‘We Will Compete’: PMS To Defend Cool & Smooth Inter-Schools Titles Despite Disadvantageous Rule Change

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PMS will defend both their boys’ and girls’ titles at the Cool & Smooth Inter-Schools Track & Field Championships
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By Neto Baptiste

Defending champions in the boys’ and girls’ categories of the Cool & Smooth Inter-Schools Track & Field champions, the Princess Margaret School (PMS), will be defending their titles when the meet races off on Friday at the YASCO Sports Complex.

This is according to Principal, Colin Greene, who said the body decided to turn out for the meet despite displeasure over a recent rule change that serves to, in his opinion, compromise the quality of the event and put his school and athletes at a disadvantage.

“Yesterday [Wednesday] my staff, my committee met to decide what we would do with reference to Inter-schools in terms of our participation and we [decided] that we would come to the games. We won’t sacrifice our children because they have worked hard and we would support them in their positive endeavours because it is the right thing to do. We also want to say publicly that we are not satisfied with the type of disrespect that is meted out to us as stakeholders,” he said. 

A recent rule change by organisers will allow athletes to compete in a maximum of three events, whereas they were previously allowed to compete in a fourth.

This, Greene, said will compromise the quality of his team as he is now forced to replace a number of athletes who have been training for specific events like the high jump and long jump with athletes who have not been in preparation.

“Your preparation for one meet does not begin two weeks before the meet; it begins a year in advance for the next meet where you plan strategy and you plan your support mechanism. We had our sports day on the 15th and it was a very highly publicised [event] in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports. We officially wrote them as a partner and publicly commended them for their support and nothing before that were the ministry said they either had an intent of any kind to change any rules, nor did they propose rules,” he said.

“Therefore, we mimicked our sports day to match the existing rules so we could select our team, primarily from that final activity of our sports day, along with other meets that we would have assessed the children with,” the principal added. 

Meanwhile, Deputy Director of Sports and head of the event’s planning committee, Evans Jones, denies the change was made at the last minute, adding that the committee will not back down.

“These are the rules and the rules are not being discussed with the schools. The rules of the games are done by the organising committee and, yes, it is only prudent that the stakeholders should have been told about the rule change. [But] we were overworking the athletes with four individual events, and this year we introduced three relays … so that would have been one athlete in any time can easily be running seven events,” he said.

The track and field championships opens at 3pm on Friday at the YASCO Sports Complex and continues Saturday and Sunday.

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