• Today
    September 27

  • 12:50 PM

Mixed views on kiddies' changes

YVETTE BEST and DEIRDRE GITTENS,

Added 23 July 2010

kiddies1

THE NEW TIME for tomorrow’s Junior Kadooment and the return of the Junior Monarch to the National Stadium have been met with mixed reactions from long time participants in both events.Not all bandleaders are in agreement with the  time change for the kiddies parade.The parade, which usually commenced around 9 a.m. will now begin at 2 p.m., and the young revellers will assemble at Tyrol Cot at noon.Although some are of the opinion that the time change is for the better, some have raised concerns about the sun and other problems that could arise.Bandleader for the Wilkie Cumberbatch Primary School band Bugging Out, Heather Lovell-Callender, stated that although she didn’t “really mind it” she would prefer if it was “not so early”.“[The children] will have to be in the sun until the start which is at 2, and I can see some children becoming very weary and tired,” she said. She added that it was too hot for the young revellers to bear and she would prefer if it were a 3 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. start.“There is not enough cover that they could shade [under] until the start,” she lamented.Mackie Holder of Wednesday 2000 had similar concerns. He, too, was troubled about the children having to assemble at noon for the 2 p.m. start, because “it will be the hottest time of the day”.Despite this, Holder stated that they would just have to wait and see how it “plays out”.Betty West and Gwyneth Squires are in full agreement with the change, however.West, who is the bandleader of Bajan Adventure, said: “It doesn’t bother me whatsoever. I’m moving with the flow . . . It will be cooler in the afternoon. “It is too late for me to be worrying about the time change. I’m ready for [tomorrow],” she exclaimed. Squires, of Kids Like It So, was down with the new time.“It is good. I like the time because when it is too early it is a lot of hassle . . . They going back to old times,” said Squires, adding that [she] was “very glad to hear that”.Speaking on the issue of the heat affecting children with asthma, Squires explained that she did not have that problem because it was the parents’ duty to tell them about any problems the child/children might have and then they would “work to suit”.After agitation from stakeholders, the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) separated the two competitions in 2005, and the Junior Calypso Monarch has been held at the former Dove Conference Centre, the Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex and the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. This year fans will be getting that old two-for-one at the National Stadium once again.Tiffany G, who was the first to win at Dove, is not in favour of the move. The two-time champ has issues with the distractions from participants in the kiddies competition and the grass, which affected her allergies.While she thinks the 6 p.m. start is much better than the broiling afternoon sun, in which she performed years ago, she likes the whole idea of the juniors having their own moment in the spotlight.Rico CoCo Gaskin has won in both the eight to 12 and 13 to 18 categories. He has never won at the Stadium but enjoyed the experiences there.“I was in the competition for about eight years. I didn’t win at the Stadium. My first time at the Stadium I came second, but the Stadium was a great place and I always loved it. I was sorry that it moved from the Stadium because it had the whole feeling of the big crowd. Yeah, it was good dey,” he said with a smile.“I am happy to see it return to home,” he added.Memories of the experience at the Stadium for the then 11-year-old Anique Cher Herbert are still vivid, but she is not totally sold on the return.“I can remember it being in the day, but now they move it back, if it is at six o’clock that would be great . . . When I performed, it was a big distraction because children were all over the place, but it was great because you were outdoors; you felt like a senior. So that is what I loved about performing at the Stadium. However, when we went to the Gymnasium last year that was also great. Throughout the years I think the best place was the gymnasium,” Cher said, adding that she did not like the conditions at Dove and the then Sherbourne.Shelly Babydoll Cummins has issues with the distractions from the revellers. Christine Christal Eli, who has written for several junior champions in the 11 years she has been involved, is strongly opposed to the return to the National Stadium. “I think it’s like taking twenty-something steps backwards. The whole idea was to raise the standard of junior monarch and the children actually felt good knowing that they were graduating.“The separation was good at the time, because the juniors worked really hard and I think it would have been a cheap shot to give a show of that standard along with Junior Kadooment for such a price. Going back there now, I would really have to see how it turns out because I don’t feel comfortable with it,” the lady who did a hat-trick at the Stadium said.Christal said the juniors were divided on the move.  The ones who have never performed at the Stadium are eager and the ones who have don’t want to return.She notes that the junior competition has grown over the years to a money-making affair for the NCF, which has had to turn away crowds, and she feels the “juniors are getting kinda like punished” in this “backward” move.

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