New track boost for Calabar High
Besides hosting the inaugural staging of the McKenley/Wint Track and Field Classic on Saturday, January 23, the newly laid track at Calabar High School is already reaping huge benefits for the Red Hills Road-based institution.
Principal of Calabar, Albert Corcho, revealed yesterday that the school stands to save hundreds of thousands of dollars in transportation costs alone.
"We are benefiting already because we usually go to the stadium to train. Once the track is officially handed over we cut out all of that," he said, following the launch of the track meet at the headquarters of the Jamaica Baptist Union on Washington Boulevard yesterday.
"We had to rent buses every day to take the young men to the stadium and back," he added.
He estimated that it costs the school about $15,000 a day for transportation, money that can now be diverted to other areas of the school's sports development.
ENTIRE SPORTS COMPLEX
"Some of that money will go back into the programme; some of it will go elsewhere. It's a complex we are developing, so in the middle, there is a football field and we are looking at basketball because we want to ensure that we are putting up a sporting complex that will benefit the young men," the principal said. Lights are also to be installed at the facility.
At the launch attended by Sports Minister Natalie Neita Headley, Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association General Secretary Garth Gayle and Calabar alumnus attorney Michael Eaton, it was announced that the track will be handed over during a dedication ceremony set for Friday, January 22.
The inaugural meet will serve as an incentive for 400- and 800-metre runners striving to replicate the impact made by Messrs Arthur Wint and Herb McKenley, former Calabar High School athletes described by Minister Neita-Headley as "two great stalwarts of modern Jamaica on whose shoulders we now stand".
At the 1948 Olympic Games in London, Wint won Jamaica's first ever Olympic gold medal in the 400m; McKenley the silver. In Helsinki, Finland in 1952 both men were members of Jamaica's mile relay team, along with George Rhoden and Les Laing, which broke the world record in winning gold.
As such, the overall fastest times in the boys and girls 400 metres will be given the Arthur Wint Trophies donated by the Wint family while the top performers in the men's and women's Olympic Development 400m and 800m will be awarded cash prizes donated by members of the McKenley family and the Calabar Old Boys' Association New York Chapter.