THE Castries Comprehensive Secondary School emerged winners of the award for the school with the most supporters at this year’s Inter Schools Track and Field Championship held at the Beausejour Cricket Ground last month.
It was that simple, dubbed “Come out, Show out, Support”, the school with the consistent and most attendance and support over the three days would win a $500.00 prize towards a developmental activity.
The announcement was made by the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports last week. The $500.00 cheque sponsored by Windward and Leeward Brewery will go towards a school project. The school will also receive five pairs of track shoes from the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports to continue its athletics development.
Speaking at the cheque presentation WLBL Piton Malta representative Charlene Jn. Baptiste said that Piton Malta had been a prominent sponsor and supporter of the inter schools track and field championships for decades.
She added: “As you can imagine with an ever changing business environment, maintaining a relationship this long must be based on a strong credence in what the event stands for. Thousands of students have found so much from sports: an identity, acceptance, growth, development and careers, a way out of bad situations. It is an outlet and medium which has been proven to be a fundamental tool for youth development”.
President of the Physical Education Teachers Association Gilroy Hall who was also present noted that CCSS has had a very rich history participating in sports. He added: “I think the students really have to take credit for that. While you may have been encouraged by your teachers and your parents, in this day and age there are many youngsters who would prefer to stay in the school where they know they have no class or get involved in everything else that may not serve them well in the future, rather than go out and support. So you are a very special school.
Hall continued: “I’ve always said it cannot start with the government. It cannot start with the principals or teachers. It has to start with you the students. If you do not show support for school sports, then you will have athletes taking part in track meets, nobody cheering them on. No motivation. They may not give off their very best”.
Hall threw out the idea that CCSS creates a School Sports Club, with every student and every parent becoming a member of that club and paying a mandatory $1.00 per month fee. From that, he suggested, as much as $2,000.00 can be raised a month which can be used to finance school sports.
Youth and Sports Director Jim Xavier lauded Castries Comprehensive School for “saving the day” by their attendance at the sports meet “because when we looked at the stands for Day 1 and Day 2 it was only CCSS students. It was only white and red (the CCSS colours).”
For their effort the Ministry found it necessary to complement what the sponsors were giving by donating shoes. Said Xavier: “In fact, at a meeting with the sponsors they found that CCSS were interested in track shoes. We have too many barefooted athletes on the track. We cannot give every school track shoes. But it is occasions like these that we could really give out meaningfully to schools that deserve it. So we decided to give you five pairs of track shoes to support your track and field programme. We will be looking for even better performances from CCSS next year”.