The Barrouallie Secondary School, also known as the Central Leeward Secondary School, is yet to attain the status of sporting invincibility here in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
However, the 51-year-old institution is proving to be the unit to beat when it comes to some local schools’ competitions.
In an unprecedented list of accomplishments, the Barrouallie Secondary School has copped six national schools’ titles in this calendar year.
The school has trumped in both the male and female divisions of the 2022 Inter-Secondary Schools’ Athletics Championships, joining the Emmanuel High School Kingstown, now the Dr JP Eustace Memorial and the Thomas Saunders Secondary in achieving that feat.
Then, last Thursday, December 8, the school pouched both the Junior and Senior Netball titles at the Kingstown Netball Centre.
One day later, the Barrouallie Secondary also ticked off the knock out competition of the Schools’ Football Tournament, held at the Victoria Park.
Barrouallie Secondary returned to the Victoria Park on Sunday, December 11, hoping to do the double in Football, but had to be contented with retaining the Senior Division title only.
The recent successes build on many titles procured over the years.
However, the current sporting successes for the school, is seen as a culmination of a structured development pathway that has been crafted and coming to fruition.
Physical Education teacher at the Barrouallie Secondary School, Chester Morgan outlined to SEARCHLIGHT the structure that is in place at the institution.
“We have in place a Physical Education syllabus created just for our school, whereby we believe that every child from Forms One to Three should know all the basic and advanced skills in each sporting discipline…
“From there on, we move on to use scientific approach towards training with them”, Morgan expounded.
Quizzed about the time taken to infuse the syllabus into the psyche of the students, Morgan said “ It didn’t take us pretty long because we have a supportive staff and the staff had already [bought] into everything we have”.
In addition, Morgan noted that within the Central Leeward Constituency, there is a network of support that filters into the school’s Football programme.
He thus lauded the efforts of football clubs such as Adare, Blossom, and Layou FC that have put in the hard yards, as well as the policy of adopting primary schools as their feeders.
“Those (clubs) have been putting in the hard work when it comes to Football and we have a primary school system where we adopt all primary schools in the area so the kids will already be in formal training, so when they get into our school they are already five steps.”
He explained that some of the problems, for example with the primary school students’ motor skills, are fixed immediately prior to them entering secondary schools.
Morgan disclosed that he along with other staff members have introduced some social programmes to assist in the overall development of students, especially those involved in sports.
“We have introduced one whereby the parent is the key element of all these kids…we have dialogue with the parents, we put things in place to make them feel as a family… (For example), in the senior team they will eat together, they will do work together mainly…
“It is all about getting them to understand they can achieve something (as) there is already a stigma surrounding them so it is trying to break that stigma that can do it through discipline”, Morgan told SEARCHLIGHT.
Another approach of the school is to give the student athletes the incentive through their attire, to further build their self – esteem.
“We believe that we should look the best on the field because it has a psychological advantage… We want them look as close as professional as possible”, Morgan said.
Not overawed by the continued sporting success of the school, Morgan believes building on the present structure will ensure sustainability and more so, success.
A graduate of the Universidad Deportivo Del Sur of Venezuela, apart from being the Physical Education teacher at the Barrouallie Secondary School, Morgan is the Technical Director of Team Athletics SVG and is the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) Director of Coaches and Camps.