The Barbados Secondary Schools Athletics Championships (BSSAC) could soon be held under the lights and over the weekend.
And chairman of the National Sports Council (NSC) Macdonald Fingall is advising principals across the island to consider a similar alternative when planning their school sports.
Last year the St Michael School became the first school to hold its inter-house sports at night when it was staged at the Usain Bolt Complex and has already signaled its intention to do so again next month.
Fingall said the proposal to hold BSSAC on Saturday and Sunday evenings, was centered around attracting more interest and bigger crowds.
Fingall said discussions with the Ministry of Education had gotten off the ground and had been well received, but talks had been put on hold about the change in format as the ministry sought to deal with issues affecting several schools.
“What I believe we are going to do is to try and hold some of the events in the evening and I want to encourage the schools to hold some of their events in the evening time. We would work evenings and therefore we wouldn’t be missing all of the days that we are missing right now during school. We would hold events in the evening into the night and we wouldn’t have to worry about the sun, so that is a proposal that we sent to them,” the chairman revealed during a press conference at the NSC’s headquarters at the Wildey Gymnasium yesterday.
“I was talking to the Ministry of Education about changing up the format for sports. We had a meeting with them and we are supposed to have another one, but then they got caught up with the controversies of schools closing and that meeting didn’t occur, but the idea was that we would have some of the BSSAC events eventually on weekends, which would save days during the school week.
“They were supposed to call in the principals and let us discuss it, the meeting was set up and then school started and something went wrong and they never got back to us, but that is on the cards,” Fingall added.
The chairman said Jamaica had recorded success in holding their Boys and Girls Championships, also known as Champs and the equivalent to BSSAC, over the weekend.
He explained that it drew large crowds as persons did not have to “steal away from work” to take in the action.
And while Fingall acknowledged it was now too late to make such sweeping changes to BSSAC, which is slated to begin on March 10 with the Esther Maynard Zone, he said a new format could be coming in 2021.
“We will structure the meet so that a lot of it can happen in the evening time and on a weekend. You would notice that Jamaica holds their Champs meet on a weekend. You would get more people coming out because it is in the evening and on the weekend and that way people can hail for their house and we can get the spirit coming back by having a big crowd.
“The Ministry had liked it [the proposal], it’s just that it didn’t get off the ground so we will have to push it for next time,” Fingall insisted.