Meeting Held To Iron Out Problem Areas.
THE Department of Youth Development and Sports is predicting a less turbulent staging of the 2017 school sports programme citing a recent meeting with principals as a significant step in that regard.
This was the theme of the Department’s presentation to Physical Education teachers as the parties met last Friday to discuss the upcoming season.
Following the introduction of newly-appointed cricket coach, John Eugene who replaces Alton Crafton, Director of Youth Development and Sports, Jim Xavier, thanked the PE teachers and school sports coordinators for their patience and understanding during last term’s problematic events, which included rushed matches, numerous postponements, problems with preparation of facilities and an apparent shortage of officials. Despite these challenges, most of the scheduled competitions were completed.
Some significant changes are expected this time around, including the adoption of the zonal qualification system to select participants for the track and field semifinals and finals. The secondary schools will be divided into northern and southern zones for these preliminary rounds, thereby ensuring that truly the best emerge at the final stages of competition.
Other changers include improved preparation and monitoring of facilities ahead of competitions with the assistance of community personnel; a review of the current first aid and medical procedures and policies, including an assessment of the current level of insurance coverage with emphasis on its adequacy and timeliness; and the staging of school events outside class time and during weekends in an effort to minimize loss of instruction time.
There were several matters warranting further investigation such as the cost to schools for the use of facilities, reasonable budgetary allocations for participation in and hosting of sporting events, the overall management of school sports and the current modus operandi of the agency responsible.
Physical Education teacher, Anthony Lamontagne, expressed concern about the continuous inclusion of competitive activities despite the numerous challenges already faced in delivering what already obtains. He appealed to the Department to be more thoroughly analytical prior to accepting new programmes which most times simply increased the workload but failed to allocate additional resources.
President of the PE Teachers Association, Gilroy Hall, expressed disappointment with the level of engagement between the Department and the Association and encouraged the Department to utilize the wealth of talent and expertise available within the PE fraternity.