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Push for 6-day athletic action

Anmar Goodridge-Boyce

Push for 6-day athletic action
Charles Walcott (FILE)

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Some of Barbados’ most promising athletes could soon get a first taste of action competing for their schools in more than a year, once permission is granted for the Inter Secondary School Field Events Championship.

The Charles Walcott Foundation is planning to stage the six-day event between November and December subject to approval from principals and the COVID-19 monitoring unit.

Coleridge & Parry School has been earmarked as the main venue along with The St Michael School, Queen’s College, St George Secondary and Christ Church Foundation.

It is understood that two athletes from each school will be allowed to take part in each event. The winners at each venue and the next three best distances will make up eight athletes in the finals for shot put, discus, javelin, long jump and high jump.

Chairman Charles Walcott told NATION SPORT he believes the meet will be the perfect precursor for the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Athletics Championships and the CARIFTA Games.

“I am pretty confident that the athletes will want to participate,” he said. “A lot of these children have not competed for a long time.

“The athletics season this year started kind of late and all the athletes were not training to the level that they wanted to be at. We felt that we should put this out here and perhaps the children will start the out-ofseason training. It could pay good dividends when the official season starts in January.”

Walcott, a former national shot put record holder who represented Barbados at the CARIFTA and CAC Games, said all COVID-19 protocols will be in place.

“As an athlete, I participated in the track season this year and we pretty much had an idea in terms of what the requirements are,” he said. “We watched the Olympics and we had a chance to see some of the practices at the highest level in terms of wearing masks and sanitising hands.

“The COVID-19 Monitoring Unit will provide the guidelines. It can be done and it is just a matter of having our meets and planning accordingly. I don’t foresee any challenges once the permission is granted.”

Walcott also said it is necessary for greater emphasis to be placed on field events in the island.

“The field events have never been the glamour events even in terms of press coverage,” he said. “When you watch on television, you only see the field events when track is not going on or when there is a break. For years, I have not seen that push on the field events. Our aim is to raise the profile.”

Walcott also suggested the need for a facility strictly for field athletes to utilise.

“Our long-term goal is really to have an additional place that will be only for field events purposes and the development of an international facility where countries during their winter months can travel to Barbados and train,” he said. “If we can do that, it will become a sports tourism initiative for Barbados as well and everyone would be able to benefit.” (AGB)