TOO MANY SCHOOLS ARE MERE PARTICIPANTS AT INTER-COL
Written by Rae Roberts on March 26, 2018
The difference in points between the 2018 Scotia Bank Inter-Col champions, GBSS, and the team finishing at the bottom of the table is 501 points. Occupying the last position in the Boys’ Competition is the Happy Hill Secondary School. The boys could only muster a mere three points from more than 75 events contested over three days.
In the Girls’ division, the gap between champions, St. Joseph Convent, Grenville was 370 points; and last place Grenada Seventh Day Adventist Comprehensive which scored just two points was 368 points.
These statistics bring into serious question the competence of the coordinators of physical education and games departments — not just in these two schools but several others.
They include St. Mark Secondary which scored seven points in the girls competition and Grenville Secondary three points. Also Wesley College and Happy Hill which failed to reach double figures in the boys.
Looking through the results, very few of the athletes representing the schools failing to make ten or more points recorded significant time, throws or jumps in their respective events.
The reality is that just a handful of the athletes from the bottom placed schools qualified to compete in the finals.
From the data collected during the three days of track and field, one could conclude that many of the schools engaged in little or no preparations for their premier track and field championship.
Having not spoken to any of the games teachers/coaches from the schools finishing with fewer than 25 points, we do not have all the facts to make a precise judgment; but there’s absolutely no doubt about it — some of the performances were appalling .
It was most disheartening to see schools such as Grenville Secondary; St Mark; and St. John hardly being noticed at the Inter-col. They used to be among the prominent contenders. Grenville Secondary and St. Mark both have student populations in excess of 250 and ought to be producing better athletic teams.
I am aware of the many challenges coaches face in just about all of our schools — inadequate equipment for training; lack of resources to take athletes to the playing field and transportation to return home — as well as students lacking proper nutrition.
The biggest challenge of all? Many of our student/athletes lack discipline, and therefore are not prepared to seriously commit themselves to pre-season training. Few seem to appreciate that in order to be a quality athlete one must first invest time in improving their techniques and fitness — months ahead of the games.
In other words the same principles students apply to their academic studies – two hours per day improving their knowledge of math and English, must also feature in their track and field schedule beginning at the start of the school year in September
Of the 19 schools which competed in the girls’ division – eight of them recorded more than one hundred points — Convent, Grenville 370; Anglican High 334; SAASS 253; Hillsborough 197; St. David Catholic Secondary 160; Bishop’s College 129; Mc Donald College 109 and Grenada Christian Academy 81 — while the remaining eight – Boca 46; Wesley College 39; Happy Hill 21; J.W. Fletcher 20; Westmorland 10; St. Mark 7; Grenville Secondary 3 and Grenada Seventh Day 2.
The boys’ competition had six schools recording three-figure scores – GBSS 504; SAASS 391; Bishop’s College 244; PBC 184; St. David Catholic 150; Hillsborough 142. MacDonald College 92 and the remaining nine failed to reach 50 points.
In summary, the Ministry of Sports and the Grenada Athletic Association should take notice of the wide gap between the top and the bottom. Clearly, there are going to be winners; but we must endeavour to produce very competitive losers. It is in the best interest of national athletics to have strong teams in each school. It means that athletes will push each other to run faster; throw longer distances and jump higher. The end result — a high standard of athletics and quality athletes.