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Coaches welcome move to get restart of more sports

Coaches welcome move to get restart of more sports

Posted  73 Views updated 8 months ago

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Coaches at several high schools are bursting with excitement following the revelation by Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) president, Keith Wellington, that they hope to restart more sports shortly.

After the successful staging of the 2021 ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships and the schoolboy football competitions, Wellington announced that they intend to roll out cricket, netball and basketball in February, while others such as Under-14 and Under-16 football, schoolgirls football and volleyball could follow.

Clive Ledgister, coach of many-time cricket champions, St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), said a restart of cricket will be a massive boost for those involved in the game. “It is a joy for me. The past two years have been stressful for the youngsters who have been wondering when we will be getting back to normal.

“They have suffered both mentally and physically because they haven’t got any form of training or playing which is a big part of development.

“So to see ISSA making the effort to get us back on the playing field is a great for myself and the boys,” he said.

STETHS started preparation more than three weeks ago, and Ledgister said a major part of their focus is educating the students on the importance of observing the protocols and staying safe.

However, he believes his team will have the advantage because of their long and proud history in schoolboy cricket.

He also expects a big reduction in participation.

“Some schools are complaining of students not coming back to school.

“A lot of schools will lose players so I expect the standard to go down, especially with the limited preparation time that will have a lot to do with how they play.

“Fortunately STETHS have a cricket culture and most of our boys, if not all, are back,” he said.

Coach of Excelsior High’s girls’ football team, Xavier Gilbert, said the return of the sport will be of great benefit to students’ personal development and ability to earn scholarships.

“It means a lot to the development of the sport and the student-athlete. It is a welcome move and I congratulate the organisers who have made an effort to ensure the athletes’ needs are met.

“They will access scholarships, as getting footage of them playing on their CVs is very important for scholarships,” he said.

Like Ledgister, Gilbert anticipates a significant drop in participation and quality, but hopes for a good turnout.

“It is hard to say what to expect. You saw what happened in schoolboy football, a number of teams that normally participated did not.

“We anticipate that the numbers will be less than normal but we just hope we can get 25 to 30 schools participating,” he said.

Oneil Ebanks, volleyball coach at Wolmer’s Girls, said volleyball coaches have met and started preparation, and are looking to start competition in March.

“It is just a matter now of finding out how many schools are going to be involved and based on that to design a competition.

“We may not have the high quality that we are accustomed to, but we will get something going.

“It can only get better for the students and coaches who are looking forward to seeing some action because we have been off the courts for two years,” he said.

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