Sun | Mar 18, 2018

After-Champs pandemonium

Published:Tuesday | April 4, 2017 | 12:00 AM


The ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships has come and gone, with Calabar declared the 2017 champions. Although the exploits on the field will remain memorable, what I will never forget is the one hour that I directed traffic at the car park across from the stadium on Friday, March 31, 2017.

It should be noted that to be able to utilise this car park, patrons had to pay $400. So it should be a reasonable expectation that, just like when the money is being collected and persons are on hand directing patrons where to park, the converse would be true upon exit: Persons would be on location to ensure that patrons leave in an orderly manner.

Not so at Champs!

Having exited the gates immediately after the 4x4 relays and gaining entrance to the vehicle, the queue in the car park did not move for 20 minutes. Checks were made as to why, only to discover there was no one directing traffic from that exit.

With my family, including a seven-year-old child who had performed at the opening ceremony being stuck in the queue, I went to the exit to find a municipal policeman standing with arms at side. When asked why the traffic was not moving, he informed that because he is a municipal police and didn't have the authority to write tickets, he was being disrespected and ignored by the patrons.


I then started to direct the traffic myself. While there were approximately three motorists who did not accede to my wishes, the others did. As a result, many motorists who had been stuck were finally able to leave the car park. I kept this up until my family's vehicle was about to exit, and this also coincided with the arrival of a police inspector.

When I queried why there were no police to assist, I was shocked to hear him say, "Mi just come out a my bed and unoo nuh know what a gwaan pon the outskirts of Stadium."

I immediately jumped into my family's vehicle and left.

Apart from the fact that I could have had a medical emergency with no way to get to the Bustamante Hospital for Children, I am simply amazed at the lazy attitude and lack of professionalism exhibited by these officials. In addition, that the organisers lack of foresight left a lot to be desired.