The idea of the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletic Championship (BSSAC) finals being held on a weekend is an idea the BSSAC committee isn’t quite set to run with for the upcoming 2018 track and field season.
But it is definitely being considered for 2019 once all the stakeholders including the Barbados Association of Principals of Public Secondary Schools (BAPPSS) approve.
A reliable source informed Barbados TODAY that the BSSAC committee had booked the National Stadium from Thursday, March 15 to Saturday, March 17, 2018, for the three-day finals but after a meeting chaired yesterday by principal of Christ Church Foundation School, Robert Cumberbatch, the decision was made by the committee to resort to the original format which would see come 2018, the zonal meet being held Wednesday March 7th to Friday March 9th and the highly anticipated finals from Wednesday March 14th to Friday March 16th.
In addition to the stakeholders being informed rather late by the committee, this online newspaper understands that a number of teachers are not so keen to volunteer their day off on Saturday to supervise the students.
“We had booked the dates just in case we actually wanted to do it Saturday or not. But since that was not done we are going back to the original format. Although it was a suggestion that came from the committee, BAPPSS would have to agree, physical education teachers would have to be willing because it is not a school day. So while it was a good suggestion we would still have to hear from them [physical education teachers] and considering we don’t have a lot of time we decided to go back to the previous format. But it remains on the table for discussion.
“We will stick to what we did last year and try to engage the different stakeholders earlier to see if we would move to the Saturday going forward the following year . We were really hoping for it to be done this year but because different people on the committee have various responsibilities in staging this event, a lot of discussion is to happen before that change is made,” the source said.
Not only was hosting BSSAC on the weekend up for discussion but Barbados TODAY understands that the return of drums was being considered after the instrument was banned in 2009 by BAPPSS. However, the return of drums would have only been possible if the BSSAC final was held on the Saturday and therefore the cries for the drums from spectators will have to put back a while longer.
Former Government minister and keen sports enthusiast and organiser, Hamilton Lashley, told Barbados TODAY that whether BSSAC was staged on a Saturday or not, the drums should be reinstated.
According to Lashley, Barbadians were still slaves to tradition and it was absolutely wrong of BAPPSS to deprive the students of showcasing their musical creativity.
“I have enunciated in the past and I am in favour of the reintroduction of drums at school sports. I don’t believe it should only be introduced at the finals but even at the preliminary elimination aspect of the games, and that the schools should be afforded the right to bring their drums and other musical instruments at the games to create that type of festive atmosphere.
“A mixture of sports and culture goes hand in hand and we in Barbados need to start getting serious about sports. We are living in a new modern technological era, we are living in a new environment where you see that the developed countries are really having a wonderful mix of sports and culture and it is amazing. Even when you watch the Olympic Games, World Cup football with the Brazilians signing Samba and the English singing ‘Sweet Caroline’ at cricket because sports has gone through a multidimensional transformation or what I would like to say a cultural and sporting metamorphosis,” Lashley said.
He further expressed: “Our children cannot grow up stupid under the Union Jack, we are an independent colony. We have a right to determine our own destiny, we have a right to fully expose our children to our cultural norms using whatever genres that they would use. But what we have to do as elders is to facilitate their energy and their creativity but to keep away the drums from the sports is totally out of synchronization of what is modern. I am not talking about the lewd behaviour or indiscipline because these things would occur occasionally. But if we want to develop Barbados into the cultural and sporting industry that the minister [Stephen Lashley] talk about as a serious income generator, then let’s put all the right things in place.”