Mon | Aug 20, 2018

Save Champs

Published:Thursday | March 23, 2017 | 12:00 AM


Mi a beg unnu, nuh mash Champs, which has been described elsewhere as "arguably the highest-quality Jamaican product of international standard - a veritable oasis of excellence."

I will always consider winning the Class Two discus event at Champs in 1959 for the victorious JC team as the greatest achievement of my life.

I know Michael Clarke very well from his days at JC when under his guidance, we won Champs for five years. Michael knows how much I admire and respect him. I know Neil Harrison less well, but from all accounts, he is a fine man, and quite obviously, an excellent coach.

I do not know the headmasters of Calabar High School and Kingston College, but I am certain that they are fine and respectable men. Nor do I know the presidents of the parent-teacher associations of both schools. However, I implore these six individuals to hold a meeting immediately, moderated by someone agreeable to, but outside of, the fraternities of both schools.

The meeting should work out a modus vivendi that ensures that Champs 2017 proceeds with the participation of Calabar High School and without any incident that would tarnish the image of this wonderful, unique, culturally and globally significant event that has produced stalwarts like Norman Manley, Arthur Wint, Herb McKenley, Lindy Delapenha, Donald Quarrie, Usain Bolt, Merlene Ottey, Veronica Campbell, Shelley Ann Fraser, and Elaine Thompson.

Michael, I am looking to you to be very active in promoting a successful outcome of this meeting.

There must be no booing of our young brother, who is from the continent from which the ancestors of 92 per cent of Jamaicans came. The two schools should appoint student wardens to keep in check their overzealous colleagues in the stadium at Champs.

A different but related question is why, with close to 100 schools participating, only three or four schools have a realistic chance of winning Boys' Champs - a situation that has existed for far too long. Personally, I would love to see Spot Valley High School ( a place and school of which I had not heard until two years ago at Champs) and Petersfield High School win Champs. I declare a bias for the latter, being a proud Westmorelite. Perhaps, the sponsors of Champs might wish to consider this question and put in place corrective measures.

Patrick Robinson