In defence of WHSS

In relation to a letter, published in this Newspaper, from a concerned citizen about discrimination at Westerhall Secondary School (WHSS), I felt the need to respond with some questions of my own and probably offer some defense to a school that in my humble opinion is at times maligned in spite of their consistently remarkable performances in the area of track and field.

Let us remember that WHSS is only 14 years old. In that short life span WHSS has won the intercol and came second and third. For at least five out of the fourteen years this school has had top four finishes at the highest level of competition that our island offers.

These feats are unmatched by many schools with a much longer history and a much larger student body. How could you say then, that they are progressively moving down the ladder? Don’t they deserve a modicum of respect and commendation?

I wonder how much research was done by the writer of the article before penning such atrocities. According to the writer there were no girls participating for two years running. This is a falsehood for I can vividly recall female athletes on the track for WHSS at the 2013 Intercol games.

I remember, because it is a school that I follow due to my immense admiration for them. There were not many girls last year, but they were there. Further to that, if the writer was/is an ardent follower of track and field he/she would have seen female WHSS athletes at this year’s National Championship athletic meet. I too wonder why they were not at Intercol; however I cannot or will not jump to premature conclusions, insinuations and or accusations.

I think it is the responsibility of writers to research thoroughly whichever topic they want to present to the nation’s readers. Are you aware of the costs associated with putting out teams? Isn’t it possible that there were issues; be they financial, behavioural, social or others that hindered the selection of a female team?

Can you unequivocally ascertain that the other teachers and administration of the school simply allow the coaches to do as they please and not select a female team without consultation? Is it okay for one to take potshots at persons and a school with unconfirmed allegations?

Whereas I myself would love to see the development of a formidable female force of athletes at WHSS, I do believe that we as adults have the responsibility to be cordial and respectful to each other. Let us think about the implications of certain random comments on the reputation of an individual and even worse an entire institution, where fragile minds dwell.

I hope that Grenadians would have taken this letter for what it is; a citizen with a valid concern but who addressed it in an entirely undesirable manner. To WHSS students, staff and coaches I say keep up the hard work, you have done exceedingly well in a short space of time and have a lot to be proud of. There is much room for improvement; especially in the area of fielding a female team. I hope that you have already begun discussions to remedy this shortcoming at next year’s games and beyond.

Personally, I can’t wait for you to accomplish this and silence your too harsh critics. Hats off to you and keep pushing on.

Informed Citizen

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