The events, which led to the cancellation of the much anticipated annual inter-secondary school games were most unfortunate and sad and the adamant stance taken by the principal of the Hillsborough Secondary School, Brian Lendore was disappointing and for this he was wrong and damn well wrong!!!
It’s reasonable for a participating body in an event to suggest the tweaking of a rule. That’s fine and within reason. But for a team to dictate the rules and demand of the Organizing Committee that if it is not accepted they want no part of the tournament, well that’s another matter. Surely that team would have to sit on the sideline for the entire tournament.
The committee is there to set and ensure that participating teams or individuals abide by the rules. For the directors of a participating body to demand changes to the rules to the extent that if it does not occur they want no part of the event is tantamount to being rude, disrespectful and absurd. This must never ever be allowed to take root in Carriacou in any sporting discipline. None whatsoever.
But had Carriacou more than two secondary schools the games may have gone on. However with only two—Bishop’s College and the Hillsborough Secondary, it means that when one pulls out the hinge comes off –thus causing the games to fall flat on its face.
This sort of action is far removed from the indigenous nature of the beautiful and well respectable people of the sister isles. Therefore, the authorities must move with haste to ensure that this attitude and behavior doesn’t sink its roots on this paradise. No way should this culture be allowed to fester in the Carriacou and Petite Martinique community. Must be weeded out---- pronto.
This is a dangerous example for young people to follow. Could you imagine a cricket team looking to compete in a match being allowed a free hand to run the game?
This decision by the secondary school principal has removed the brilliant sunshine over the island and has brought tears to the eyes of many. Vendors, parents of schools, athletes, sponsors, teachers, supporters of the games are all hurting at this decision. Some are open in their disappointment while others are bleeding while concealing the unwelcome pain this has brought unto them. Even while Bishop’s College athletes were on the field awaiting the opening day’s field events at the Hillsborough Recreation Grounds, there were also several athletes of the Hillsborough Secondary School who gathered close to the long jump area, dressed in their athletic clothing ready for the games.
However, they were sadly denied the opportunity after preparing for the entire year for the meet. The games are fun for the students and for the spectators as a part of the education curriculum. To deny them the opportunity to express themselves on the field was a painful experience for them as it was for supporters of the games. There are those who purchased particularly colored clothing to support the respective schools only to have such anticipation quickly vanish into thin air.
Hillsborough Secondary School has been dominating the games for years by clear-cut margins. What happen if Bishop’s College showed signs of capturing the glory this year? As a sportsman you should be prepared to taste both the sweet and bitter pills, as this is what a good competitor is always prepared for. What would happen if Union Island wants to enforce its own rules in the game or Bishop’s College for that matter? Then it will be total anarchy and mayhem with no rules and order. That’s why the committee must be respected and the rules and laws governing the games must be upheld at all times.
As I said earlier, nothing is wrong with changing rules but one team surely doesn’t have the power to demand change to benefit them. Not you, not Miss Quamina (Bishop’s College) nor the principal of the Union Island Secondary School should they decide to return to the competition. They should not be allowed to try to bulldoze they own rules into a competition and then turn their backs and walk away because their demands weren’t granted. No way. Can you just harbor for a while a political party seeing defeat at the polls after winning with the rules umpteen times and would now suggest that the polling stations which opens from 6am to 5pm be now open from noon to 5pm simply because their popularity has dwindled? Or a cricket or football team unable to field the full complement of 11 players for a tournament and demanding that the competition accept their proposal that the other teams reduce their players to maybe seven, eight -- to accommodate them. Crazy!!! Vulgar!!!!
The Athletics Committee must always keep in mind as was stated by the Chairperson Dexter Leggard, that they also have an obligation to the sponsors of the games, paying spectators and all concerned. Yes listen to the suggestions of the schools but surely not bend to breaking the rules to benefit one institution. A committee must always be firm in its stance. The rules were clearly spelt out.
Can any institution attempt to change the rules of the Intercol games to their benefit and demand that once they are ignored then they would not be participating? Sure they can decide not to but surely not at the expense of the games. However, in the case of Carriacou with only two schools to display their talents, such a decision comes at the expense of the games, which immediately ushers in those dark ominous clouds.
At one of the meetings it was reported that Ms Quamina had acceded to the request for two athletes per team on the track reportedly making the decision in the interest of having the games held after Mr Lendore remained firmly rooted in his demands. However, in reporting the information to her staff, they were unhappy and wanted the rules remain as laid down by the committee, by which it was the norm for three athletes to represent each school in the track event.
That decision by the staff was also correct since they felt that they should not play into the hands of their opponents as they have always and wanted to continue participating under the rules as stipulated by the local Athletics Committee. According to the committee, Mr Lendore was notified that the rules, which previously maintained, would once again hold sway at the games.
An over four hour meeting with the Athletics
Committee together with a deputy education officer and Superintendent Solomon Stafford of the Royal Grenada Police Force as mediators, plus another which last over two hours with Minister for Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs and deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Elvin Nimrod both failing to get you (Mr Lendore) to appreciate the fact that your stance was unjust and contrary to the democratic process of the games, surely does speak volumes.
Added to that the minister said that the expected 10am on Wednesday response to the Ministry of Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs from Tuesday evening’s meeting ----never came until mid morning on Thursday.
The minister pointed out that while he was clear on the points made by Ms Quamina and members of the Athletics Committee, he was very puzzled at the stance taken by Mr Lendore of the Hillsborough Secondary School.
The Raw Perspective wonders if any other principal at the primary or secondary level would have been allowed such luxury. You think? In the interest of the athletes and the games, the Raw Perspective does hope that Mr Lendore would admit that he was wrong and in the interest of the games which is always bigger than the individual – see the wisdom and kind courtesy to respect the rules, which govern the games.