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STREET BEAT: Hailing for heroes

Carlos Atwell

STREET BEAT: Hailing for heroes

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Some waved banners and others screamed as excited mums, dads and other fans took time out from their schedules to cheer on the nation’s future stars.
Yes, it is time again for the National Primary Schools’ Athletics Championships (NAPSAC) and the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletics Championships at the National Stadium and this week Street Beat focuses on some of the athletes’ greatest fans – their parents.
Gail Hoyte has not one, but two athletically minded children. Her son Savion is competing in the 400 metres for Cost-U-Less Sharon Primary and her daughter Rosette, also a 400-metre specialist, is in the Barbados Secondary School Athletic Championships representing Springer Memorial. Hoyte said they took after their father.
“Their father was a CARIFTA [Games]athlete and after that, I never thought I was going to get back into this,” she said. “To be honest, I didn’t expect them to come out like this, but I am very proud of them both.”
Hoyte, who plans her vacations from work to attend sports, said Rosette had been competing since she was seven years old and now, seven years later, was a regular at the stadium.  
“For me, it is very tiring but I enjoy it. Not much has changed over the years except there is more sponsorship now. It is very good businesses are taking part because it we want to produce good athletes, we must invest in them and there are very good athletes in Barbados, just like in Jamaica,” she said.
Sisters Indica, 11, and Kaya Kellman-Wall, 9, of Wilkie Cumberbatch primary have no end of support at NAPSAC as no less than six family members were present to root for them. Mum Karen Kellman said Indica was a star athlete, clocking the fastest times in the Under-13 200 metres, 400 metres and 600 metres and competing in the medley.
“They have been running since nursery school; they used to win everything and we come here every year to support them. Indica was the victrix ludorum at Wilkie Cumberbatch and was the Under-13 Patsy Callender champion,” said the proud mother.
Kellman said her two athletes were following in their parents’ footsteps and both she and their father were past athletes. However, she said her own childhood sparked her desire to support her children.
“I feel good for them; when I was an athlete, nobody came to support me so now I make sure to support my own children now,” she said.
Simone Layne has a son, Makhaya Moore, competing in the long jump for Charles F. Broome. A repeat visitor to the stadium, she said it was very exciting but had a complaint.
“The officials need to be here earlier. The issue is the line at the gate in the morning, you have to stay too long,” she said.
Sonia Sargeant was spotted standing, cheering and clapping for Deighton Griffith School. She said her son, Jalani, was competing in the 400 metres and she was here for him and the school in general. She said Jalani was her second child who performed at the National Stadium as her first son, who is now 22, was also an athlete.
“Now I am back again and I am loving it. I want Jalani to go to the Olympics; I am really proud of both of their accomplishments,” she said.
Having a son who is a CARIFTA gold medallist has not deterred Vincent Burke from showing his support for other young stars. He said he loved track and field and commended the organisers of the school sports for their work.
“My son Mario is a CARIFTA gold medallist and has the Under-13 record in the 400 metres, but I still come here to cheer on his old school Wilkie Cumberbatch as the last time they did well was when he was going there and I want to see them return to glory.
“NAPSAC is a good breeding ground for the future track and field stars. The organisers are doing a fantastic job,” he said.
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