Chairman of the NAPSAC, Richmark Cave (left) accepts a sponsorship cheque from representative of Rubis Eastern Caribbean SRL. Standing with them are U-13 Boy (second left) Javier Norville and Rokeem King.

NAPSAC athletes encouraged to be well rounded

The right combination of athletic skills and academic ability is what needs to be the vision of the young National Primary Schools’ Athletic Championship (NAPSAC) athletes, says Mona Alleyne, National Sports Council Assistant Director of Sport.

Speaking at the launch of the 2019 NAPSAC at champion school St. Giles Primary, who won the 2018 Girls’ crown, Alleyne offered the advice to the athletes in attendance.

“Some people cannot understand that those athletes who have done well in the past and have benefited from scholarships, they do not go out there and just run and jump and hop and skip, they do academic work,” explained Alleyne.

Her point was that students must be able to balance athletics with academics and aim to excel equally in both. Along with those two goals, the Assistant Chairman of NAPSAC included healthy living and the choice of remaining fit through exercise and diet along having fun and enjoying oneself as you compete in whatever sport.

The championships will commence at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex on Monday, February 11th with the Patsy Callender Zone. On February 12th will be the Obadele Thompson Zone. There will be no competition on the Wednesday but zonal proceedings continue on February 14th, 15th and 18th with the Andrea Blackett, Anton Norris and James Wedderburn Zones respectively. Friends, family and friends are asked to come out and cheer on the children. The schools will be looking to topple reigning Boys’ champions St. Alban’s Primary and the St. Giles’ queens.

After the almost 4 000 competitors from 82 schools compete at the preliminary levels, the top athletes then hit the Ryan Brathwaite track for the quarter-finals on Friday, March 1st and the semi-finals on Friday, March 8th. Speed and times will separate the best from the rest and those who remain will look to win gold at the finals on Tuesday, March 18th. The cost of entry for all days for children is $5. For the finals adults pay $20 and all other days $10.

Over the last two years there has been concern about the area known as the Athletes Village, regarding the dusty conditions endured by the athletes while they wait for their races to be called. Chairman of NAPSAC, Richmark Cave announced that the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus would try to make the area more of a grassy location than the an open dirt environment.

Kudos must be given to the NAPSAC committee for maintaining a high standard for the championships. This year's budget to host the event was over
$250 000 and the committee was able to gain even more sponsorship than years gone by. Sponsors include the Barbados Union of Teachers, Rubis Eastern Caribbean SRL, West India Biscuit Company, Armstrong Agencies, Pine Hill Dairy, SMH Beverages, Chefette Restaurants, Island Ice Limited, T.O.S Catering and Urgent Care.

The NAPSAC committee thanked the sponsors and all those who give of their time and effort to make the sports what they have become – a quality athletics product of Barbados.

Even with the standard being high, the NAPSAC vision is to continually improve. This year there were clinics introduced to train coaches in order to lift the standard of athlete across the board, and also technical clinics to introduce or refresh the knowledge of the technical part of the championships, namely the athlete database entry.
The athletes deserve the best and as such a commemorative photo will be done for the champions, thanks to the Dwight Holder Foundation Charity.
(AS)

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