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ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls' Athletic Championships - Champs 2010

03/16/10

Permalink 04:29:13 pm, by Melba
Categories: Sports

ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls' Athletic Championships - Champs 2010

This year 2010 will be the 100th staging of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) /Grace Kennedy Boys' & Girls' Athletic Championships from March 23, to March 27, at the National Stadium, Kingston Jamaica. Any Jamaican will tell you that ‘Champs’ is big and serious business in Jamaica. This is the ‘birthing’ place of most of our big names in athletics, including The Honourable Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser, Asafa Powell, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Melaine Walker, Michael Frater and Nesta Carter to name a few. It could be considered as the ‘unofficial’ athletics audition for Jamaicans island wide. Excel at Champs and somebody important in the sporting world is bound to notice you.

This year to mark the 100th year of the event a grand opening ceremony is being planed for March 23, 2010. There will be cultural displays featuring popular artistes, songs, dance, a skydiving display, and a laser show. A torch run, comprising of several of the island's Olympians, including gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser will precede the ceremony beginning in Williamsfield, Manchester, travelling through the parishes of Clarendon and St Catherine and culminating at the National Stadium.

Before I go any further about this years 2010 Championships let me bring you up to date with a bit of history. ‘Champs’ is an annual multi-sport athletics meeting for Jamaican high schools owned and managed by Jamaica’s Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA). The first ‘Champs’ for boys was held at Sabina Park on Wednesday, June 29, 1910. Then six schools for boys competed, Wolmer’s School, Jamaica College, St. George’s College, Potsdam School (now Munro College), New College and Mandeville Middle Grade School. The inaugural 1910 staging of the then VMBS sponsored Boys' Championships was won by the maroon and gold team from Wolmer's High School.

The Girls' Championships was initiated by the Games Mistress Association (GMA) a national organization of physical education teachers (no longer in operation), which staged its first event in 1957. It wasn’t until 1999, after years of deliberation between the ISSA and GMA, that GMA conceded control of the girls’ event to ISSA. The two meets are now staged together over four days, beginning with field events and ending with all relays.

Today approximately 150 schools island wide are involved. The athletes compete in four age classes for girls and three for boys as follows:
Boys Girls:
Class 1 : under 19 Class 1 : under 19
Class 2 : under 16 Class 2 : under 17
Class 3 : under 14 Class 3 : under 15

Class 4 : under 13

Competition takes place in 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m (girls only), 5000m, 4x100m, 4x400 and medley relays, hurdles – 110m, 100m, 70m (girls only), high jump, long jump and triple jump, pole vault, discus, shot put and javelin (girls only) and the heptathlon.

