Spectators at today’s semifinals of the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletic Championships (BSSAC) have made a suggestion to the meet’s organizers: Follow the blueprint of the National Primary School Athletic Championships (NAPSAC)!
However, a senior BSSAC official has quickly shot down the suggestion that the meet should provide more entertainment for spectators and students.
Citing a major difference in atmosphere and excitement between the two events, those who flocked to the National Stadium have called for a revamp of the secondary schools’ meet.
One lady, who declined to give her name, told Barbados TODAY that having attended the finals of NAPSAC on Wednesday, it was a complete “culture shock” coming to the stadium today.
“BSSAC is dead. Having come from experiencing that electrifying atmosphere with all the music and entertainment at NAPSAC yesterday I am very disappointed,” she said.
“Maybe what BSSAC’s organizers should do is to take some pointers from the organizers of NAPSAC. I’m not saying they have to copy them, but they should look at what NAPSAC has done to make that event such a success and come up with ideas to do the same for BSSAC.”
But the chairman of BSSAC, Vasco Dash, was adamant that no such changes would be made to the meet.
He insisted there was a major difference between hosting an event for primary schools as opposed to one for older children.
“There is no possibility that we will be bringing back drums or providing music in future meets,” Dash said.
“We have the reputation of the schools and the meet to look out for. We don’t want sometime later down to see on social media a lot of things which transpired in the stands that shouldn’t have.
Sandra Ifill, who was watching the action from the ‘D’ stand, also lamented that the atmosphere was dull.
Ifill, a regular spectator at BSSAC, said although she was enjoying the performances of the athletes on the track, something was definitely missing.
“I’m enjoying myself, but the atmosphere is dead. I think the organizers should look at trying to make it more exciting,” she suggested.
Claud Haddock said while his main reason for being there was to support his two children, Ajani and Leilani, he felt more could be done to enhance the atmosphere.
A regular attendee at NAPSAC, Haddock queried why music was played at the primary school meet but not at BSSAC.
“Today has been a bit dead so far. It is normally noisier than this.
“I’ve always wondered why music is played at NAPSAC but not here,” Haddock noted.
“I remember when there used to be drums playing and children chanting and stuff like that . . . maybe the organizers should look at bringing that back.”
However, he insisted the issue would not deter him from coming back in the future.
The parents of Combermere star-athlete, Ashlee Lowe, praised the event, saying they had seen a big improvement over last year’s meet.
While also praising the high level of competition on the track, Pat Brathwaite-Lowe and Wayne Lowe admitted some entertainment should be provided.
“This year things are running a lot smoother and more on time than last year, but it could be more entertaining,” Brathwaite-Lowe said.
“Maybe some music or some cheerleaders in between events would help to spice things up,” she added.
She also said there needed to be some improvement in the sound system, as spectators in the ‘D’ stand could not hear what was being said by the announcer.