By Makeida Antonio
The National Youth Rally returns to the Antigua Recreation Ground this Thursday to the excitement of many students and parents.
This is the first time the event has been hosted since 2019, before the Covid pandemic halted many extracurricular activities for students.
The body responsible for its coordination and presentation, the National Youth Rally Committee, said it remains dedicated to ensuring that the show is executed flawlessly.
Committee Chairman Russhell Ellis told Observer that seating will be different this year, after the Double Decker Stand at the ARG was demolished in July as it was deemed unfit for use.
Ellis explained that the committee usually accepts 100 secondary school students and 40 primary school students. This year, only 60 secondary and 30 primary students will be allowed to participate to ensure safe seating.
Additionally, the committee is working closely with the National Solid Waste Management Authority to thoroughly clean the grounds and cut and maintain the grass ahead of the students’ arrival on October 27.
Ellis also assured those conducting business and working in St John’s that traffic police have organised plans to guide motorists for the day.
“I must say, we are in front this year as it relates to planning in such a short time, given the short notice that it will be moved back to the city,” Ellis said.
For the first time ever, a third eyes right will be given on Redcliffe Street to Dwayne Fleming, the youngest Olympian to represent Antigua and Barbuda. Following the march passes, the special drills, cheerleading and DJ competitions will be held at the ARG.
Ellis shared her excitement with the gifts for the students and schools which will emerge victorious.
“We usually give trophies but this year we sought sponsorships because we wanted to go all out. We got some nice gifts and they will be awarded to the winners of the competitions,” Ellis added.