JC drop outstanding Class Two sprinter
Principal: 'We do not believe in winning at all cost'
Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica College, one of the preseason favourites to capture the boys' title at next week's GraceKennedy/ISSA Boys and Girls' Championships, have suffered a major setback.
Top Class Two sprinter, Rohan Walker, who was expected to score heavily in his individual events, has been ruled out of the meet after he failed to satisfy the academic requirements set out by the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA).
Principal of the school, Ruel Reid, yesterday confirmed that Walker, who has done well in the 100, 200 and 400 metres all season at the various development meets, and who was a member of their winning Class Two quartet at the Gibson Relays, is out of the meet.
"Rohan (Walker) will not compete for Jamaica College at next week's Boys and Girls' Championships," Reid replied when contacted yesterday.
Poor academic performance
"Rohan (Walker) was not entered because he did not satisfy the academic requirement to do so, and we have no apology about this, as Jamaica College is an educational institution and we do not believe in winning at all cost, as our duty is to ensure that at the end of their tenure our students are qualified academically, as this is our first priority," he said.
Reid also stressed that all sporting teams at Jamaica College have done well in academics, and that will not change.
"Our recent triple crown-winning football team is a testimony to this, as most of the players have done very well in the Scholastic Aptitude Test, one of the requirements to attend overseas universities, and have been offered several scholarships to universities in North America. Our captain has been offered some 20 scholarships," he continued.
Reid also stated that students like Walker have benefited from the system in place at the institution.
"We have some students who are late bloomers and we put things in place to deal with this so that they can find a place in society. Although he will not compete at Champs, we exposed him to other meets like Gibson Relays," said Reid. "We are not like some other institutions and we are not going to win Champs at all cost, but despite the setback, the team will compete well and they still have a chance to win," concluded Reid.
Head coach Orville Brown still thinks they have a great chance of winning.
"Rohan is a very important member of our team and he was down to do two individual events and his absence will be missed, but this will not affect our chances as we had known before the final entries went in and we have made strategic plans around this. We will lose the points, yes, but we will not lose the 'point', which is our focus on winning Champs," Brown added.