The Grand Bahama Secondary School Athletic Association met this Monday afternoon and announced the start of the GBSSAA Annual Track and Field Championships.
Commonly known as “Island Sports,” events kicked off yesterday, February 14 and will run until February 20 at the GB Sports Complex. Field events were slated to run February 14-15, with track events set to commence on the 16-20.
This year, however, the Association announced that there would no longer be a junior and senior champion. Also, a change was made per the Ministry of Education to the age groups athletes would compete under.
“After much discussion, the Ministry of Education has decided that they will change the age groups,” GBSSAA secretary Charleen Hamilton announced, “No longer will we be seeing under 13, U15, U17, but instead schools will be going for championships in the levels of U14, U16, U18 and U20 divisions.”
A boys and girls champions will be crowned in the newly implemented age brackets, as well as a combined overall champion.
Hamilton highlighted that the change in the age group could even the playing field as far as competing in national events are concerned. She added that it could fill certain divisions with more competitors.
“It has definitely helped even the playing field. When you look at national events where our kids are participating outside of Grand Bahama and Island Sports we see where athletes are participating in even numbers, 14, 16, 18 and 20. So we’re basically the only ones (not doing so) because of our numbers.
“If you noticed, most of our kids would not be participating in U20 or it would be scanty because we don’t have enough athletes to fill that area. So that’s what we were basically staging it on. But this year, along with the Ministry of Education we had decided that we will change it so we are on the same playing field with the other islands of the Bahamas.”
This year’s track meet will be in the honor of two former principals. Past Tabernacle Baptist Academy Principal Norris Bain, and Marvin Rolle of Sister Mary Patricia Russell Junior High and also St. George’s High will be this year’s honorees.
The event is also sponsored by a host of companies, namely Domino’s, Coca-Cola/Powerade, Polymers, the Grand Bahama Port Authority, BTC, FOCOL and the Ministry of Sports.
District Manager for Domino’s Grand Bahama division Lageisha Miller said the company is once again glad to be a part of the track meet.
“We’re no stranger to the track and field and GBSSAA. And it’s always a pleasure to join in with them to enable the young folks to showcase their talent on the track.”
Hamiliton closed with an invitation to the general public to “come out” and support their favorite track and field star as they all prepare for the High School Track and Field Nationals set for March 9-11.
Published Wednesday, February 15, 2017