by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Intercol Torch Relay is a newly added feature for 2018 Scotiabank Intercol Games.
- All secondary schools will have the opportunity to take part in the torch ceremony.
The Intercol Torch Relay will be this year’s newly added feature for the highly anticipated Scotiabank Intercol Games carded for 20-22 March.
The Intercol Torch Relay mirrors the ceremony which carries the Olympic flame from Olympia, Greece, to the site of the current Olympic Games. It was first performed at the 1936 Berlin Games and has taken place before every games since.
Organisers will ensure that all secondary schools on the island will have the opportunity to take part in the torch ceremony.
Scotiabank Representative Kishona Palmer announced during Wednesday’s launch held at the Grand Anse branch. “As you know Scotiabank has been a proud sponsor of the games for over 30 years and we seek to improve the games making it bigger and better every year, so this year every school will have the chance to receive the torch in a manner determined by the school. When that torch reaches your school, we want hype and awareness; this will commence the week before Intercol… We know that there is an election on 13 March so that we will have the torch passing from the 12th, 14th and 16th of that week. This is also subject to change depending on what’s taking place on the island.”
President of Grenada Principals Association, Dominic Jeremiah said this year’s focus would build on last year’s theme ‘Caring for our athlete to improve performance.’ “One way to ensure the care and development of our athletes is to manage the number of events they take part in to ensure sufficient rest and recovery; we added the third day last year to help us more effectively manage this process. We are satisfied that this was a successful innovation.”
Jeremiah reminded students and patrons to conduct themselves appropriately. “We want to make a clarion call to all to please come out and support track and field on Day 1. We want students and patrons to conduct themselves in a disciplined manner before, during and after the games. All students must be in full uniform; they must carry their IDs at all times and obey the instruction of their principals and teachers. Since this is a school event, no one is permitted to come to the stadium with forbidden items. Students must not tamper with any equipment in the national stadium or engage in any inappropriate behaviour.”
Last year, some students and patrons missed out on Day 1 of Intercol due to the rescheduling of the events. He said this year efforts would be made to encourage a large turnout on the first day.
“There will not be a day for field event; all the events are mixed so if you miss Day 1 you are actually missing out on a lot that we have to offer. All the events will be distributed evenly over 3 days, so it is critical that students and patrons are there.”
Meanwhile, the RGPF will put into effect its comprehensive plan to ensure the safety and security of students and patrons attended the 3-day event. Assistant Superintendent Randy Connaught outlined those plans giving assurance that the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) would commit all resources possible to ensure successful execution of the games.
“Police will be deployed in numbers to ensure that there is total coverage at the stadium taking care of all level of security…no firearms will be permitted in the stadium, no weapons, drugs and or alcohol. We will ensure that we deploy officers at the entrances to the venue to ensure overall safety,” ASP Connaught explained.
Student loitering after the games will also be cut to a minimum. “After the games, we will ensure safe conveyance of students back to their respective homes, and arrangements will be made to ensure that buses contracted by the various schools are given permission to come as close to the venue as possible to collect these students.”
Another major concern for the RGPF is the issue of speeding and prevalence of petty crimes around Intercol. ASP Connaught said the RGPF will call upon officers from the Eastern and Western divisions to help in that regard.
“The security arrangement will consider having officers from various division monitor people transiting to and from the Intercol games…petty crimes are likely to occur during events like these and we do want to appeal to patrons and students to be on the lookout for theft; but I want to reassure you that as we move closer to the event, we RGPF will tap into every media outlet to give updates and further reinforce the some of the points that were raised here today.”