This year was challenging but if the organizers of the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletics Championship (BSSAC) had to do it all over again, it would be no different, says chairman of BSSAC’s organizing committee, Vasco Dash.
During the annual BSSAC awards ceremony held this afternoon at Queen’s College, Dash said a lot of hard work went into staging BSSAC and with the new formats of the schools being spilt into two zones (Esther Maynard and Frank Blackman) this has allowed the six days of competition to run smoothly. He added it wasn’t something they intended to change anytime soon.
“The championship was challenging to put on. It was a lot of hard work but we had all kinds of meetings everyday and I am sure our deputies probably wondered if we run the school or they ran the schools when we were out that often. But the performances and the hype of the meet made up for all of those difficult times negotiating with Mr [Bernard] Frost [group marketing manager of Banks Holdings Limited]. Basically our sponsors came through very well. When we asked and we pleaded we have gotten a bit more and we are thankful for that and we hope that you will continue to be with us,” Dash said to the BSSAC sponsors.
He explained that this year they had protests but not one went to the appeal jury because they were expertly handled by meet director Dave Small and his assistant Andrew Brathwaite along with help from Cinestream Television who provided footage for replay and ensured no one was disadvantaged.
Following Dash’s speech many of the athletes collected their awards starting with all divisional champions. The most outstanding distance athletes were also rewarded. Presentations were made to those with record-breaking performances and to the BSSAC champion schools, Lester Vaughan and the girls of Christ Church Foundation.
Kayla Bovell of The Lodge School and Jadar Holder of Daryll Jordan were the first recipients of the Made It Against The Odds trophy given in honour of past BSSAC and national standout athlete Lateisha Gilkes who passed away last year. Bovell stood out among the females when she fell on her face and suffered cuts to her knees and elbow but got up and completed the race. Meanwhile Holder while competing in a race stopped to assist another athlete who had fallen and lost his place but still finished the event.
Among those providing prizes were Powerade, the official title sponsors for BSSAC, Laboratory and Sports and City of Bridgetown Co-operative Credit Union Limited.