TT can learn from Nevis

Trinidad and Tobago can learn from Nevis in running school track meets.
By Clayton Clarke
of Trinidad & Tobago
22nd March 2010

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad: Gulf Insurance Limited has been the main sponsor of the Nevis Primary Schools athletic Championships for almost 20 years.  Ever since it was approached the track and field body on the island (Nevis Amateur Athletic Association) to support what it considers its premier track and field event on Gulf Insurance says the investment is well worth it.  Operations Manager John Barkley says” It is a quest of the company to see young people develop with a measure of discipline. We see young athletes who are involved in sports develop self esteem, pride in their school and in general. Through the championships you can see them engage in healthy competition which is appreciated by all of Nevis and the wider Caribbean.  We have always been committed to see that development place take among the athletes and people of Nevis”.

Speaking ahead of this year’s games carded for March 24th at the Elquemedo Willet Park in Charlestown, Mr. Barkley says Gulf Insurance’s commitment is a way of give back to the people of Nevis “It has grown from simple primary school athletics to what is known as the Mini Olympics of the Caribbean. It is known today as the Gulf Insurance Primary School Championships. That says a lot for in terms of corporate responsibility and seeing it as a measure of development of the youths of Nevis. We have been doing business in Nevis for a number of years so we see it as a way of giving back to Nevis.  Last year I attended the games and the Government gave a half day holiday. The event was well marketed. There was live radio and television coverage. There was live streaming on the internet”.

Mr. Barkley is particularly impressed with the manner which all the stakeholders work together to ensure the success of the meet and feels that Trinidad and Tobago learn from the Nevisians, “We in Trinidad and Tobago would think Nevis is a small island. But I have seen improvements in the games over the years. I can see the support from the Government down.  To give a half day says a lot. Last year the Premier (of Nevis) was at the games. There is a lot to learn. I think we here in Trinidad and Tobago can take a page out of that in terms of the concentration and efforts from  the various authorities  and the Government, namely the schools and the NAAA ,to develop our athletes in Trinidad and Tobago”.

The event involves track races from amongst the eight (8) Primary Schools on the island and in addition to being competitive it has grown to be the initial production stage of many of St. Kitts and Nevis athletic stars.  In 2009 the region’s IAAF official: Area representative and NACAC president Neville “Teddy” Mc Cook attended.

The meet is broadcast live on three radio stations and on the island's local Television Station. Several persons journey from St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Maarten, Tortola and other neigbouring islands to witness the event.

 The Nevis Amateur Athletics Association (NAAA) held what has become its annual pre Inter Primary meet press conference March 17.  The event which was streamed live via the internet and also carried live on Choice Radio 105.3 FM was held at the Red Cross Headquarters at Chapel Street, down town Charlestown.

The meet will be carried live via internet and television due to linkages with Caribbean Cable Communications.  The website to be utilized is . School officials and spectators can access real time access to results and general updates as the meet progresses.