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PM for historic track opening at Calabar High

Published:Thursday | January 7, 2016 | 1:00 AMRaymond Graham
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller

CALABAR HIGH School will create sporting history in Jamaica this month as the defending Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) boys' track and field champions will become the first high school in the country to have its own synthetic track.

The six-lane 400-metre track will be officially opened on Friday, January 22, a day before the school hosts the McKenley/Wint Track and Field Classics.

"Everything is near completion and we will be having the opening of the Calabar Sport Complex on Friday, January 22, and the Prime Minister, the Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, will do the official opening ceremony," said Albert Corcho, the all-boy institution's principal.

He added: "The meet, which will be named the McKenley/Wint Classics, is in honour of two past students who have contributed significantly to track and field at both Calabar and the country, and because of their contributions we are honouring them."

Corcho stated that the new track will lift Calabar High's sporting profile and attract more students to the institution.

"This new sporting complex will definitely be a big advantage for Calabar, and already, I have been getting calls from overseas as people want to join this programme. It has also cut down on time and costing as the boys will not have to travel outside of the school to attend training as, usually, they do so after December."

The principal noted that use of the facility will be extended to other track athletes outside the school community.

"Although the track will be at Calabar, this will not be for Calabar, only as we are thinking about the development of track and field in the country and people outside will be welcome here," he said.

The McKenley/Wint Classics will be one of seven development meets on the Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association calendar and it will be held on January 23. Events to be contested are the 100m, 400m and 1500m, along with sprint and intermediate hurdles. There will also be field events such as long jump, triple jump, high jump, shot put, discus and javelin.