by Donna Sealy
This year’s National Primary Schools’ Athletic Championships have been cancelled.
The decision not to go ahead with NAPSAC this year was taken as a result of the unavailability of the National Stadium, which is getting a new track and related field event facilities.
This morning, officials from the NAPSAC secretariat met with physical education teachers/coaches from primary school to inform them.
A Barbados Union of Teachers official told Barbados TODAY that they were not going ahead with the games at all after an alternative venue, Blenheim, which has a 400 metre track, was ruled out by the Ministry of Education and the Association of Public Primary School Principal because of their “serious security concerns”.
That person also said that to move the keenly contested meet to the third term was also not an option given that the Common Entrance Exam will be on May 7, after which there would be the netball and football tournaments as well as end of term exams and graduations for the class four students.
“It is very unlikely that we would go ahead with it,” he said.
Sources said that while the teachers were disappointed with the decision, they understood and agreed with it.
Physical Education teacher of defending champions West Terrace Primary’s teacher, Roderick Harmon, told Barbados TODAY that his team of more than 80 athletes had been training since November last year.
“As the defending champions and with the prospect of losing some of the outstanding athletes that would obviously have won the championship for you is disappointing. You would have loved to see those athletes, like the [Lelani and Ajani] Haddocks], get an opportunity to prove their mettle again and go out on a high.
“They have been practising very hard over the past couple of weeks and we were still hoping with all the promises that had been made we would still have been able to have a go at it even if it wasn’t on the stadium track,” Harmon said.
The St. James school’s teams participated in the Barbados Relay Fair held on Saturday at the Kensington Oval but there was no other athletic meet.
Some schools in St. John will be running in the annual St. John meet, which starts tomorrow in Gall Hill.
The Williams Industries Tigers won the girls’ title with 86 points and the boys ran away with the top spot after scoring 162 points. firstname.lastname@example.org