Portsmouth Primary tops development meet
Karen Sudu, Gleaner Writer
EWARTON, St Catherine:
PORTSMOUTH PRIMARY School walked away with top honours at the second staging of the Ewarton Community Development Action Committee's (ECODAC) primary-prep school development meet at the Bramwell Clarke Park and Sports Complex in Ewarton recently.
Jessie Ripoll, Jericho, Ewarton, and Mount Rosser rounded off the top-five positions at the meet, the brainchild of Maurice Edwards, who hails from Kingston.
"I saw the need when I moved into this area for a development meet for the primary and high schools because there was no meet in this area to accommodate the athletes, and to just take them and send them to Champs, whether primary or high school, is a disadvantage to them. I have worked at different track meets as a representative of JAAA in the call room. I saw the need to organise it," explained Edwards.
He said the meet, directed by Maurice Westney, was not staged without its challenges.
"The main challenge is sponsorship. We need help with refreshments - water, juice, lunch. This year, Richard Davis, former Ewarton athlete and resident now living in Philadelphia, sponsored the medals, and Tru-Juice provided refreshments for the officials. So we desperately need the support of the business community to help us to give these young athletes a chance to show their true potential," said Edwards.
Kevion Minzie, coach of Ewarton Primary School, took 35 athletes to the meet including Christopher Taylor, the 2011 INSPORTS/Swizzle Primary Schools record holder for the Class Two Boys' 300m with 41.81 seconds. Taylor, who also competed in the inaugural staging, was crowned champion boy.
"We are entering the INSPORTS Primary championship and I have a few students that I need to see where they are at. So that's why we are here at this meet - to see what the students are doing, to know where they are and put in the extra week of training for primary champs," said Minzie.
He lauded the initiative.
"It's a very good meet for the area, because normally, we would have to go to Spanish Town, Portmore, and so, to enter a championship meet to see where the students are at. So this is really keeping the students in this area and showcasing our talent here, getting us ready to compete in the bigger championships," said Minzie.
Jessie Ripoll from Kingston and Crofts Hill from Clarendon were two schools outside of St Catherine that participated. Jessie Ripoll's coach, Gary Reid, took 40 athletes to the event, which, he said, has helped to prepare his squad.
"I've heard about this meet, that it's competitive - and we are from the Kingston region. So sometimes we like to just come to get a feel of the schools that are in the rural area, how good they can match up with us - so we can know how to write our programmes, which should help our development in the long run," said Reid
Whitney Thomas of Portsmouth emerged champion girl at the meet, in which nine schools and one club participated.
PHOTOS BY KAREN SUDU