Yesterday when I tuned into VOB to catch my daily fill of Afternoon Delight, I was surprised to hear the coverage of the Plus/Powerade Secondary Schools Athletics Finals at the National Stadium . Well that bought back some nice memories of my school days on the island.
Back in my time way back when the schools were yet to be intergrated, sports days were the days to treasure and look foward to whether you were an athelete or not. Now during the regular school year, I wasn't much of an athlete, but when I heard that sports day was coming, well I tried my best to get on one of the track & field events. I did get on two events, but sadly to say didn't do much to advance the team or my school. The one and only time I ever ran hurdles was at the National Stadium and I must say, my performance was horrid, but hey, I was on the team and if my school won, which at the time it didn't, I could say my few sorry points help contribute to the win.
Anyhow back to sports day. It was the day to officially "get on bad" aka misbehave in your school uniform. So on the morning we'd all get dressed for school and off to the stadium we go. Now it was the normal school rivalry, the top five (Harrison College, Queens College, Lodge Boys, St. Michaels Girls, & Combemmere Boys) against all the other common entrance failures. You must understand the Caribbean schooling system to understand that statement. But hey, I wasn't a member of the elite top 5. I was a Springer Memorial girl or as we were affetionately know as the Springer whore house. We were are the bottom of the common entrance train. That was until school sports day.
On Sports Day, all schools were on level playing ground. It was all about the fastest runner, longest or highest jumper. It was payback time for the academic under achievers, and pay back we did. So off to the national stadium we go to do our thing. Now if you ever see school children misbehave then was the time. Girls in the shortest and tightest uniforms allowed or not allowed. Boys in rude boye fashion and all schools joined together. It was also the few time boys and girls kinda mixed at the schools. So it was dixie time in the stadium stands. Lets not talked about what went on behind the stadium stands.
The deal was to get into the highest stands and shout the loudest, curse the nastiest and just be the worst that you can be while cheering for your school or particular favorite athlete and that we Springer girls did with ease and class. It was pure joy and entertainment for just a few hours of the school year. Then it was all over depending on who walked home with the glory of winning the national title.
The fun didn't stop there, it was just beginning as we walked the approx 2.5 miles or less to the bus stand. Bragging rights, fights, more cussing, and some loving and making out all happened in that short distance. Schools mixed and blended. Uniforms stood out. Springer popcorn blue dress againt St. Michael blue box pleats or Alexandria Light blue V-Neck or Parkinson green and yellow checkers, or Foundation yellow dress uniform. It was all about the uniforms. The boys were pretty much uniformed in kakhis with the exception of the color and pattern of the tie.
It was memories made for growing up in the school system in the Caribbean. It was good to hear and see that inter-school sports are still very much a part of the culture today and that underdog schools likeSpringer Memorial are still reigning topp dogs in school atheletics.
So much has changed, but so much remains the same. Memories, oh so good memories