After weeks of uncertainty the National Primary Schools Athletics Championship (NAPSAC) will finally be off and running on Monday February 13 at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex.
West Terrace Primary girls and St Stephen’s boys will have the opportunity to defend their respective titles and chairman of NAPSAC Richmark Cave said during Thursday morning’s press conference at West Terrace that they were promised BDS$30 000 by the National Sports Council and another $20 000 from the Ministry of Education to go towards their $200 000 costs for the hosting of these Games.
Cave explained that last year they were several disgruntled parents because of inadequate seating at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex. The chairman assured that this year the NAPSAC committee had taken steps to allow more spectators onto the venue.
“Last year we had children seated only on the Western side with limited numbers. The numbers are limited again this year but we are putting some now on the eastern side, so where spectators were last year we are now having some children located there. Some persons will wonder where are the spectators going, they are going to the left and right of that eastern stand, we are going to have tents and bleachers, like five or six of them to accommodate the spectators,” Cave said.
In addition to that he said tickets were not yet available but once they did become vacant for purchase would be on sale at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex for the very first time. Regular outlets at Emerald City, Esso Black Rock, and Barbados Union of Teachers will also have tickets on sale.
NAPSAC, the symbol of primary school supremacy, was on the verge of being cancelled due to lack of sponsorship. Cave admitted that in the last year they have lost sponsorship for two zones and was pleased to announce this year obtaining sponsorship towards the Andrea Blackett Zone by Rubis and the Jim Wedderburn Zone being financed by newcomers Scotiabank. The Barbados Teachers Credit Union will sponsor the Obadele Thompson Zone, Patsy Callender Zone will be aided by the Nation Publishing Company and the Anton Norris by WIBISCO. As customary Chefette, a long-time sponsor, will provide lunch for the semifinal and finals.
Assistant meet director Janelle Denny said a total of 82 schools had registered to compete at this year’s NAPSAC championship with Lite Private School participating for the first time. There are 18 schools competing in the Thompson Zone and 16 each in the other four zones.
Denny said despite there were no additional innovations this year they aimed to maintain a high standard by offering the quick response barcode system in order to remain up to date with the results along with live streaming for NAPSAC fanatics who can log onto www.napsac.bdos.com to view the games.
The Champion of Champion concept launched in 2015 will be implemented once again this year for just one day, Saturday, March 25 where the respective zonal winners coming out of NAPSAC will compete against each other and seek to dethrone Charles F. Broome Primary.