Archive | April, 2014

BOYS & GIRLS CHAMPIONSHIP- THE RISE OF THE UNDERDOGS

6 Apr

Yeaaayyyyy! Champs is over and the boys & girls and their coaches are quickly settling into another routine and doing post mortem of the team.

Last week March 24-29, 2014)  all roads led to the Jamaica National Stadium for the annual Inter-Secondary School Sport Association (ISSA) Boys & Girls Championship. (might I add that this is the largest high school track & championship in the world. Yep! You don’t agree then let us debate it.)  Oh the euphoria to watch the “rising stars”; the tears of joy; the friendly rivalries; the smashing of records. Yes the smashing, the demolishing, annihilating; the MASSACRE!!!!  (can you believe those times ran by our YOUNG athletes? Epic performances I tell you. (Hurdler extra-ordinaire Jhaeel Hyde of Wolmers Boys stood out like a sore thumb.) On the sad side, some dreams being destroyed…better yet, not destroyed but delayed. (disqualification for false start, injury, etc…)

CONGRATULATIONS TO EDWIN ALLEN HIGH SCHOOL FOR WINNING THE GIRLS CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE AND CALABAR FOR CLAIMING THE BOYS TITLE.

 

Edwin Allen raises championship trophy.

In the midst of everything, we all find our own euphoria.  Now that commendations are out of the way, I want to speak what has over the last couple of years become my euphoric moments about champs…

 

RISE OF THE UNDERDOGS

I am by no means calling anybody or school a dog.  Even though we know what the terms means, I took the liberty to include a definition of underdog for the sake of those who may not have heard it or may misinterpret the context of its usage.  A quick search via Google showed a definition that says an underdog is “a competitor thought to have little chance of winning a fight or contest.”   Simple, straight forward definition.

Zharnel Hughes from the popular K.C & his rival Jevaugh Minzie from the underdog Bog Walk High at the finish line

Several schools went into the Boys& girls championship as underdogs. They were not expected to stand out. The culture of the championship over the years is the predictability that the popular schools such as Jamaica College (J.C) Kingston College (K.C) Wolmers Boys, Calabar High, Holmwood High, Vere Technical High, St Jago High to name a few will always dominate the championships with their superior athletic prowess.  There are other schools that arguably will not win but will be in the top ten performers.  As such these schools have become a brand in their own right. The last few years however, has shown a shift in the pendulum. While some of these schools continue to dominate the championship, the gap in dominance is fast closing.  They are being strongly rivaled by schools that are not on the spectators’ nor media’s radar. These ‘no-name’ schools may not be winning the championship just yet, but they have been creating major upsets in several events. Schools such as Bog Walk High, St Elizabeth Technical High, Claude Mckay High, Central High, Green Island High, just to name a few. In the past, it is unheard of to hear names of these schools even making it to the finals much less to be medal contenders in any event, but today, such has become common place. They have dented the perfect winning slates of the name brand schools.  They are making it to the finals and they are winning the medals.

 

BUILDING BRANDS

I am tempted to say to parents and schools, do not “sell” your athletes to other schools that are already doing well.  If it is one student that stands out, use that athlete as a tool to inspire and attract new talents.  Do not shove my thought down my throat for this as it is just a personal feeling of mine; One that is uttered with a cognizance that I do not know the intimate details of the contractual agreement whether written or verbal that usually takes place among the parties involved. Therefore, the deciding factor for the ultimate decision I know not. Use our own Usain Bolt as an example.  He did not attend any of the popular name brand schools in Jamaica that’s known for their athletic prowess, yet he is the fastest man in the world.   With his talent, he has raised the brand of William Knibb High School.  The fact that we have this swung in the pendulum, is testament to the quality of the track & field programme in our high schools here in Jamaica; A programme that continues to attract youths from other Caribbean islands.  The platform has been set so our students can shine regardless of the school they attend.

Jamaica is Blessed with Talent.

There is no scouting around the truth that our youths are talented, the competition is healthy & and fierce.  So fierce and competitive it is that violent exchanges are sometimes muddle the natural excitement. I am most pleased that the2014 staging of the championship was accompanied by a peace initiative led by the youngsters under the theme “Peace for Champs”.  It was indeed peaceful.

Jamaica’s sprint sensations

Jamaica has the largest high school track & field championship in the world; we have the sprint female sport woman of the year; we have the fastest man in the world…what can I say?  Watch out world, Jamaica is coming even harder.   Congrats to all who participated in the championships. You are all winners in your own right.  But my heartiest congratulations go out to the underdogs who rose to the challenge.

What are your views on champs 2014?  Do you believe in the rise of the underdogs?  Stop by for  a moment; I would like to hear your views.

 

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