By Neto Baptiste
A lack of structure and continued hesitance to put measures in place to improve the system will continue to compromise the quality of the Coca-Cola-sponsored Inter-schools Track & Field Championships.
This is according to Principal of the Princess Margaret School (PMS), Dr Colin Greene, who made the statement in reply to questions regarding what should be expected when the annual competition returns this year following a long hiatus.
Greene, whose PMS has dominated Inter-schools for the past 10 years or more, believes that a lack of planning and what seems to be a reluctance by those in authority to want to plan, pose a much bigger issue than the break itself.
“It has nothing to do with the break; it has to do with the lack of structure throughout our system, ensuring that all these students who have potential are identified and are placed in a structure that will support their skillset. That’s where we need to focus because that’s what will affect Inter-schools and continue to affect Inter-schools for a long time. There were opportunities for training going on for a good time now and if you look at some of the times coming out of our sports day, you’d know that these kids don’t run those times overnight, so they have always been in training,” he said.
Although the Covid-19 pandemic had killed any thought of hosting the event for the past two years, the programme had been in trouble long before then with issues regarding the quality of the surface at the facility resulting in cancellation of the schools’ marquee event for several years prior to 2020.
Since then, a new certified surface has been laid at YASCO but Greene said it will take much more than a new surface if the event is to realise its full potential.
The principal said it will take planning and much discussion on a national scale.
“That has to come from a nationalistic philosophical position and it has to come from the policymakers, the people who are making those decisions as to what they want to see out of the programme and what they are willing to invest into the programme. It is not a lack of interest from our students. A lot of people are interested, they just need the mechanism to support them. If we don’t change the structure we are going to end up having the same thing with those schools who invest and put interest, time, money and support, for our children are going to get the results and those who don’t aren’t,” he said.
The last Inter-schools Track & Field Championships was held in 2017 with Clare Hall Secondary School (CHSS) capturing their first boy’s title, while PMS raced to a fifth straight girl’s championship.