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Athletes deserve a new stadium, says principal


Jonteau Coppin

Athletes deserve a new stadium, says principal
Principal Ivan Clarke (FILE)

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The calls for a new National Stadium grew louder as several speakers at last Thursday’s press launch of 2023 Chefette/Frosteez National Primary Schools Athletic Championships (NAPSAC) appealed to the Government to finally deliver on promises to build the facility.

President of the Association of Public Primary Schools Principals, Ivan Clarke, said it was annoying to work as teacher in the Athletes Village due to the poor conditions they faced when the solution is to have a National Stadium built to host sporting events such as the upcoming NAPSAC.

Clarke, a former Physical Education teacher, said he has only missed one NAPSAC and re recounted sliding in mud and getting wet because of inadequate facilities.

“Politicians are supposed to make promise but as citizens we have to ensure that they keep them. It is too long in coming. Don’t tell me we are going to get a stadium every single year and every single year we have to be providing tarps for our children to sit on. . .  It is time that our young athletes be rewarded, so they can be running on a good track, so they can be enjoying a good facility,” he said to the applause of those sitting in on the press conference.

While acknowledging that it was not the fault of those who have previously or are currently working on the NAPSAC committee that the children are in those conditions, Clarke said that he believes the onus is on everyone else to demand more from the Government.

“Every year principals complain about those conditions and it is time to stop. I think we are too comfortable in allowing whichever political party is in power to get away from building it. Get it done!”

He was not alone, as President of the Barbados Union of Teachers, Rudy Lovell, was also vocal about the situation.

“As I did by asking for the Get Moving Festival to be a regular feature on Primary Schools calendar and was granted, I am calling on the Government of Barbados to complete the National Stadium, to among other things, enable NAPSAC to return to its stomping ground after being away from the Stadium since 2020.”

He added: “I hope this request will be granted at least by 2025. Given the support that NAPSAC has had throughout the years and the relaxation of the COVID-19 protocols, it is envisioned that the stands at the Usain Bolt Complex would be filled and may not be able to accommodate all those who want to attend.”

Also in attendance were NAPSAC Chairperson Janelle Denny and Ryan Haloute, managing director of title sponsor Chefette Restaurants and Frosteez Ice Cream.

This year’s NAPSAC Championships will once again be held at the Usain Bolt Complex (see dates below). No tickets will be sold at the door.

Live streaming of the sporting event will continue this year on www.napsacbb.com.

NAPSAC Zones 2023:

February 6th – Rubis Caribbean Andrea Blackett Zone

February 7th – Holiday/Bermudez James Wedderburn Zone

February 8th – Anton Norris Zone

February 9th – Roma Pasta Marcia Trotman Zone

February 13th – The Nation Publishing Patsy Callender Zone

February 14th – Obadele Thompson Zone

February 15th – Sunshine Cereals Ryan Brathwaite Zone

February 16th – The Wibisco Freida Nicholls Zone

March 2nd – Semi-finals

March 10th – Final

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