REAL NEWS – The Antigua Grammar School’s sports area has been left to become overrun with bushes and trees, complains George Wehner, the United Progressive Party (UPP) mobilization officer, who is decrying its appalling condition.
Ahead of next week’s opening of schools for the 2023-2024 academic year, Wehner paid a visit to the government-run secondary school, which is located along Old Parham Road.
He reports that the practicing facility for cricket – in particular, the bowling net area – is not in good condition, as that area lacks grass, while there is a huge wild-tamarind tree growing through the metal net.
This protrusion through the batting cage has caused damage to the metal net, he says, as some parts of it appear to have become embedded within the tree trunk.
Wehner says there are termites in the area, as well, and the paved concrete pitches are almost overrun with grass.
The astro turf, meanwhile, is covered by leaves from the nearby trees, and the cricket stumps are visible only when the shrubbery is peeled away.
It seems that the Ministry of Education either does not care, or cares very little, about sports in schools and the proper upkeep of the sporting facilities, Wehner concludes.
However, he says, these facilities are very important in helping to hone the skills of student-athletes if they are to become proficient and professional in their respective disciplines.
The Antigua Grammar School, Wehner notes, is not only his alma mater, but that of the country’s lone living National Hero and cricketing legend – Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards, who is the only West Indies cricket captain never to have lost a Test series.
What he finds instructive, the UPP officer says, is that the pitch area is in close proximity to the Antigua Labour Party headquarters on Nugent Avenue and Old Parham Road.
Since only a fence separates them, Wehner says the government officials who gather at the headquarters should have seen the condition of the facility and moved to restore it, so that the Grammar School boys can resume use of the area.
Unfortunately, he says, the Browne Administration cares nothing about investing in the development of education, sports, or extra- curricular activities for the students of this Nation.
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