‘Nationals’ set for late November; split still on the cards

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By Treiston Joseph

The National Schools Championships is set for later this month, but a split of the event- catering for separate primary and secondary championship- is still on cards for sometime in the near future.

While the championships will be held later than usual- November into December, stakeholders connected to the National School Championships launched the 57th edition of the prestigious event that is sure to provide Guyana with an opportunity to witness history.

However, the stakeholders confirmed that major changes are on the cards for the championships with the event set to split into primary and secondary schools instead of one combined championships.

Those changes might possibly occur as soon as 2018 and Head of the Physical Education Unit of the Ministry of Education Allied Arts Department, Nicholas Fraser, explained that there were “proposals” to separate the championships at a meeting held earlier this year.

However, Fraser also indicated that while no apparent dates are set for the actual separation of the championships, the proposals are at an “implementation” stage.

Further, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Education, Marcel Hutson, noted that while the logistics are not set in stone the implementation of the split has been scheduled for 2018.

Meanwhile, with the event being held on a synthetic surface for the first time in the championships’ history, President of the Guyana Teacher’s Union Mark Lyte believes that athletes are equipped to participate despite just a percentage of them having an opportunity to use the surface before.

“We are aware that athletes might not be accustomed to such a surface, but we do know that a number of districts have purchased running shoes for their athletes, so we believe that a high percentage of athletes will be equipped to run on the surface,” Lyte stated.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Vibert Welch, reassured that the event is a part of the mandate of the ministry to promote rounded individuals. Welch also shared that the event will be a “historic” one and also noted that the championship is a tool of “development” for Guyana’s student athletes.

This National School Championships will be held from November 27 to December 1 at the National Aquatic Centre (swimming), National Park (cycling) and the National Track and Field Centre (athletics). 

Swimming and cycling will be done on November 27, while track and field will start the following day.

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