(CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS)- The much anticipated Inter Primary sports meet for 2014, which is hosted by the Nevis Amateur Athletic Association (NAAA) and the Education Department was officially launched on Tuesday, March 25, 2014.
The significant ceremony took place at the Red Cross building located on Chapel Street, Charlestown.
The event was chaired by Mr. Jamir Claxton, Ag Director of Sports who indicated that a child friendly initiative will be put in place for the meet this year.
President of the NAAA, Lester Blackett noted that the advertisement for the meet started a long time ago, during the individual school meets.
He highlighted that the meet will commence at 11:00 a.m. and will conclude by 6:00 p.m. He also stated that updates on races; photo finish and slow motion reviews will be available via a big screen that will be at a strategic point in the park.
He further indicated that lots of agencies are involved in making the event a success including LIME, Cable TV, Public Works; the Police Force and many more. He beseech spectators, parents, head teacher’s coaches to put the child friendly initiative in place and have a competitive but friendly and encouraging environment, even to the point of cheering in the last competitor to the finish line.
Education Officer, Mrs. Avril Elliot stated that the theme for the day is: ‘Everyone is a winner.’
She urged persons to be sensitive towards the athletes and to promote good sportsmanship.
She hoped that the adults would be supportive of all of the athletes.
She made the revelation, that the Patron for this year’s meet is Ms. Kasheba Daniel, a former student of the St. John’s Primary School now known as the Elizabeth Pemberton Primary School.
She revealed that the entrance fee is $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children. There will be no charge for teachers of primary schools, the Special Education Unit and Pre-schoolers.
Longstanding sponsor of the prestigious event, Gulf Insurance LTD, was represented by Mr. Arthur Evelyn who addressed the gathering, ably assisted by one of his senior staff members, Mrs. Lorraine Browne.
Mr. Evelyn indicated that the meet has been going for 32 years and Gulf Insurance has been on board for 22.
He stated that the company recently went through a difficult period, having received a letter from the Prime Minister that they could not add any new policy holders. This went on for about a year and hurt the company. That hurdle has now been cleared and the company is making a recovery.
However, Mrs. Browne presented Mr. Blackettt and Mrs. Elliot with a cheque of $30,000.00. The parent company in Trinidad donated $20,000.00 and Mr. Evelyn and the local company teamed up to contribute an additional $10,000.00
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, Mr. Keith Glasgow gave some brief remarks. He stated that his Ministry does not coordinate the major event but plays a supportive role. He urged the young people to look at sports as a means of gainful employment and development of the country. He wished the organizers every success
Superintendent of Police Mr. Hilroy Brandy, Indicated that there has been a drop in the crime rate over the last three years and gave comparative figures. He noted that the Police will be out in full force on the day and individuals entering the park will be screened for guns and other weapons. The main gate will be used for entrance and exit of the Park.
Parking will be available at the Villa grounds and there will be no traffic flow from central Charlestown past the Park en route to Gingerland. Persons representing the different media houses asked a few questions to the head table.
The questions ranged from issues pertaining to the logistics of screening of weapons; to the possibility of St. James’ and VOJN teaming up as one school and the reasons behind the joint championship tie of 2013.
Mrs. Elliot revealed that a formal request was received from the VOJN and the St. James’ Primary for the two schools to team up and compete as one body.
She however pointed out that the positive response was put on hold as there were quite a number of logistics to be worked out but noted that the issue will be addressed for next year.
The participating schools are:
Charlestown Primary; St. Thomas’ Primary; Ivor Walters Primary; Maude Cross Prep; Elizabeth Pemberton Primary; VOJN Primary; St. James’ Primary and Joycelyn Liburd Primary-a total of 8 schools.
The meet will commence at 11:00 a.m. with the march past at the ET Willet Park on April 2nd and the first race is set to commence at 12:00 noon.