By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Joyce Samuel Primary School Stingers’ meteoric rise to a jaw-dropping 8-point dethroning victory over perennial Inter Primary Schools champions Althea Scattliffe Primary School Striders Friday, sent seismic shockwaves across the territory’s sporting community.
How could that have happened to the Mighty Scattliffe who have never lost since their 1983 formation?
When former Althea Scattliffe Assistant Principal Olandette Crabbe was appointed Joyce Samuel Principal, she took paragraph one of the play book with her, creating the pathway to the stunning victory, demonstrating that leadership indeed matters.
At ASPS, the short opening paragraph in the playbook formula created for victories by architect and former Principal Curlin Lettsome, was a simple one.
“If you don’t want your child involved in sports, take them somewhere else,” Lettsome, a former softball player, told parents in 1998. “All my teachers understand that your child will be active in sports. If your child isn’t strong academically, we’ll work with him through sports. My teachers know not to keep a child in class if they’re selected for a team. She won’t reach him anyway, when he’s thinking about what his teammates are doing on the field.”
I then understood why they had been perennial champions. It was a culture and it started with the leader.
Samuel, a former B Division powerhouse moved to the A Division and was second before the format changed to a true championship format with no divisions. They finished 2nd last year behind Scatliffe. This year’s one day modified version, saw each school fielding eight athletes.
Joyce Samuel seized the lead in the Under 9 Girls Division 60m with a victory while Scatliffe was sixth and got another advantage in the U11 Girls 80m with a third place to Scatliffe’s seventh, en route to amassing 144 points to Scatliffe’s 136.
“Sweet victory. I’m super proud of my eight athletes, my coaches, my PE Teacher who has been consistently preparing our students for today, I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Crabbe told Island Sun Sports. “We made history today, unseating my school, the Althea Scatliffe Primary School, the Mighty Scatliffe, so it’s a sweet victory for me. I congratulate all the teams, all the principals, coaches, teachers, the students and parents for coming out today and doing their best, we plan to enjoy this victory.”
In her analysis, Crabbe said the fact that the relays were limited, it put Althea Scatiffe at a disadvantage. Whereas Scatliffe could find four strong, that’s an area in which they faltered. She said last year it was the same in the individual races where her athletes were getting first, seconds and thirds—something they came to do.
“We medaled in every race and the relays,” Crabbe noted. “And the relays.”
In her program’s journey to the top, Crabbe explained that when they identify athletes with potential, they try to get them into a track program and they have partnerships with practically every Track Club.
“When we see our students have certain talent, we get them on to the track even if it means we have to transport them there which is something we have been doing, we try to get them there,” she pointed out. “So every athlete you see here today with the exception of the Under 9s, train daily and that made a difference today.”
Eustace “Boss” Freeman, Program Officer at the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports, told Island Sun Sports: “Today was very exciting and you heard, we had a major upset after a lot of years we have a new champion which is Joyce Samuel and that’s just an indication of how the day went,” he stated. “It was up and down as it pertained to different races, we had some ups and downs and there were races we knew the results before they happened. I expected the meet to be close because of the new structure due to Covid, but I had no idea we would have a new champion right now. Congratulations to all the schools but special congratulations to Joyce Samuel from the Zone6 area.”
Division champs. U9 Boys: De’Khharri Prescott, Althea Scatliffe, 20. Girls: Amika John, Joyce Samuel, 20. U11 Boys: Cadeon Freitas, Althea Scatliffe, 20. Girls. Shaneal Percival, Joyce Samuel, 16. U13 Boys: Tyrique Charles, Pelican Gate, 20. Girls: (tie). D’Niya Thomas, Althea Scatliffe, M’Kenzii Crabbe, Joyce Samuel, 20. 13+ Boys. J’Den Jackson, Althea Scatliffe, 20. Girls. Macalya Logan, Althea Scatliffe, 20.
Victor Ludorum: (tie). De’Khharri Prescott, Althea Scatliffe, Cadeon Freitas, Althea Scatliffe, Tyrique Charles, Pelican Gate, J’Den Jackson, Althea Scatliffe, all with 20 points. Victrix Ludorum: (tie) Amika John, Joyce Samuel and Macalya Logan, Althea Scatliffe, both with 20 points.
Final results. 1. Joyce Samuel, 144 points. 2. Althea Scatliffe, 136. 3. Bregado Flax, 64. 4. Pelican Gate, 56. 5. Ebenezer Thomas, 51. 6. Ivan Dawson, 45. 7. Willard Wheatley, 40. 8. Lenora Delville, 31. 9. Claudia Creque, 19. 10. Francis Lettsome, 17. 11. Alexandrina Maduro, 16. 12. Cedar, 15. 13. Agape, 14. 14. Enis Adams, 12. 15. Coboney, 11. 16. Jost Van Dyke, 11. 17. Seventh Day, 10.