This is going to be the best Champs ever, declares Walton Small

Observer writer

Thursday, March 21, 2019

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Another staging of the world's greatest high school athletics meet, the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships is around the corner and outgoing ISSA president Dr Walton Small is promising “one of the best Champs ever”.

An excited Small says that based on feedback that he has received, fans can expect something super special from next Tuesday to Saturday.

“I am hoping that this will be the best and based on the preparations that we have made and based on what we have seen, I have no doubt in my mind that this is going to be one of the best Champs ever. I say it against the background that once upon a time you could say this team is gonna be champions, that team is gonna be champion, this year it's gonna be close,” he promised.

The Wolmer's Boys principal could not imagine a better swansong as he demits office from both ISSA and Wolmer's for a new challenge.

“From what we have seen from the development meets and I have some insight as to what is happening elsewhere, it is going to be very close. It is going to be exciting and a lot of records are going to be falling this year. What a fitting send-off it will be,” he said with a huge grin.

Gone are the days where gold medals and records belong to a select set of schools and the Cornwall College Old Boy credits policy decisions made under his tenure have led to this occurrence.

“One of the most important things to me as president is that at first you would find that the voices of certain institutions were stronger than others,” said Small.

He believes that one of the most important things he has accomplished in his time as president is to give a voice to the so-called smaller schools.

“When I took over I said you know, it is important that every member school believes that their input is significant and important, and after 12 years, I am extremely proud of the fact that every school at ISSA, they have the same input.

“Sometimes when we don't hear the voices of some people you miss out on key components of your plan and when you have the input of everybody you tend to have a better plan. When people are a part of your plan, they buy in to it and they will make sure it works,” reasoned Small.

With his departure, the ISSA boss is confident that he will be leaving behind a strong and healthy organisation to carry on a rich legacy.

“I am extremely happy that leaving ISSA, everybody's input at ISSA is recognised, is valued and therefore going forward I am very comfortable that ISSA is just going to get better,” he said with an air of certainty.

Over the years, ISSA has grown the athletics and football programmes to the point where the organisation is now a financially viable entity, he disclosed.

“The other thing that I would want to say about ISSA under my tenure is the fact that ISSA is financially stable. We are able to purchase for ourselves a new building which we will occupy after Champs,” he notes.

He did have one regret, but believes that the incoming administration will be able to deliver on a promise he had made some time ago.

“The disappointment though is that I wasn't able to achieve the business of the multipurpose facility that I thought I would have been able to achieve, but I am sure that this new administration will make sure that that happens,” Small said.

The defending champions for the boys section of Champs are Calabar High and they are expected to be pushed by Kingston College and Jamaica College this year.

Edwin Allen are the defending champions for the girls' section and they will be tested by former champions Holmwood Technical and Hydel High.

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