GSSSA track and field championships set for end of the month
The 26th edition of the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association (GSSSA) Track and Field Championships is slated for Wednesday February 27 to Friday March 1, at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, and features athletes from the pubic junior and senior high schools.
This year, the A.F Adderley Tigers will defend their title in the junior division, and their main competition is expected to come from the C.H Reeves Raptors and the L.W Young Golden Eagles. The Tigers upset perennial champions C.H Reeves last year.
On the senior side, the defending champions C.R. Walker Knights will try to hold off the C.I. Gibson Rattlers and the C.V. Bethel Stingrays who are expected to be the biggest threat.
GSSSA President Varel Davis, a coach with the Raptors, took a shot at the Tigers yesterday, saying the Raptors will win this year.
Overall, she said she expects the meet to be very exciting. She went on to thank the various stakeholders who will ensure that the meet comes off. She ended by encouraging fans and the public to come out and support the athletes.
Stephen McPhee, president-elect of the New Providence Association of Public High School Principals, encouraged parents to come out and support the meet.
“I simply want to encourage all parents to come out and be supportive, as you have the opportunity to be a part of history in the making,” McPhee said. “We are looking for an exciting three days of fun and enjoyment. We want to make it a family event,” he continued.
McPhee mentioned the opportunities for the athletes to further their education as well.
“There will be tons of opportunities for athletes by way of scholarships. You do not know who will be in the stands scouting but what I can say to you is some scouts are going to be there. The Bahamas is holding its own on the national, regional and international level,” said McPhee.
Superintendent Mark Barrett, officer-in-charge of the South-Central Division of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, said that there will be a heavy police presence at the meet so that members of the public can come out and be safe. He ended by saying that anyone intent on being mischievous and breaking the law will be dealt with swiftly and harshly.
General Manager of the National Sports Authority (NSA) Quinton Brennen said as a former track and field athlete, this meet is special and personal for him because he wants to see that pride back in the schools.
“I want to see the sport of track and field continuously grow and see us bring that pride of track and field back here in our schools – albeit the junior or senior high school level. Now that we are getting to the point where we are inviting the parents and family and friends to come out to bring the excitement back, this is something that we are so excited about,” he said.
According to GSSSA Convener for Track and Field Fritz Grant, the meet will be officiated by the Bahamas Association of Certified Officials (BACO). On the first day, Grant said the 100 meters (m) finals will be the featured events. He is expecting record-breaking performances and hopefully some qualifiers for CARIFTA and other national teams as well. The opening ceremony is slated for Thursday, February 28.
There were two student-athletes who were present from the defending champions, the Tigers, at the press conference yesterday – Keshon Conliffe and Talia Saunders. They said they have been training hard and are looking forward to the meet. They said the Tigers intend to work as a team and finish first again.
Sponsors of the track and field meet are J & P Office Products, the D’Albenas Agency Limited, Original Patties Limited, Purity Bakery and Royal Star Insurance.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism