Thousands of spectators thronged the ET Willet Park on Wednesday 4th April to witness firsthand the 30th edition of the Inter Primary Sports Meet aka ‘The Mini Olympics.’ The event which is being sponsored for the 20th consecutive year by renowned Insurers, Gulf Insurance, got started at about 12.40 pm with the first of the 400 meters events. From the outset, it was obvious that the St. Thomas’ Primary School had shown up to make a statement—and what a statement they made.
Most of the pundits around the Park had called it ‘a straight fight’ between arch rivals Joycelyn Liburd Primary and Charlestown Primary. However, a few somehow were keeping a secret from everybody else. They knew before hand that this would be the year when the St. Thomas’ School would register its name on the coveted trophy for the first time.
Race after race, was a demonstration of guts and glory as the athletes urged on by the deafening shouts around the Park, strove to outpace each other. The fight was not always at the top as there were also some fierce battles for second place, third place, fourth place and even battles to avoid being the last one in.
The crowd had much to cheer about and even if the outstanding athletes did not belong to their school of choice, the sporting supporters were willing to applaud the great efforts exhibited by the athletes.
At one point, the updated scores were a bit slow in coming: ‘Almost like election results,’ said one disgruntled spectator. However, they came with more regularity as the meet intensified and there was never much separating the three top schools.
It came down to the deciding final races in the 100 meters and 4x400 meters events. Everybody knew that whatever transpired there would determine the eventual winners.
The St. Thomas’ athletes lifted their game to another level. They tore up the track like it belonged to them. The icing on the cake came during the much anticipated matchup between Tishari Arthurton of the JLPS and Marcus Dubbery of St.Thomas’ in the 100 meters event. Arthurton had won twice before for the afternoon and looked as if he was coasting to another victory, when Dubbery dug deep and produced a Herculean effort to edge him out at the finishing line. The green wavers erupted in delight.
When the inevitable was confirmed by an overjoyed Chesley ‘Faro’ Davis, the Green team and their numerous supporters went into wild celebrations grabbing coconut palms, banana trees and anything green that was in their path.
t.Thomas’ had won—and deservedly so. Meanwhile, former champion in the B Division, ST.James’ Primary, was also outclassed by new champions Elizabeth Pemberton Primary whose athletes also excelled on the big day.
The final point standings saw:
1st --St.thomas’—197 –A Division and overall champions
5th--EPPS---79 and B Division champions
Maude Cross Prep---52 (Corrected to 56 pts)
Impressive ceremony opens ‘Mini Olympics’
By Curtis Morton
Charlestown, Nevis: The 30th edition of the Gulf Insurance Inter-Primary Championships got underway on Tuesday in Nevis with the eight participating schools parading through Charlestown with cheer leaders waving pom-poms and chanting songs. The parade, which commenced at the Bay front Gazebo was led by Zone A champions of 2011, the Joycelyn Liburd Primary School, followed closely by Zone B winners, the St.James’ Primary School. The parade climaxed at the ET Willet Park where hundreds of spectators were able to view first hand, a spectacular opening ceremony which in effect kick started the biggest single event on the island’s calendar: The Gulf Insurance Inter Primary Championships, appropriately dubbed ‘The Mini Olympics.’
The athletes then paraded around the park and accepting the salute were dignitaries from Gulf Insurance both regionally and locally, along with Premier Joseph Parry and Minister of Sports and Deputy Premier Hensley Daniel and the honoured Patron of the event this year, Mr. Shomari Delashley. Those addressing the gathering at the opening were: NAAA chief Lester Blackett; Managing Director of Gulf Insurance head office-John Gonsalves; Minister of Sports-Hon Hensley Daniel and Premier of Nevis-Hon Joseph Parry.
Special awards were presented to persons and institutions who have made sterling contributions to the success of the event over the years: The NAAA; The Education Department; Gulf Insurance; Al Evelyn Ltd; Mr. Leon Williams; Mr. Frankie Claxton and Mrs. Lydia Claxton. The following individuals, who have headed the Education Department through the years, also received special awards: Mrs. Violet Nicholls; Mrs. Christine Springette; Mrs. Lornette Manners; Mrs. Evelyn Henville; Mrs. Hyleta Liburd; Mrs. Jennifer Hodge and current PEO-Mrs. Lornette Queeley-Connor. Also receiving special awards were some individuals selected by the competing schools who would have made significant contributions over the years. These include:
The program was interspersed with some scintillating cultural presentations which included the clowns; the masquerades; the drummers; steel pan renditions by CPS; a poem by the JLPS and a dance by the Maude Cross Prep. All of these acts featured the Primary Schoolers on the island.
Some of the surprises previously alluded to by Lester Blackett included a huge electronic screen set up close to the scoreboard which on the big day will keep the spectators updated with the races, the athletes and the current scores. The air galore show which should have involved some balloons sailing away into the sky, slightly back fired, much to the joy of a lot of the children who watched. (April 4, 2012)
INTERPRIMARY PRESS CONFERENCE HELD
Mr. Blackett revealed that the meet which is in its 30th year will be held over two days this year. On Tuesday 3rd April an opening ceremony will be held, starting at 4.00 pm. This will be preceded by a march from down town Charlestown by the athletes. The ceremony will be an impressive one, as apart from the usual speeches, there will be cultural presentations by the schools and several surprises which Blackett noted are a ‘must see.’
The actual races will be run on the following day starting promptly at 12.00 noon—April 4th.
Gulf insurance representative, Mrs. Lorraine Browne made the revelation that in its 20th year of sponsoring the prestigious event, Gulf Insurance has increased its sponsorship to the tune of $40,500.00. ‘That’s twenty times two and a little more,’ she said with a smile.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, Mr. Alsted Pemberton warmly congratulated all of the major stake holders who have made the meet a success over the 30 years: The NAAA; The Ministry of Education; Gulf Insurance, The Teachers, Coaches and the athletes. He also noted that his Ministry is working feverishly to ensure that all of the schools acquire sand pits for the purpose of developing their high jump and long jump skills. He stated that the pits have all been dug but it was just a matter of sourcing the sand to complete the assignment.
Officer in charge of Traffic on Nevis, Sargeant Hazel also gave directions on the matter of traffic for the two days. The main parking area will be at the nearby Villa grounds.
Members of various media houses then had the opportunity to ask questions.