Ever since getting to Tobago I’ve been hearing people talk about school sports. I’ve caught the tail end of a couple field days at Shaw park but that had been about it. Basically school sports is the track and field day for each secondary, or high school, on the island. Each school will have their own, then ‘intercol’ will be held on February 9th and 10th between all the schools, and then the winners from there go to Trinidad for nationals in March. The field events are held the first day at Shaw park, then the track events the next day, usually at the stadium. So today I decided not to be a bum and actually get out and go watch some track. There were a couple kids from the club, and a coach that was running too so I knew I’d at least know some people there.
By the time I reached the stadium it was 2 and they had already started. I walked into the stadium and I was shocked! There were way more people then I expected for just a high school meet, and not just a high school meet, but a meet for just ONE high school. There were more people in the stands than even some of the university conference finals I had been too. Then it dawned on me that it might be harder then I thought to find my people. Usually I can do one walk by in front of the stands back home and I’ll find my group no problem. Well, three walk bys later I was starting to feel a little silly, so I took a seat by myself. I sat there and just looked around at what was going on around me. There wasn’t really anyone on the track at the time, and it seemed like they may have been on their lunch break. Half of the student seemed to be in their regular school uniforms, but the other half were wearing different coloured uniforms. I soon found out that the school was broken into four houses and that they competed against each other. This wasn’t too new to me since it was like that in elementary school, high school and even at inter squad meets in university.
After a little more searching I eventually found my friends. A couple of the guys had competed in the 100 and the 400 earlier in the day, and the 200s were just about to start. So far the whole time I’d been there music had been playing through the loud speaker and people were dancing and cheering everywhere. Once the races started this didn’t change much. The only time the cheering stopped was for the start, but as soon as the gun went off they were back at it. These kids took cheering to a different place for me. It wasn’t just ‘yahoos’ and ‘hoorays’, they had banners and flags and a drum section, all just for a school meet! With so much support, and enthusiasm even at this level I now understand why this island country does so well in international events. The crowd got into it 100% for every race and didn’t let down until the end.
By the time everything was said and done it was 6 o’clock…ooops! Practice starts at 4, and I didn’t get to Shaw park till 630, so I really only had time to do weights. Even though I missed my workout, I’ll be able to make it up on Friday. Seeing school sports was very entertaining, and definitely worth it. Since I’ll still be able to get the workout in, I really didn’t feel too bad. Tomorrow is another early morning walk with my uncle, which are ended up to be not too bad. Getting up earlier may be better for me instead of sleeping all the time. I figure I’ll be able to see a bit more and if I just a take a nap I should be ready and good to go for practice later in the day. The workout tomorrow isn’t too hard, just a simple circuit, then Thursday I get to try running a 500 again, I know this time though, I’ll meet my goal.