If Kurvin Wallace will be remembered for initiating the Kids Athletics annual Primary School program, so too will Eddy Caines-Richards be remembered for initiating the Primary Schools’ skipping festival.
The inaugural event was held at the St.Thomas’ Primary school’s grounds on Friday 27th November.
Coach of the St.Thomas’ Primary School, Eddy Caines-Richards, who had conceptualized the idea, made it very clear during his opening remarks at the brief ceremony preceding the action, that it was not so much a COMPETITION but just another phase to the overall development of the children.
He also enumerated the rules and regulations which would guide the participants throughout the afternoon.
Richards was also pleased to inform his listeners that the first of its kind event, was sponsored by no other person than the Hon. Vance Amory, Premier of Nevis.
Prior to his address, the invocation was rendered by Dominick Hinds and an elated Principal at the school, Miss Norlene Smithen, encouraged the children to do their best and assured them that as long as they did their best, they will all be winners.
Immediately after the opening ceremony, the intense action on the center courtyard area of the school, commenced.
There were approximately thirty students representing six of the Primary schools on the island viz Charlestown Primary School (CPS), Ivor Walters Primary School (IWPS), the host, St Thomas’ Primary School (STPS), Elizabeth Pemberton Primary School (EPPS), Jocelyn Liburd Primary School (JLPS) and the Violet O Jeffers Nicholls’ Primary School (VOJN).
The children attempted to outdo each other and were involved in at least 11 varying styles of skipping. These included: the ‘Single long rope skipping,’ which required 2 individuals holding the rope on both ends while a third party jumped in simultaneously with the ropes being swung. One of the more complex ones was the ‘Two in two rope( side by side),’which required 2 individuals standing side by side while exchanging inside handles, both having to jump with their own rope and their partners’ at the same time.
The other segments were the ‘Full 360’ turn while skipping; the ‘Skier’ which requires the skipper to swing their legs from side to side while skipping; the ‘basic forward and backward skipping’; the ‘Two in one ropes (with turns)’; the ‘Two in one rope (face to face)’; the ‘Two in one rope (one in one out)’; the ‘Two in one rope (side by side)’;and the ‘basic jump with single rope’ at jogging step speed or pace.
Each segment, with the exception of the ‘Basic forward skipping,’ which had a different timing from all the others, was for 30 seconds each.
The fair sized crowd was very supportive of the children, with the children from the St.Thomas’ school, understandably getting the most vocal support.
After approximately two hours of rare excitement, the judges made their final adjudications as follows:
Overall winner: St.Thomas’ Primary-46 points
2nd place-Elizabeth Pemberton Primary-43 points
3rd place-Charlestown Primary-42 points
Males and females from the participating schools, also engaged in the forward basic skipping style in order to determine the boy and girl who skipped the longest.
Eden Grace Howell of the Ivor Walters Primary, was the girl with that distinct honour and Dinari Brandy of the Elizabeth Pemberton Primary, was the most outstanding boy, with a time of close to five minutes.
It was obvious that the participants and the supportive crowd, thoroughly enjoyed themselves and next year’s event is being eagerly anticipated.
The first lady, Mrs. Vernie Amory graciously presented the deserving participants with certificates and the most outstanding boy and girl, received trophies.