In light of the unsubstantiated accusations of cheating and other charges leveled against members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) who were primarily responsible for putting in order all systems for the smooth running of the 2008 National Schools Championships, as a member of the LOC and resident of the community I am compelled to make a response.
In addition, residents of the community who came out and offered assistance in many areas are enormously disappointed with the unconstructive reports that has emanated via the media about the staging of the Games and the attempts made to vilify certain officials’ characters.
First of all, even before the Games got underway, many negative sentiments were expressed in the corridors of the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) as well as within the teaching and athletic fraternities about the history of cheating that occurs whenever visiting teams go to participate in sports in Linden.
That created a lot of preconceived notions in the minds of visiting athletes and officials that we subsequently witnessed bore fruit when certain districts led by their Managers decided to display behaviour that was undeserving of being at a National Schools Championships.
When persons of influence are going to say things such as all the top positions of officiating are held by members if the Linden community, personal effects are usually stolen in Linden which is far from the truth and then those allegations are reinforced by the media, what it did was provide the stimulant for the eventual result which will ultimately serve no one, but rather places the future of the Games in jeopardy, thanks to those who are seeking their own self interest and nothing more.
Permit me for the sake of truth and to erase the negative perceptions that the public might have had about the composition of the officiating panel, the following is the list: Chief Timekeeper- Pamela Phillips (no affiliation to Ministry of Education (MOE) / GTU; Chief Judge- Keith Smith (District #4); Chief Umpire- Kester McPherson (District #3); Chief Call Room Judge- Joycelyn Beck (Cyril Potter College of Education); Chief Competition Steward- John Adams (District #3); Chief Recorder- Aileen Williams (District #3); Chief Discus- Carol Dash (Georgetown District); Chief Shot Put- Joycelyn Sears (District #5); Chief Javelin- Karen Boyd (District #4); Chief Long Jump- Tenacia David (District #10); Chief High Jump- Eudell Reddock (District #5) and Chief Starter- Lyndon Wilson (no affiliation to MOE/ GTU).
Many of the controversies except for the seating arrangements that were highlighted over the four days were prompted by the Georgetown Districts.
The incident involving the North Georgetown student in the 100 metres where it was alleged that her name was taken off the list by the Chief Track Referee was proven to be the correct decision after it was learnt that she had not qualified.
The investigation also revealed that the above mentioned official had no connection with the composition of the list for the finals, but instead that was the responsibility of the Chief Track Judge.
It is my observation that emphasis was placed on simple things that could have been easily investigated if queries had arisen and amicably settled.
There seems to be little if any regard or even offer of thanks to those members of the LOC who worked tirelessly in the preceding weeks to ensure that some of the anomalies that usually beset the Games did not occur.
Concerned resident and official
(Name and address provided)
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