Make INTERCOL a Weekend Event

Arley Gill

by Arley Gill

Last week, I expressed a few of my thoughts on the importance of the upcoming Grenada Invitational track and field meet. In doing so, I made a passing remark about our Intercollegiate athletic games. I honestly did not want to revisit that subject but, for some reason, it is not escaping my mind.

Frankly speaking, I think we are not maximizing our opportunities. I was looking at the Trinidad schools’ athletic meet last weekend and I was like, ‘this is where we, in Grenada, need to get ours.’ I am cognizant of the fact that we have much a smaller population and smaller economy. However, I believe our product is as good as Trinidad’s and it can get much better.

I am aware that this year, the Intercollegiate meet will be 3 days and gradually new events are being added. However, it is my respectful view that the event must move to the weekend.

My recommendation for the meet is to have the opening night on the Friday. The finals of events should be held late evening when the temperature is more conducive for top performances. I understand the concern with the young people and the potential for wrongdoings; but the change of time — to the evening and after working hours — will allow parents and/or guardians to be present at the National Stadium.

As well, I cannot emphasise enough the importance of increased sponsorship for INTERCOL. This time, not just for the event, but also for the schools, to assist student-athletes with equipment, nutrition and training. The teachers, these days, are so stretched, I don’t think we can fairly expect them to raise funds for these purposes.

Once we settle on the right days and time of day for the events, along with proper production and adequate sponsorship, live regional coverage of the games should be pursued. This will give our athletes and the track program a regional platform.

Now, this can only increase the possibility of scouts and colleges taking a look at our athletes. We should invite them to come and no longer leave it to chance on whether or not their visit Grenada for INTERCOL. I am sure someone like Alleyne Francique can guide that effort.

I really wish Mr Dominic Jeremiah and his team at the Grenada Secondary School Games’ Association can look at some of these issues. I know that he is a man who is not fearful of change.

On another note — culture — it is carnival time again in Trinidad and Tobago, Carriacou and Dominica.

In Trinidad, I am really enjoying the calypsoes on offer this year. In my view, the calypsoes are very high quality and the women calypsonians have delivered some wonderful songs and performances, thus far.

I never supported the idea of Trinidad judges coming into Grenada to judge calypso, because I am convinced that they make their own ‘boo-boo’ as well.

For Trinidadian judges to have left out Myron B and Lady Gypsy from the 2017 Calypso Monarch final is clearly mindboggling; and please save me the ‘judges’ decision is final’ mantra. When they get it wrong, they must admit it.

Myron B’s song is creative and refreshing; his performance in Skinner Park — out of this world! Pursuant to the criteria, which I am familiar with in my time as a calypso judge for over 10 years, and as one who has researched and written on that music genre for over 15 years, Myron B should be in the finals among the heavy hitters.

At the time of writing, it appears that Lady Gypsy is now in the finals, after Vincentian-born Fya Empress was disqualified on nationality grounds. However, Lady Gypsy’s song is much stronger than one or two songs that got in — for example, Allrounder’s ‘Icon.’

Well, all that is part of carnival. You must have controversy in the carnival. We call it bacchanal and it sweet; something to chuckle at.

I have not been to Kayak mas’ in the last three years; but, from all reports, it appears that it continues to grow. I wish everyone in the island a safe and enjoyable carnival. Play mas’.

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