Merit of transfers
Changes are always hard to accept but once they have to be made, it should be for the better and not the worse.
Alexandra School’s loss with the transfer of long-serving cricket coach Peter Vaughan should be a plus for Grantley Adams Memorial, whose most outstanding cricketing products are Dale Richards and Antonio Mayers.
But do you think the Ministry of Education would be bold enough to shift the even more successful Roddy Estwick from Combermere, to let’s say St George Secondary or Daryll Jordan (formerly St Lucy Secondary) or can you imagine Springer Memorial’s successful physical education (PE) pair of Sandra Jones and Julie Phillips being transferred to other schools like Frederick Smith Secondary (formerly St James Secondary) or Princess Margaret or even Alma Parris.
Certainly, Estwick, having won more than 20 titles in all age groups as well as two Sagicor Shield titles since he was specifically chosen as Combermere’s cricket master, could be employed at another school where he can be just as impactful by implementing the winning Combermere formula. On the flip side, if he is replaced by someone with no record of excellence, that could be counter-productive as could be the case with Vaughan’s departure from Alexandra.
I thought the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA)?missed the boat big time a few years ago, when they made Estwick chairman of the senior selection panel, instead of national senior coach. After all, coaching is his forte and his skills should be utilized to benefit not only Combermere but wider Barbados.
There are several secondary schools in dire need of an influential coach like Estwick to push their cricket programme.
I’m extremely concerned with what is happening at Daryll Jordan Secondary and Parkinson Memorial, who did not field teams in the recent Under-13 competition and some of the other schools, who have not won a single title in decades or got one of their students on a national team in any discipline.
Some schools don’t win a single match in competitions and at inter-school sports; they finish with fewer than ten points or none at all.
There are still too many secondary schools where ancillary staff members like security guards, groundsmen, lab technicians, and even parents or old scholars have to do the job of PE teachers. Some teachers also assist in a particular sporting discipline in which they don’t have a background.
In fact, I believe that at least some of our Barbados cricketers and other national representatives in other sports, who are unemployed and have done the necessary coaching courses, should be attached to a secondary school.
On the actual field of play, the final of the 2012 BCA?Republic Bank Rightstart Everton Weekes Under-13 competition was finally played at Kensington Oval last Saturday with Combermere defeating Alexandra by 67 runs to win the title for the third consecutive year.
But long before the final was played, I received a letter from a physical education teacher, accusing the Barbados Cricket Association?of practising double standards in relation to the rescheduling of cricket matches in schools’ competitions.
The teacher’s grouse stemmed from the rescheduling of the semi-finals from December 10 as a result of the National Sports Council’s Under-13 tour to Trinidad and Tobago.
In its release to the media and school coaches, the BCA?had said that as a result of representation from the Barbados Association of Principals of Public Secondary Schools (BAPPS), the semi-finals and final would not now be played as scheduled and issued new dates of January 3 and 5 for semi-finals and final, respectively.
According to the teacher the BCA had sent out the fixtures from October 31, which gave ample opportunity for schools to lodge objections. He said the dates of the NSC’s tour would’ve been known prior to December 7, the day the semi-finalists were decided. Yet, there was no objection to the semi-final or final dates until after the completion of the quarter-finals.
The teacher asked whether it was a case where the BCA deals with these matters on a school by school basis and not based on policy.
He pointed out that during last year’s Under-19 competition, Christ Church Foundation requested the BCA to reschedule the final when two of their players were overseas with the Barbados Under-17 team and that request was denied.
Also in this year’s LIME Under-15 Tournament, schools had to field teams in the semi-finals without their leading players who were in St Kitts on national duty, which would have affected the outcome of zonal matches.
The teacher also asked whether the representation the BCA said it received from BAPPS?was “on behalf of the entire group of semi-finalists or a select and privileged few.”
“Were all the schools participating in the semi-finals aware that a letter was even being drafted with their ‘interest’ at heart, or do the desires of a select few dictate what everyone gets?,” he further asked.
The coach also noted the feasibility of the new dates had not been discussed with all the persons responsible for cricket at the various schools. Ellerslie and Lodge were the other schools involved in the semi-finals.
“The dates of the semifinals have been changed to ensure that schools have all their players but are schools expected to be prepared for a semi-final right after Christmas and New Year’s?” he asked.