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NEED FOR NATIONAL SPORTS EVENTS CALENDAR; CLASHES CONTINUE TO AFFECT PARTICIPATION
Tuesday 22nd March 2011

The staging of the 2011 National Inter-schools' Track & Field Championships has
brought to the forefront the need for a consolidated National Sports Calendar of
Events.

First of all, a few schools were affected, to the degree, that not all of their top athletes
made use of the opportunity to participate in the two-day Event. Some had
to choose between playing cricket, basketball, netball or volleyball for their
schools or risk weaken teams or forfeiture.

CKHS Cassie Vitalis, winner of the Girls’ Open 3000M and U-20 Most Outstanding Athlete with 3000M running mates, Victoria Dyer and Ashley Benjamin.

As a matter of fact, the decision to hold the heats for the 100m and 400m on Tuesday,
March 8, might have clearly put some schools out of contention, since none
of the other disciplines in the same government sports department found it important
to postpone their particular activity, so as to have all the schools come
out in full force. Or, perhaps this matter could have been better coordinated if the
respective coordinators had gotten together, earlier.

Some parents preferred to have their children in the Glaucoma March on Saturday,
March 12, or to attend the UPP's anniversary activities over the weekend, although
the Prime Minister and the Minister of Sports found the time to be present
at some time.


Two of the country’s Senior Sports Officials: Director of Sports, Mr. Mervyn Richards and Sports Planning Officer, Mrs. Anne Jonas.

The Antigua/Barbuda Basketball Association FIBA referees' clinic was also affected
and as a result suffered participation. The ABBA went as far as having to
postpone it's League Opening Ceremony that Sunday, March 13, to Sunday,
March 20.

One has noticed the random or ad hoc organizing of events, especially sporting
events in Antigua without any proper planning or consultation with any other
sporting body or even National organization. Neither is there a real formulated
National Calendar posted, so that one planning an event can get away from
clashes.

Principal of PMS, Colin Green and Wife, Principal of Clarehall Sec. giving great interest in their schools’ sports programs.

ABAA officials giving full support to the Inter-schools' Athletics Championships.

If coaches and organizations expect their teams and athletes to reach their full
potential or peak in time for a major event, then it means that these events must
be posted at least a year in advance, and for all to know. That brings out the need
for a yearly Sports Convention where programs can be tabled and the best suitable
times arranged.

With a population less than 90,000, and other events competing with sports, there is not enough spectatorship to go around for many of these ad hoc planned events to be financially
viable.

Cejhae Green in the Agony of Winning cries to his father, Colin Green, Principal of PMS. Contrary to reports, Green made use of a 50m lead in defeating SJA’s Tahir Walsh in the 4 x 400m Relay final leg.

Football has and will continue to take the largest piece of the spectatorship pie, and not even cricket can claim second place.

So, in absence of a National Sports Council, maybe it's time now for the National Olympic
Committee to lead the charge in putting together, with the help of all Sporting Associations
and organizations, a National Sports Events Calendar. What does the Antigua/Barbuda NOC
really do anyhow? If all the sporting bodies are affiliated to the A&BOC and if they hold
regular meetings this should not be too hard to get done. Or, as already said, the Ministry of
Sports could call for a National Sports Convention. Let's end these clashes and get to work!


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