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Proper timing

Schools being urged to make use of technology

The National Stadium is not the only thing in demand this athletics season. The acquisition of the National Sports Council’s (NSC) LYNX electric starting gun and timing system is also high on several schools’ agenda.

Speaking this afternoon with Barbados TODAY, Wayne Robinson of the National Sports Council said that this year they have seen an increase in requests for the system, noticeably more than in previous years.

He said that last year they had to direct persons to the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletic Championship (BSSAC) timing system because the NSC had several bookings and was unable to meet the demands of several schools. It seems that might be the case once more this year for the system that is going at $450 for rental.

“We have had more requests for the timing system this year than in previous years. Last year we actually worked with five secondary schools along with primary schools. The problem is we only have one system and I think in a worse case scenario the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletic Championship people assist the people who need a system to use. Last year we had a situation where some of our primary schools booked after some of the secondary schools had already secured the system and we had to send them to BSSAC. Some of them changed their dates in order to go with us but it is a case where I think if we work with each other we should be able to fill in the blanks. So if we can’t accommodate them, BSSAC should be able to fill in.”

He explained that $450 was a pretty good price considering they had to bring in the relevant persons to work the system when the various schools put in their requests.

Robinson said the aim going forward was to get a second system that would cost an estimated BDS$35,000. But he admitted that was not something that would happen overnight. He added it was time those involved in athletics stop taking backwards steps and start utilizing the system to its maximum.

“The camera and the peripheral components cost like $35,000 and that is something we have to work towards and it is not going to happen overnight but it is on the cards. We have one camera and heaven forbids if something goes wrong with our camera we will be down. Yes we do make money but it is something we definitely have plans for in the future not only in terms of being able to work two systems at the same time, but also to operate like BSSAC who set up two cameras and we want to be able to capitalize on having one system as a back-up also.

“I would like to see sporting events –– not just track and field –– that involve running turn more towards electronic timing. Some people have made an effort in recent times to have the timing system at their sporting activities and it is high time that everybody recognize that we are at a point that we can’t be stepping back where we use the electronic system this year and then come back the next year and not use it. That is kind of a backward step. St Stephen’s for instance used our system for the past three years and we were able to look back at their previous timings, we were able to record all records broken and compare them to this year. Not only that, yesterday at their sports you saw the efficiency of the system in terms of finishing sports early and that is something others who are not onboard need to look at,” Robinson said.

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