Naggo Head tipped to retain INSPORTS title
Defending champions Naggo Head will be seeking their third-straight hold on the INSPORTS Primary School Athletics Championships, which gets under way at the National Stadium today.
Coach Floyd Coke will also aim to guide the champions to their eighth title at these championships, which culminates on May 13.
Naggo Head's main challenge should come from former champions New Providence, Rousseau, and last year's runners-up Southborough.
They should prevail, however, as they won the championships by more than 100 points and should win by a bigger margin in the absence of last year's top-10 finishers Black River and Howard Cooke.
Following Monday's launch of the championships, Coach Coke said he was confident of retaining the title and he was anticipating a challenge from the "usual suspects".
Action on the opening day gets under way with the girls' Open cricket ball throw, followed by preliminary round action in the 150m, 800m, and 4x100m relays in all four classes.
This year's champions will collect $500,000, with $250,000 earmarked for the runners-up, and $125,000 going to the third-place finishers. Ninety-three schools are registered to compete.
Meanwhile, the prize money was announced by Sports Minister Olivia Grange during the launch of the event on Monday.
Over the years, the championships has served as a developmental springboard for many top athletes, such as Olympians Warren Weir, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Javon Francis, Melanie Walker, and many others.
For the first time, the event will be free to the public, and forms part of the Government's new thrust to make it more appealing and accessible nationally.
"We must give full access to all athletes," the minister said at the launch. "Increasing access and increasing the number of participating schools or athletes are immediate items on a list of priorities to be addressed immediately by the INSPORTS management team."