Old boys moving to ensure friendly rivalry at Champs
The competition at the March 24-28 Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championships is expected to be fierce and the old boys associations of leading contenders Calabar High, Kingston College and Jamaica College are moving to ensure that the rivalry will be friendly.
Already they have a planned retro party, dubbed 'three the hard way', for March 20 at Jamaica College and the organisers are hoping to set the tone for a 'good vibes, exciting, camaraderie-filled and incident-free' five days of Champs. Music for the party will be drawn from the 70s, 80s and 90s.
The old boys associations have urged athletes, team members, patrons, supporters and fans alike to respect the long-standing showpiece, and to compete fairly, respectfully and represent their respective schools well.
Keith Whyte, president of the Calabar Old Boys Association views the trios' unity as a means of achieving positive results.
"Champs is about rivalry, which comes with intense emotional rivalries among students. We are working together as friends and sending a message," Whyte said.
"It is definitely about competing with heart for your school, but sportsmanship comes with a level of honour and respect, and we are using our associations to instil that in students," he explained.
Turning to matters on the track Whyte predicted that Calabar will "definitely win their third straight Champs."
JC Old Boys Association head, Major Basil Jarrett, is of the opinion that Champs, Schools Challenge Quiz and the Manning Cup football competition are highlighted by the trios' rivalry.
"There is strength in unity; we figured that if the three of us (schools) put our strengths together there will be many lessons to be learnt. The strength of our old boys network will set good examples for students to follow," he assured.
Jarrett noted that his school, "like in 2011" has been silent heading into Champs.
"We (JC) will win Champs," Jarrett reasoned.
Meanwhile Dr Patrick Dallas, president of the KC Old Boys Association, underlined that at Champs the schools are rivals - yet friends.
Like his 'friends' from Calabar and JC, he expects his school to lift the main trophy at the National Stadium on March 28.
"This (2015) is a KC Champs. We are kings of Champs and we intend to take the crown back to Clovelly Park where it rightfully belongs," Dr Dallas said.