AWRIGHT DEN!: Rising stars
There is one time of the year that most Barbadians look forward to. It is a time when we engage in friendly rivalry as we celebrate the collective achievements of all students. Yup, it’s school sports.
It is one of the most important national events in this country and one of the most positive and happiest times as it brings together the entire family, community and nation to celebrate our children’s achievements.
It blessed my heart this year to see two of my past students, who were known as troublemakers, excel in their events. They achieved success and I celebrate with them. However, it is with a heavy heart that I must share my disappointment and hurt at having missed one of their events on the penultimate day of the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Athletic Championships (BSSAC).
For whatever reason, Day 4 of the BSSAC finals was not shown on CBC-TV; neither were the Special Olympics.
In my opinion, this is blatant disrespect to all parents, teachers, children and citizens who were hoping to celebrate with the children via CBC.
The Ministry of Sport has a responsibility to ensure that this important national event is always televised. This isn’t the first time it has happened and it is unacceptable; a reason and an apology should be given. Imagine, we couldn’t watch our own local sports but the Jamaica Boys’ and Girls’ Championships 2014 were being televised on Sportsmax for the entire world to see.
There were many amazing achievements during school sports this year and what many of you don’t know is that many of those achievers came from one track club, Rising Stars, which is coached by Alwyn Babb and located at The Lester Vaughan School, where he is also a physical education teacher.
Here are the facts. The victor and victrix ludorum of both the National Primary Schools Athletic Championships (NAPSAC) and BSSAC, Shem Williams, Skye Spencer-Layne, Rivaldo Leacock and Tristan Evelyn are coached by Babb at Rising Stars.
In the BSSAC divisional champions list, the club dominated again:?Lelani Haddock – 2nd, Under-13 Girls; Ajani Haddock – 1st, Under-13 Boys; Samuel Alkins – 3rd, Under-13 Boys; Rosette Hoyte – 3rd, Under-15 Girls; Antonio Farrell – 3rd, Under-15 Boys; Tiana Bowen – 2nd, Under-17 Girls; Tristan Evelyn – 1st, Under-17 Girls; Deshon Trent – 3rd, Under-17 Boys; Rivaldo Leacock – 1st, Under-17 Boys; Michael Nicholls – 2nd, Under-20 Boys.
Lester Vaughan also captured the Under-15 and Under-17 Boys’ division and placed second in the Under-20 Boys’.
The club also has eight members, including six from Lester Vaughan, who have been selected to represent Barbados at Carifta in Martinique, the most from any individual school or club. They also dominated the hurdle events, sweeping the medals.
Ramon Gittens, Ryan Brathwaite and Kierre Beckles, who have represented Barbados at the World Championships, along with Shane Brathwaite, the World Youth Octathlon champion, and star long jumper Shamar Rock are all Rising Stars athletes.
This is two consecutive years that Rising Stars and Lester Vaughan have had the most athletes attending Carifta, and both years the most successful athletics coach in Barbados, Alwyn Babb, has not been considered to lead or assist with the coaching of the Carifta team, even though he was the 2012 Olympics coach.
As a result, he will again have to pay his own airfare and accommodation to attend Carifta with his athletes or watch the games online or from his television. Someone needs to explain this to me since it doesn’t make any sense.
Last November, I was able to fulfil one of my dreams to start a non-governmental organisation called C2J Foundation Inc. This year, C2J will be launching a sports and educational development project with Rising Stars as we seek to partner with them to enhance their programme and advance their student members.
Corey Worrell is a former Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. Email [email protected]