Are we just making sport?
EDITOR: The Principal said: “We are not having sports this year”. When I enquired, he informed me that the playing field was not cut. My response was that we cannot afford not to have Sports, because it was a very important school activity. Besides this, the event presents an opportunity for many persons to earn a dollar from selling. We cannot ignore the economics of Sports and its value to the community. If we could not get officials to cut the field we must find ways and means to do it ourselves.
I engaged the services of a landscaper who charged $500. I explained that we do not now have the cash but I would sell drinks during the break at school and over a period of time he would be paid. He agreed to the arrangement and we had a successful Sports Meet. Subsequently, the two primary schools also held their Sports, thus tripling the economic activity on the Island.
Sometime afterwards an education officer visited the school and expressed his disapproval of me selling on the compound. I asked him: “Do you know how Sports was facilitated this year and how the expenses of the cutting of the field was being covered?” I explained to him that it may be unreasonable for us to expect the Education Ministry to do everything and we must play a role also.
Over the years the practice has been to borrow lawnmowers and together, with the one belonging to the school, cut the playing field. Some students and one or two teachers would then take a few days off to cut the field. One year, the Principal, Mr Oswald Nanton, using his wisdom undertook the task of cutting the field himself knowing that the school was in the capable hands of Deputy Mr. Kenneth Williams and that no instructional time would be lost. I do not know all the details, but I understand that pay was deducted from his salary for the time he spent cutting the playing field. If this is true, it is truly an Historic Wrong that needs to be righted expeditiously, restoring the monies deducted with interest and an appropriate apology.
Salt Pond and King George Park, at Ashton, Union Island, used to be our main playing field. However, climate change resulted in the flooding of the area. When the Ashton Marina Project was being developed we requested assistance to raise the level of the playing area because they had all the heavy equipment. Then Prime Minister Mitchell advised us not to worry about the small things. Up to this day Ashton does not have a playing field to service two preschools, one primary school and one secondary school.
During the planning stages of the Stephanie Brown Primary Extension, we had to protest when we heard that the school was to be built on the Clifton playing field and that the school’s corridors were to face the hills. Some rectification was made. However, the space the school now occupies prevents the expansion of the field to the standard size of what it should be.
In this day and age, who approved the design and construction of the Canouan Secondary School on the Canouan Playing Field? Why was this done? Are we making sport?
Anthony Stewart, PhD