A much noisier and energetic crowd turned up at the National Stadium today for the grand finale of the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletic Championships (BSSAC).
It was a complete turnaround from yesterday’s funeral-like atmosphere, which drew ire from most of the spectators who turned out to witness the island’s premier schools’ track and field competition.
Both fans and students alike could be heard screaming appreciatively from the stands in the packed Stadium during every event, while students shook the fragile facility with the booms of their thundersticks which they tirelessly pounded together throughout the day’s proceedings.
Some spectators even donned shirts and ties of their former schools and those of their children’s, proudly parading them as they took part in friendly banter with their “enemies”.
And even though Springer Memorial and Lester Vaughan were the eventual champions of the girls’ and boys’ divisions respectively, one would have never guessed from the contented faces strewn across the Waterford venue, even when the winners were announced.
One excited woman who proudly displayed her Combermere tie, while also wearing a shirt with the words Up And On printed in bold letters told Barbados TODAY she wasn’t worried that her school didn’t win, as she just came out to lend her support.
“I knew Springer was always going to win the girls and I had a feeling the boys’ title would be between Lester Vaughan and Foundation, so I wasn’t coming expecting Combermere to win. I just came to support the athletes and I am extremely satisfied with their performances,” the beaming woman said.
Throughout the day several well-known faces were also spotted in the crowd taking in some of the action.
Those included former BLP representative for St Philip South Anthony Wood; CEO of the Barbados Agricultural Society, James Paul; Barbados and West Indies fast bowler Tino Best; assistant director at the National Sports Council, Neil Murrell; and retired principal of the St Michael School, Sheldon Perkins.