FULL STORY: Track blow
THERE WILL BE no Powerade Barbados Secondary Schools’ Athletic Championships (BSSAC) this Hilary term and it may not be held at all this year.
If so, it will be the first time since 1988 that the island’s most prestigious track and field meet will not be staged.
The SUNDAY SUN has been reliably informed that the decision not to stage the championships was made at the emergency meeting of the organizing committee late last week.
Chairman Catherine Jordan declined to speak on the issue last Friday before informing the other principals. Subsequent attempts to reach her were futile, but the decision has been confirmed by several different sources.
The discussion reportedly centred on postponing the meet until next term, but objections were raised by some principals about students having to take internal and external examinations.
The physical education teachers will also have to meet and weigh in on the issue.
This is just another twist to the see-saw set of circumstances which have surrounded both BSSAC and the National Primary Schools’ Athletic Championships (NAPSAC) as work progressed on the laying of a new track at the National Stadium.
As a contingency, organizers sought to have the meet held at Kensington Oval, but that decision was short-lived, as the West Indies Cricket Board invoked the one-month exclusivity clause which prohibited any non-cricket activity prior to the start of the second Test match between West Indies and Zimbabwe on March 12.
National Sports Council (NSC) director of sports Erskine King indicated that the new surface would have been From available by the end of this month
or early March, and when the NSC held its awards ceremony last month at Frank Collymore Hall, Minister of Sports in the last Government, Stephen Lashley, also reassured the public it would have been ready.
However, last week, King told the Daily Nation the technicians from Mondo, who are laying the surface, had raised some concerns which could affect the track gaining certification from the International Association of Athletics Federations and it would not be available before May.
The University of the West Indies’ Ryan Brathwaite Track at Paradise Park has been laid in striking colours of blue and gold, but that facility is not up to scratch for staging major competition.
Several vendors who ply their trade at the meet have also been affected as well as junior national athletes who use it as a major qualifier for the CARIFTA Games.
The NAPSAC organizing committee is set to meet tomorrow.