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Going beyond the boundary


The Schools Athletics season is well and truly on. Many schools have staged their meets, with several from both the secondary and primary levels winding up theirs in the next few weeks.

From my observations and investigations, there have not been any exceptional performances that have come through thus far. It has been the same old same old: you run, jump, or throw, give your houses some points, collect your medals, trophies and other prizes, then wait for Inter schools or next year.{{more}}

However, I have seen in some instances at the schools’ heats, a wider participation by students. Some for the mere fun of it, while others were engaged in banter with their peers, which augurs well for the process of their socialization. The involvement of the full figured students in some activities was also a welcome occurrence.

But worrying, though, this category of students continues to swell.

Of worry, too, was that a high percentage of students in some cases just milled around the parks engaging in talk or just passed the day as a day off from the classroom, and a time to show off their latest electronic device. And there are the over zealous teachers who want to push their athletes beyond their physical capabilities, and when they miss the mark, turn around and remonstrate with them. A sad tale.

But above all, and most disturbing to me, is that it seems the parameters of dress at these events have been extended to borders that are almost irretrievable.

We allow our students to dress in the skimpiest attire and use the occasion as an excuse to flaunt. Yes, I agree that everything today has a fashion appeal, but some cross the accepted dress code.

To see our young school girls, especially, unreservedly exposing their bodies with the excuse that it is sports, defeats the cause of the school embarking on character molding. I was taken aback to see the revelations of tattoos and other trinkets of fashions that adorn the young ladies and young men. Where are the standards?

But do we have a binding dress code in our schools? Or is it left on to the whims and fancies of the principals? I have come to realize that many of our principals are caving in to the changing trends and are accepting the “modernised” concept.

Those who try to uphold proper standards are seen as the most unpopular. I maintain that once it is not broken, why fix it?

Sadly, we then, after the horses have bolted, organize counselling sessions, peace marches, among other fora, to deal with deviances, when at times as adults we add to the fertilisation of the seeds of misconduct by our sheer negligence on the causes of such.

Maybe the time is closing in on the education authorities here to put their foot down on this issue in the same way they have done with the “Pay and Wear”. Come out of the reactive mode, you who are in charge and who shape policies for our schools.

One student told me recently that I need to get modernised. But while I accept it to some extent, this must be measured with the barometer of morality.

Having gone to secondary school in the late 70’s early 80’s, I may be from the ‘old school’ and sometimes find it difficult to fit into this so called modernisation.

Borrowing and adapting to foreign traits and happenings have become the order of the day. I am referring specifically to the phenomenon of ‘Cheer Leading’. This has become the latest craze that has taken over our school sports. More emphasis in being placed on this foreign import rather than the track. More practice sessions and detail are carried out for the cheer leaders than those who bring glory to the houses and schools – the athletes. Change is constant, but this one has more of a downside.

Another concern and development that is of concern to me is the manner in which the schools’ Road Relays are conducted. It is often a time to break the traffic regulations, as students in the company of their teachers are allowed to be perched precariously out of vehicles in support of their athletes. Doing so while endangering their lives and others is most unwelcome. In a time when accountability is becoming more and more prevalent, one would have thought that more precaution would be in effect. And to add insult to injury, these relays are often marshaled by police outriders. This practice must be looked at with some measure of urgency and stamped out immediately, before someone is killed or seriously injured. We have to be more proactive than that. God forbid if we lose one of our young minds in this manner.

To those athletes who are required to perform on the heavy sand based fields and still are able to return some acceptable performances, keep it up, better must come one day.

Those who chose to put the Mound at the Sion Hill Playing Field have gone beyond the boundary, too, and must get their weekly reminder.