It’s that time of the year, the first Wednesday in the month of April for what is dubbed as Nevis ‘ Mini Olympics when all of the Primary Schools on the island compete for athletic supremacy.
While anticipation is always at an all time high at this time of the year, many onlookers, sports enthusiasts and coaches still continue to be baffled for they still cannot understand why the Ministry of Education isn’t more in control of this major event as oppose to the Nevis Amateur Athletic Association. With a sports coordinator attached to the Ministry, with ample qualified coaches attached to schools one has to ask why hasn’t there been an all inclusive approach to Interprimary and a committe formed.
By now one would of expected a more unified working relationship between the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Education as is witnessed with Football, Cricket, and Netball when the inter preliminary sporting events are held but where money is concerned the Ministry has to tow the line that is being presented. This must not be accepted for it simply indicates that the schools and the students are being used to the benefit of a separate entity.
Every year the meet is sponsored, monies are charged for vending and an entrance fee collected, promotional paraphernalia distributed and yet still a financial statement isn’t published. Hence, like in previous years the sentiments of yester-year remain as follows: for a meet of this magnitude accountability and transparency should be the watch words.
It is a fact that the children representing the various schools through the Ministry make this event a reality, therefore the majority of the proceeds ought to go to the schools. While the schools, may collect some of the revenue, one has to ask where does the bulk of the money go. Schools seek sponsors, spend money on uniforms, spend money on transportation, spend money of food, all in an attempt to compete. Whereas the major expenses to be incurred for hosting the such an event may include and won’t be limited to catering services for officials, rental equipment for photo finish and for other technical purposes, a cable line connection, internet, ground preparations and other expenditures that they may deem necessary.
With that said, what is the capital involved in staging such an event? Must the Public assume that Interprimary is an event used as a funding agent for the Nevis Amateur Athletic Association. Must the Public assume that whatever money is transferred into the Ministry Of Education Account is used to boost a sports oriented agenda? Enquiring minds would like to know why is there a cloud of secrecy over the finances for Interprimary.
As simple as it may sound, how many programs or initiatives were/are sponsored to push the cause of athletes who may have participated from kindergarten through to grade six? While this may be the only time for some students to shine, are any efforts been arranged to boost and aid top athletes with academics? Are workshops organised so as to shape them into role models? If interprimary is touted as a premiere event it is only fitting that a safety net be set up for those aspiring athletes who envision taking their craft to the highest level. Everything can’t be left to the schools, if the children are truly the future start small, make a long term impact.
Citizens you must therefore make a clarion call to all heads of the Primary Schools and the Principal Education Officer of the Ministry of Education to stamp their authority and demand what is rightfully theirs and not allow the Nevis Amateur Athletic Association which appears to have elected an executive body for life to continue to manipulate the system to its advantage. The time is now the system needs to be corrected, the Interprimary standard could be taken to even higher heights if an even more comprehensive and inclusive action plan is adopted.
Posted by SKN PULSE.