BAPPS president and Harrison College principal Juanita Wade (front left) and chairman of the BSSAC committee Orson Alleyne (front right) with some of the sponsors who have played a part in making the BSSAC champion-ships possible. (Picture by Ria Goodman.)
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This year’s staging of the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Athletic Championships (BSSAC) will be testament to there being more positivity among the youth than negativity.
This comment was made by assistant director Andrew Brathwaite during a sponsors’ event hosted by the BSSAC committee in the Harrison College boardroom on Friday.
“We see our role as not only putting on a track meet of a high quality but also to do more to promote the positive activities of the young persons within our society.
“There is some negativity surrounding the youth with regards to violence in schools, and we want to use these championships more so to highlight the positive things that our young persons are doing,” Brathwaite said.
“We are confident that there is way more positive than negative surrounding our youth and we want to take the BSSAC meet to allow people to see the positive things that young people are doing.
“Anyone preparing for a track meet has to be working hard. You can’t wake up one morning and decide you are a top athlete. I can speak to that because I have been a coach at the national level . . . .
“Those students who have to manage their academics and their training, the athletes who qualify for scholarships, those who are qualifying for CARIFTA, we want to promote those persons and bring a positive spin to the work of our nation’s young persons,” said the former coach of Barbados’ women’s volleyball.
The Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity (BIMAP) and the Royal Commonwealth Society are two of four new sponsors who have developed initiatives to highlight the positives during the championships, set to begin on Tuesday at the National Stadium.
Director of training at BIMAP, Dr Kenroy Burke, said they would be investing in the lives of two senior students.
“We are looking at offering one sponsored course to each individual. We are also going to give them a seminar which deals with lots of the soft skills like team building and communication,” he said.
“We will also be offering an internship, a job attachment for the summer with one or two of our member companies. We want to develop the human resource product in Barbados and we are on board with these students – what a wonderful marriage between the academic and athletics.”
Chairman of the sports committee of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Ryan Brathwaite, said they would be awarding a trophy to the school team that best showcases the qualities of the Commonwealth.
“We are going to look for the team that exemplifies the values of the Commonwealth [which includes] sportsmanship, respect, fair play, and these are things that we want to encourage”.
Sol Barbados and Digicel are among the new sponsors, which now total 19. (RG)