By Christopher Tobutt
It was three days of celebration, competition, and learning important life skills like how to lose without getting too upset, at the Truman Bodden Stadium. The Interprimary sports day is a chance for more than 400 champions of each of the 21 participating schools, from all across the Cayman Islands to learn how to win, but also how to lose with a good attitude. Besides lots of races between the 80 meters dash and the 800m, there was long-jump, shotput, and high jump too. But the most important skill on display was one they can use for the rest of their lives: how to do your very best and be part of a team, and how to keep going even when you are behind, so that you can still finish proudly.
Julianna O’ Connor Connolly Minister for education, youth sports agriculture and lands said: “I think this is so exciting because it’s an opportunity once a year that all of our primary children can come together and compete and prove that they are a strong coalition; not necessarily competition alone. It brings me back to my childhood years when I was on the field competing as well. It’s important for the children because it teaches them life skills. Life is about winning and losing but it’s about options. Losing means when you stop trying and so we see that some children have incremental development through the sports so you find that one year they will win one heat …it’s an opportunity to bring the teachers and the students and the parents of the wider community together.
Girls 12 and under 800m finals
Gloria Bell Senior School Improvement Officer said: “We have 21 primary schools participating all the Islands government and private schools taking part. We also have one homeschooler who is also participating “PE is one of the subjects that we do. We have just introduced a new national curriculum and the curriculum was revised so when we have these sporting events the kids have an opportunity to display their skills and their expertise they have learned in the academic year. It’s important in terms of their health and wellbeing, their whole physical development. Most of them are school champions, so it’s an opportunity for them to compete with giants from other schools to show exactly how good they are.”
One of the parents, Cleta Bodington had just finished cheering on her daughter, who had participated in the 800m. “I feel very proud. She did exceptionally well she was leading the field most of the way, although in the end she placed third or fourth. this event is a great idea because we get to showcase a lot of local talent If they’re winning it will boost their self-esteem. If they lose it can be a little bit tricky but it depends on their mindset, that they do the best they can,” she said.
Tammy Hopkins, Acting Director of Education Services said: “A year ago our inter primary sports was shut down after day one. We are truly blessed that we have three days this time and our athletes can come together and compete in true sportsmanship. We have over 463 athletes here today. This brings all the schools together, including Cayman Brac there’s representatives from the two primary schools here.
Mark Ray the Acting Deputy Chief Officer for education said “Today is an opportunity for the young people to showcase their talent and have fun. I think it’s important for them not only to strive to become the best possible athlete but that this event is a very fun time for them.”