Daviot Kelly, Staff Reporter
Hillel Academy got the Proven SportsFeva 2012 multi-sport programme off to a cracking start after dominating the clay shooting event, ClayFeva.
Hillel took the overall team title with 105 points, beating closest competitors American International School in Kingston, who tallied 50 points. Campion College finished third with 30.
Hillel students Nicholas Chen and Brandon Reid also took the boys 15-17 and 13-14 age groups, respectively. Chen also took the overall title with a score of 64, with Reid finishing second (63) and Isaac Mair (62) third.
This was Chen's second consecutive title. He survived a Super Six shoot-off with the other top five shooters after the preliminary round.
"It was very difficult, especially in the shoot-off. Up until the last station I was only winning by one," he said after Sunday's event.
"The (clay) birds were very far and it took a lot of skill to get them. But I pulled it out."
AISK's Raiza Mair took the girls title over six other competitors. The other individual winners were Jean Pierre Dipchand and Joshua Meeks, who took the Beginners Group One and Two, respectively; and Peter Mahfood, who took the 10-12 age group.
There were eight shooting stations, with each competitor getting 50 targets, except for the beginners who did 25.
Parents, shooting enthusiasts, and representatives of the participating schools agreed the course at the Jamaica Skeet Club in Portmore was of world-class standard.
Shooters described the course as tricky, with a challenging combination of low- and high-flying clay discs. There wasn't much wind, but the heat was a factor, forcing shooters to keep themselves hydrated.
Clayfeva has grown from 44 competitors last year to 72 this year, and rural schools, including Manchester High and Munro College, also participated.
"We're so glad to see it come out of the Corporate Area. We're spreading it into rural Jamaica, which is great," said Errol Ziadie, who laid down the rules for the shooters.
He reiterated the hope that Jamaica could take its place internationally in the sport.
"We want to make sure that in the next couple of years we have representatives at any of the Olympic Games. That's our target. Pardon the pun!" he laughed.
Member of Parliament for East Central St Catherine Arnaldo Brown, speaking on behalf of Natalie Neita-Headley, minister without responsibility in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Sports, was of the view that the event taught the students self-control and the responsibility of handling firearms.
"The continual development of Jamaica's sporting culture benefits from competitions such as this one. It allows us to appreciate the diversity of sporting disciplines at which we can excel," Brown said.
Proven SportsFeva 2012 continues on Saturday with the golf event, GolfFeva, at Constant Spring Golf Club, starting at 9 a.m.