The Republic Bank title sponsored Inter-col games returns to the full three days when the event is staged towards the end of March and will include two new events.
Organisers of the games, the Grenada Secondary Schools Games Association (GSGA), officially launched Inter-Col 2023 at the Grenada Olympic House on Wednesday (February 15). It will be staged at the Kirani James Athletic Stadium, Queen’s Park, Saint George on March 28, 29, and 30.
Among the dignitaries that participated in the launch of the games were Minister of State with responsibility for Sports Hon Ron Redhead, Chairman of the GSGA Dominic Jeremiah, Grenada’s two-times World Athletics Javelin Champion Anderson Peters, Managing Director of Republic Bank Naomi De Allie, Assistant Superintendent of Police Trevor Rodney and President of the Grenada Athletic Association (GAA) Conrad Francis.
In his presentation, Chairman of GSGA and Principal of Presentation Brothers College (PBC) Dominic Jeremiah said the environment is appropriate for the premier games for secondary students to return to the pre-COVID pandemic standard and organisation.
GAA president Francis said the Association is providing Inter-Col with all the support desired. According to him, a well-trained and competent cadre of track and field officials is ready to provide professional service during the three days of competition.
He noted that the quality of officiating will be enhanced with several new pieces of world-class equipment to be used during the games.
The Managing Director of Republic Bank said the bank is delighted to be associated with the games and is investing a “tidy sum of money” to ensure the event continues to improve at all levels.
She said the marketing department of the bank will also assist the game organisers in creating an ambiance that is conducive to the image of the three-day meet.
During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, no Inter-col Games were staged. In 2022 it was a one-day competition with a limited number of events. Carl Andall, principal of Mac Donald College said now that the games are extended to three days, competition will be in three categories: sub-juniors, juniors and seniors.
Jeremiah said staging the games over three days means that the organisers can provide athletes with adequate recovery time after each event. He said athletes are likely to produce better performances now that they have recovery time.
The Inter-col Games will have two new events; the heptathlon for women and the decathlon for men.
Minister Redhead said government is pleased to see the return of the games and is “prepared to invest seriously in its development.” He said government looks forward to the implementation of the national sports policy geared at developing sports at all levels. The Minister shared that the vision to “engineer professionalism” where sports men and women see their involvement beyond just having “fun.”
In the last eight weeks, several secondary schools have staged their inter-house school games as part of their preparations for Inter-col 2023. Also, many of the schools have participated in the Grenada Athletic Association development games and national relay championships. Jeremiah said he is happy to see the high level of interest and believes the performances of many of the athletes from the small secondary schools will impact the games.
Assistant Superintendent Rodney said the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) is working along with the Inter-col committee to ensure rules and regulations are followed during the games. He said there will be some public education ahead of inter-col, informing athletes, parents and spectators of the measures that will be put in place.
The 2023 Games will be directed by Johnell Mitchell, vice president of the GAA.