Orville Higgins | Cut us some slack!

first_imgWhile all other sports in the country are shutting down, the people at Caymanas Park are insisting on staging horse racing. They have managed to convince the Ministry of Health that they can stage racing without endangering the lives of the people involved. They have put in the necessary safety precautions, including no spectators, and racing has gone on without any real incident. I have heard one official at Caymanas Park suggesting that they have to try to push for racing, because they have to protect all the investments that have been poured into Caymanas Park! Are you thinking what I am thinking? Horse racing, we are told, was historically the sport of kings. Which is to say, the sport of the wealthy. Nowadays, there may be less kings, but it may still be the sport of the ‘moneyed elite’. You don’t readily say no to kings, do you? Are you getting my drift? While horse racing is going on, my mind runs to schoolboy cricket. St Elizabeth Technical and Clarendon College have made it to the Headley Cup final. In Clarendon College’s case, it is the first time they have reached this far, since the mid 1980s. That final may never be played. The two teams are now at home twiddling their thumbs, with the Government’s directive for schools to be closed. I feel it for Clarendon College. They may well be deprived of a shot at the Headley Cup title, but they may also be denied of a chance at the rare feat of being all-island school boy winners in both football and cricket in the same year. So, if racing can be kept, why not the Headley Cup final? What is stopping the Headley Cup final from being played without spectators, the same way racing is happening at Caymanas Park? SCHOOL COMPETITIONS ON HOLD One answer is that school is now out and, therefore, school competitions can’t be held. I can’t accept that. There is no logical reason why a school competition cannot be held over the Easter holidays, for example, once both teams are willing. The other reason being put forward is that more than 20 people will be involved, and that goes against the dictates of Government. The 20-person rule was meant for that number in a confined space. I am sure that a cricket final at, say Alpart, could well be held without 20 people being too close together. The two dressing rooms could be at opposite ends of the grounds, for instance. In any case, how literal, should we take the 20-person rule? Are there not more than 20 people in some workplaces? Are their more than 20 people in Parliament? Ok, those may be considered “essential services”. The Headley Cup final may not be “essential” in the same context, but it is only “fair” and “just” that it is played. Cut us some slack on this one, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education. The sport of kings should not be given special consideration over the sport of the grassroots.last_img

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