Hope amid other shameful Champs incidents
The Editor, Sir:
I read the article 'The Shaming of Champs', on March 30, and I can assure you, as an ardent supporter of Champs and a past athlete myself from a rural school, I could never condone the behaviour of the Kingston College athlete.
I have no doubt that he will be dealt with, as they have a strong Old Boys' alumnae. I can also tell you of a few things I have observed in recent times that seemed not to have been addressed. Three years ago when Calabar won Champs, there was graffiti painted all over Kingston apparently in support of the school. Last year a Calabar athlete anchored his team to victory. His picture was in one of the newspapers with the caption on that picture stating 'Finger of Shame'. The picture featured the said athlete, giving the 'finger' to the supporters of another school. I showed the picture to certain sports personnel and upon returning from Penn Relays I was surprised to see in the newspaper that the athlete had apologised at those relays. If it was left to me he would not have participated at the Penn Relays, and his apology should have been done in Jamaica to the supporters of Champs to whom he gave the 'finger'.
This year the vibes were great at Champs, even more so because we were celebrating the 100th Championships. Spectators in the stadium were on an emotional high. They started the 'Mexican Wave', and the Calabar section were reluctant to participate. So of course the rest of the Stadium gave them the 'boo'.
After 54 years, Wolmers Boys won Champs and they were embraced by the other schools. When the Wolmers team was coming out for their victory run, supporters in the Calabar section of the bleachers threw objects at them. That shows me a lack of sportsmanship among them. At the closing ceremony, the Calabar team was not present, hence they did not collect their second place trophy. Sending someone for the trophy to me was shabby and once again showed poor sportsmanship.
I was not at all pleased when a week before Champs I was watching the news and observed the Kingston College headmaster telling the media he had advised his students, when leaving school to remove their school tie. What have we come to, that students are not allowed to be proud of their school? He said his students were being harassed by students from another downtown school.
Congratulations to Wolmers Boys for winning Boys' Champs, and Holmwood Technical for winning the Girls' Champs. Congratulations to all the other schools who did well at Girls and Boys' Champs, and also to Raymond Simmonds a past student of Edwin Allen who wrote an awesome letter congratulating his school on their second-place showing.
I close by expressing how elated I was, that the "100th Celebration of Champs" was incident-free at the Stadium. I am also proud of the two athletes from Wolmers, Dwayne Extol and Julian Forte who exemplified the true meaning of friendship and great sportsmanship. This makes me believe that there is hope for our country.
I am, etc.,