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Prep Championships review

05/07/10

Permalink 11:25:10 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Sports, Culture, Commentary

Prep Championships review

Today I had the pleasure of checking out for the first time the Prep School Championships. This is not to be confused in anyway with the High School level boys and girls championships, no instead this was an event for the kids. As a matter of fact, most of the competitors today ranged from ages of 4-10 being the oldest... and to be honest that is just a guess because I am pretty sure no competitor was above age 7. However this competition did highlight a few things to me regarding Jamaica's love of sports. But I'll talk about that later.

First of all the environment of the meet was, hot... and no I am not talking only about the fact that everybody there sweated until I am sure we all lost around 10 pounds just being there, instead I am talking about that these children were literally ready to race (well, most of them were). There were at least 20 schools there all clad in their school colours and all eagerly cheering on their athletes as they participated. Also I must say if you have never heard upwards of 200 children all cheering, then you would be surprised to know that there are some things in life which can annoy you to know end without even trying.

The piercing shrill of the children's voices were also joined by the shouts of teachers, parents and coaches (yes I said coaches), who were all trying to control the athletes and line them up to run. There was basically pandemonium around the track also as children began to run wild in their usual selves, but this did not make the day any less exciting, just a bit confusing, but this is to be expected, after all we are dealing with children here.

The events that were being participated in were things like lunch kit races, math races, relay races, sprints, and potato races. Just to give some clarification, the math race was essentially a race where the athlete had to run a short distance (roughly 10 meters) to a math book that had a problem in it, they had to solve the problem, and then pick up the book and run to the finish line. So there were two things involved, math genius and speed. The lunch kit races involved running to pick up 3 items placed roughly 5, 10, and 15 meters apart, and then placing them in a lunch kit which was at the start line, however you can only run with one item at a time (so you ran back and forth 4 times). Once you had packed your lunch kit you had to zip it up and run to the finish line. The potato race was the same thing as the lunch kit race, only with an open bucket instead of a lunch kit, so the challenge here was actually keeping things from falling out of the bucket.

These races were quite competitive and you could see that these kids had gone through weeks of preparation as they all had different strategies for tackling each of these events, also do not think for once that the coaching staff were taking this as a joke, they were all very serious. The level of competitiveness among the parents, teachers, and staff was quite obvious as they shouted their encouragement and showed their disappointment if they lost. However the kids seemed to not care either way... except for those kids who just really didn't want to compete, and made htis known by literally crying instead of racing. However I must say I believe good fun was had by all. The only thing missing was the media, who I guess did not see this as a major enough event to cover, but I think a photographer or two would have been in good order.

However when I stated that something in Jamaica's love of sports was highlighted to me, I was referring to our competitive spirit. I have also known Jamaicans to be competitive people, after all we are number one at everything, whether we like it (sprinting) or not (murder rate). But I really didnt believe I would see that level of competitiveness coming from chidlren, who while they were mainly there to have fun, still fought hard to win, there were a number of come from behind victories that made me realize this as well.

However as I stated before, this was certainly a fun experience for me, I think I'd like to be present at next year's staging as it was very exciting, and great fun was had by all.

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Three Ministers

Three ministers - a Presbyterian, a Methodist, and a Southern Baptist and their wives were all on a cruise together. A tidal wave came up and swamped the ship, and they all drowned. The next thing you know, they're standing before St.Peter.

As fate would have it, the first in line was the Presbyterian and his wife. St. Peter shook his head sadly and said, "I can't let you in. You were moral and upright, but you loved money too much. You loved it so much, you even married a woman named Penny."

St.Peter waved sadly, and poof! Down the chute to the 'Other Place' they went. Then came the Methodist. "Sorry, can't let you in either," said Saint Peter "You abstained from liquor and dancing and cards, but you loved food too much.

You loved food so much, you even married a woman named Candy!" Sadly, St. Peter waved again, and whang! Down the chute went the Methodists.

The Southern Baptist turned to his wife and whispered nervously, "It ain't looking good, Fanny."

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