The St. Mary’s Junior School (SMJS) has dethroned the Grenada Junior Academy (GJA) in the 2015 Private Primary School’s Championship held last week Thursday at the grounds of the National Stadium, Queen’s Park, St. George.
GJA, the six-year champions, suffered a massive defeat when the curtains closed on the 64-event Ribena-sponsored games, amassing a total of 362 points, 134 points less than the athletes of St Mary’s (496 points).
SMJS seemed to have been on a winning streak as the school also won the March Past parade, while Alpha Junior and Westmorland trailed behind on 253 and 260 points, respectively.
An ecstatic SMJS Principal, Brian Charles said this is a significant win for the school, which is located at Tempe, St. George’s.
Speaking with THE NEW TODAY at the end of the day’s event, Charles attributed his athlete’s accomplishment in the games this year as a result of their engagement in a “specific developmental training programme and activities” developed by the school.
“We have put structures in place to ensure that they (the athletes) develop in the various categories,” he said, noting that “over the years we would have looked at the performance of our athletes at the Private Primary School games…we have been at second place consistently and we have put structures in place to ensure that our athletes peak and this is what we have seen today – victory at the games.”
The event saw the participation of 16 private primary schools and the emergence of several outstanding athletes including 11-year-old Tahje’ Grant, who is a sixth grader attending the Rainbow Junior Academy at Seamoon, St. Andrew.
He was one of the superior performers capturing a number of the events including the high and long jump events – jumping 1.24m and 4.35m, respectively and the javelin and short put events – throwing 8m and 21.9m respectively.
The aspiring footballer also placed first in the 100m, 200m and 800m races bringing home a total of seven gold medals.
Chairman of the Ribena Private Schools Games Organising Committee, Kester Elcock said the games have been very progressive over the years.
“These games have not only grown in numbers but also the quality of athletes participating at the games…who have gone on to do things nationally” such as CARIFTA athlete, Ronnie Ollivierre, Shawn Lambert, who holds the record in the 100m at the National Inter-collegiate games and Aaliyah Bartholomew who also established her record in the high jump at midgets while she was just a PREP, Shemar Mills who established records in the 100m and 200m PREP in 2014 and Doneala La Touche, who broke Mills record at the 2015 premier Inter-col event, among many others.
“They are examples of not just athletic excellence but have gone on to show, what the private school’s can do,” Elcock declared during the opening ceremony of the event.
Additionally, the committee chairman announced that the 100m under 13 male racing event was held in tribute to one of the PREP games most outstanding graduate, Dr. Shawn Lambert.
National Sports Coordinator, Conrad Francis, who was involved in the organising of the very first Private Primary School’s championship, was happy to note the growth of the games.
“It just shows the potential and what can happen once you have vision…”, Francis said.