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School head says coaches must put in more time if standards are to improve

By Neto Baptiste

One secondary school principal and an advocate for school sports, Foster Roberts, believes that coaches attached to the schools programme should work with athletes within their various disciplines all year round and not just when their particular discipline is in season.

Roberts, the principal at the Ottos Comprehensive School (OCS), said that many of the plants are either equipped with the necessary infrastructure or are close enough to facilities that could be used all year round.

“The coaches that we have, we can’t just coach when it is football season and produce footballers, you have to be coaching them all year round. So they need to work with the principals in the schools and let us set up the schedule for you to come during the school week, after school to work with the children for an hour or an hour and a half,” he said.

“I have courts and there is a quadrangle inside of my school so basketball and netball could play inside there. On the field at the west side we have football and cricket that could be played. So why is it that the coaches are only coming into the schools and working with the children only when it is a season but they are being paid for a whole year?” he queried. 

Roberts, along with two other principals, were discussing the way forward for schools sports post Covid-19, during an appearance on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show.

Once such other principal is Denmore Roberts who is charged with managing the TN Kirnon Primary School. The avid sports lover and commentator said his hope is to see the decentralising of schools sports, which would see schools outside of St John’s with the ability to host matches in some sports being offered the opportunity to do so.

“Bringing all of the children to YMCA for expediency purposes, as they say, is counterproductive. Liberta A played against Liberta B at YMCA and I objected because we have a netball court attached to the school and I said that it must be easier for you to bring the umpires to Liberta than for me to bring the 20 plus students to the YMCA,” he said.

There has been no schools sports since March last year after the ministry suspended all competitions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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