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I Agree With The Principals: Sports Minister Promises More Inclusion For School Principals

By Neto Baptiste

Minister of Sports Daryll Matthew agrees there is a greater need for collaboration with principals of the various schools regarding the planning and execution of competitions run by the sports department.

Matthew made the disclosure while speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, adding that although some discussions have started on a departmental level, discussions with principals could start in short order.

“First of all, I agree with the principals that there needs to be greater involvement of the principals and I suppose now that we are part of the same ministry, Ministry of Education and Sports, that it creates an opportunity for greater collaboration. I cannot say if the discussion have started as yet because these discussions are led by the director of sports [Heather Samuel Daley] and the respective teams but I know it is a discussion that we have had as the Ministry of Sports or the sports department personnel that the general consensus and agreement,” he said.

“As recently as perhaps three or four weeks ago, we started having discussions between the department of education and the department of sports about how we can resume schools sports and so yes, the collaboration is required, it is necessary,” he added.

Antigua Girls’ High School captured the under-15 division of the girls’ schools football competition in 2019.

Three principals, Dr Collin Greene (PMS), Foster Roberts (OCS) and Denmore Roberts (TN Kirnon Primary), who appeared on the Observer Radio show in July, all lobbied for more inclusion in the planning and running of schools sports.

According to the education officials, previous calls for inclusion have gone un-noticed.

Matthew also addressed reports that the return of schools sports hinges on the country achieving herd immunity against Covid-19.

“While we definitely aspire to have herd immunity, I can tell you that I am not confident it is going to be achieved in the short term. We are going to be going through these sort of cycles for a little while and we just have to continue the process where persons appreciate and accepts the value of vaccinations. I just don’t think that as a nation we are there as yet so it’s a work in progress and so heard immunity will only come when we have enough persons inoculated against Covid-19 so I wouldn’t go as far as to say we would not have schools sports until we have herd immunity because I don’t think that is a practical position to take,” the minister said.

Assistant Director of Sports, Evans Jones, said during a previous interview that efforts to ensure the return of schools sports sometime during the new school year may be thwarted by the recent rise in Covid-19 cases.

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