Previous Winners

Year

Boys Champs

Girls Champs

Year

Boys Champs

Girls Champs

1910

Wolmer's School

-

1961

Calabar High School

Manchester High

1911

Jamaica College

-

1962

Kingston College

St. Andrew High

1912

Jamaica College

-

1963

Kingston College

Titchfield High

1913

Jamaica College

-

1964

Kingston College

Titchfield High

1914

St. George's College

-

1965

Kingston College

Mannings High

1915

Wolmer's School

-

1966

Kingston College

Mannings High

1916

Jamaica College

-

1967

Kingston College

Vere Technical High

1917

Wolmer's School

-

1968

Kingston College

Vere Technical High

1918

Jamaica College

-

1969

Kingston College

Mannings High

1919

Jamaica College

-

1970

Kingston College

Excelsior High School

1920

Munro College

-

1971

Kingston College

Excelsior High School

1921

Jamaica College

-

1972

Kingston College

Excelsior High School

1922

Jamaica College

-

1973

Kingston College

Excelsior High School

1923

Jamaica College

-

1974

Kingston College

Vere Technical High

1924

Wolmer's School

-

1975

Kingston College

Vere Technical High

1925

St. George's College

-

1976

Calabar High School

St. Mary's High

1926

Munro College

-

1977

Calabar High School

St. Mary's High

1927

Wolmer's School

-

1978

Calabar High School

The Queen's School

1928

Jamaica College

-

1979

Kingston College

Vere Technical High

1929

Wolmer's School

-

1980

Kingston College

Vere Technical High

1930

Calabar High School

-

1981

Calabar High School

Vere Technical High

1931

Calabar High School

-

1982

Clarendon College

Vere Technical High

1932

Calabar High School

-

1983

Kingston College

Vere Technical High

1933

Calabar High School

-

1984

Clarendon College

Vere Technical High

1934

Munro College

-

1985

Clarendon College

Vere Technical High

1935

Munro College

-

1986

Calabar High School

Vere Technical High

1936

Calabar High School

-

1987

St. Jago High

Vere Technical High

1937

Kingston College

-

1988

Calabar High School

Vere Technical High

1938

Wolmer's School

-

1989

Calabar High School

Vere Technical High

1939

Wolmer's School

-

1990

Calabar High School

Vere Technical High

1940

Jamaica College

-

1991

Jamaica College

Vere Technical High

1941

Wolmer's School

-

1992

Jamaica College

Vere Technical High

1942

Kingston College

-

1993

St. Jago High

Vere Technical High

1943

Munro College

-

1994

Jamaica College

Manchester High

1944

NO COMPETITION

-

1995

Jamaica College

Manchester High

1945

Munro College

-

1996

Calabar High School

St. Jago High

1946

Calabar High School

-

1997

Calabar High School

St. Jago High

1947

Munro College

-

1998

Jamaica College

St. Jago High

1948

Munro College

-

1999

Jamaica College

St. Jago High

1949

Wolmer's School

-

2000

Jamaica College

Vere Technical High

1950

Kingston College

-

2001

Kingston College

Vere Technical High

1951

Kingston College

-

2002

Kingston College

Vere Technical High

1952

Jamaica College

-

2003

Kingston College

Holmwood Technical High

1953

Kingston College

-

2004

Kingston College

Holmwood Technical High

1954

Kingston College

-

2005

Kingston College

Holmwood Technical High

1955

Calabar High School

-

2006

Kingston College

Holmwood Technical High

1956

Wolmer's School

-

2007

Calabar High School

Holmwood Technical High

1957

Kingston College

St. Hugh's High

2008

Calabar High School

Holmwood Technical High

1958

Calabar High School

St. Hugh's High

2009

Kingston College

Holmwood Technical High

1959

Jamaica College

St. Hugh's High

2010

????

????

1960

Excelsior High School

St. Hugh's High

Last year Champs was nail biting down to the wire. Kingston College (KC) reclaimed the boys title dethroning champions Calabar by 1.5 points. Holmwood Technical took the girls title for the seventh time in a row over rivals Edwin Allen and Vere Technical, winning by 197.5 points.

Boys Top 3 Teams 2009:

1) KC (223.50)
2) Calabar (222)

3) Jamaica College (154)

Girls Top Teams 2009:
1) Holmwood (400.50)
2) Edwin Allen (203 )
3) Vere (194.50)

Over the last couple of years Jamaica’s performance in athletics on the international stage has drawn a lot of attention to our athletes. If there was any doubt before, the Beijing Olympics 2008 and the IAAF Berlin World Championship 2009 certainly confirmed our title of ‘the sprint capital of the world’. Hence Champs has automatically gained another dimension with the exposure from the International press who now floods into the island to cover Jamaican athletes. Yes we have many meets for our younger’s to compete in starting from Inter Prep Games, however ‘Champs’ is where we separate the men form the boys.

For us in Jamaica, Champs is not only a feast for the athletic fans, it’s much more. During ‘Champs’ young and old alike are strictly associated with schools, present or pass. Of course there are those who simple cheer for the winning teams, we call those ‘wagonist’. For grown men and women your school colours, ties or badges become a part of your attire even at work. For the most part its great fun and all Jamaicans look forward to it.

The boys generally provide a lot more intense competition. The Gibson Relays which took place last month usually gives an idea of how well the schools are preparing. This year Calabar, one of the main contenders on the boy’s school list was missing from Gibson Relays. This has only served to heighten the anticipation for ‘Champs’.

Also taking place on Saturday March 27, the final day of ‘Champs’ 2010 will be the parading of the Queen's Baton for the 19th Commonwealth Games. This was announced by the president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Jamaican Michael Fennell. The parading of the Queen’s Baton is a tradition of the Commonwealth Games. It carries the Queen's message right around the Commonwealth and ends up in the country hosting the games. The message is then read at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. The next commonwealth games will be held in New Delhi. After Champs the Queen’s Baton will then be taken around the island to Montego Bay and back to Kingston before going on to Cayman.

To close the event an after-Champs celebration is also being planned. The after party will take place right after all the races have been run and the presentation of trophies has been done. It will be held in the stands on the final day, March 27 and will featuring DJ Liquid. All in all ‘Champs’ 2010 promises to be very exciting.

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