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Extra room

Sherrylyn A. Toppin

Extra room

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Hundreds of spectators who are turned away every year now have the chance to watch the 2012 Powerade Barbados Secondary Schools’ Athletic Championships (BSSAC) live at the National Stadium.
Organizers are opening up the Clarence Jemmott “A” Stand fully to the public for all five days of the meet on March 14, 15, 16, 22 and 23.
“We have been very conscious of the need to cater to the public and the numbers of people who would want to be in the Stadium,” said principal Shelton Perkins, treasurer of the organizing committee.
“Last year we tried to accommodate more people in the “A” Stand and we did it in the middle of sports. This year from the outset we are going to open the “A” Stand along with the Louis Lynch Stand and the Annex.”
Prices vary for the three locations for the finals but the cost for the preliminaries remains the same.
The Louis Lynch Stand has a capacity of 535 people, but the organizing committee usually reserves a number of seats on the southern side of the VIP box. The Annex, directly in front of the Louis Lynch Stand, can hold as many as 200 people and the “A” Stand has a capacity of approximately 2 000.
Perkins said they would not exceed their capacity in keeping with insurance regulations.
Students will be in the O’Donnell ‘Don’ Norville Stand “B” and James ‘Jim’ Wedderburn Stand “C”, while athletes will be in the Patsy Callender Stand “D”.
Deputy chairman Winston Crichlow said the days of placing a bag to keep a seat for a friend or family member in the Louis Lynch Stand were coming to an end with the introduction of numbers on the tickets.
“We are also trying to assign seat numbers to the tickets to avoid the kinds of challenges we have had with tickets,” Crichlow, the principal of Harrison College, said.
“Clearly, based on our plans this year, that should be a thing of the past. You go to the outlet, and they would have a chart and you would be able to indicate the numbers that you prefer to have,” he added.
Tickets for the Louis Lynch Stand will not be sold at the gate for the finals and once the stand is sold out, the general public will be informed. Tickets go on sale next week at Cave Shepherd and Esso Black Rock.
The Transport Board and the Police Force are back on board to provide transportation and security at the inter-house and inter-school events.
In renewing their commitment to the meet, Powerade brand manager Clifford-Gooding Edghill pointed out that for athletes it remained “a positive vehicle to develop and showcase their talent”.
He congratulated Pan American bronze medallist Shakera Reece who came through the ranks, as well as Pan Am and Commonwealth Youth bronze medallist Kion Joseph. Both received awards last week from the National Sports Council.
Meanwhile, meet director David Oxley said the lone change to this year’s programme was the introduction of the 110-metre hurdles for Under-17 boys in keeping with what is happening at the regional level.
The Athletics Series gets underway today with Combermere Inter-House Championships at the school.
Defending girls’ champions Springer Memorial will be at the National Stadium tomorrow and The Lodge School will hold their meet on the school grounds in St John.