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LETTER OF THE DAY - Champs format favours same-sex high schools

Published:Friday | April 8, 2011 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Champs, because of its demands, places co-ed schools at a disadvantage. The fact that co-ed schools have won is neither here nor there. One will point out, too, that co-ed schools have won the boys' crown on more than one occasion. Again, that is beside the point.

Boys and girls' Champs is not like a football or netball squad where one or two good players can take an average team to a final or a championship. By my count, there were 40 events in the boys' section and 45 in the girls'. While single-sex schools are required to find one team from their entire population to prepare and compete for one leg, co-ed schools are required to find two teams from their similar population of students. This fact, alone, not to mention the demand on resources (finances, personnel, etc.), places co-ed schools at a disadvantage.

Co-ed schools winning the boys' title may well have occurred during a period when the events contested were fewer and never required as big a contingent of athletes as obtains now. The fact that co-ed schools are dominating Girls' Champs is an indictment on all-girl schools. Clearly, the effort being made at the Holmwoods, Edwin Allens, Veres, etc., and all-boy schools are not being replicated in our all-girl schools.

ISSA needs to allow co-ed schools to be recognised in a special category which would level the playing field, allowing co-ed schools to prepare 'one' team, rather that seeking glory with two. I sense that the boys at Edwin Allen, Holmwood, Vere, etc, are being marginalised.

I am calling on the co-ed schools to recognise their own predicament and speak up. As long as things continue the way they are, boys' Championships will always be up for grabs among the all-boy schools. The all-girl schools are not achieving their full potential. As individuals, all athletes are equal; however, as to building a team for Champs, the co-ed schools are well behind the eight ball.

I am, etc.,

R.A. THOMAS

roathoms@yahoo.co.uk