games, Nanton said that innovations include the cheerleading competition where various schools will be vying for the title of top cheerleaders.

She said that a number of schools are engaged in practice while others have shown interest.

“The competition last year was keen and we expect a high level this year with phenomenal cheerleading”, said Nanton who added that some persons think that cheerleading detracts from the games, “but this will not be the case as it is done during the lunch break to boost morale and foster team spirit”.

Nanton also noted that the finals will be streamed live so viewers at home and in the Diaspora can see the events. The games will be seen on VC3’s Channel 114 and through the Internet with the help of LIME.

Meanwhile, Product Development Officer at the NLA Anthony Dennie said that the NLA is more than happy to be associated with the games.

He commended the committee that has been organizing the event and stressed that it was “heartwarming” to hear that the primary schools meet has grown and is rivaling the secondary schools games.

Persons wanting to attend the primary school games will pay $2 for children and $5 for adults while the secondary school games will draw a fee of $5 for students in uniform and $10 and up for adults and students without uniform. A $15 fee will be charged for the stands closer to the action.

The first set of heats for the secondary school finals took place last Tuesday March 3 while the second set of heats took place last Thursday March 5. The primary school heats took place last week Tuesday February 24 and Thursday February 27.