Reviving extra-curricular activities among priorities for new QC board chairman

The repair and maintenance of the Queen’s College (QC) field, and ultimately the revival of extra-curricular activities, is high on the agenda for new Chairman of the school’s Governing Board Alfred Granger.

Granger, who yesterday met with QC’s newly-elected board for the first time after they were installed during a ceremony last week, told Stabroek News before the meeting’s start of his hopes of not only restoring the QC field, which has been in a dilapidated state for quite some time now, but also ensuring that the field is utilised daily by the students, as was done in the past. One way of guaranteeing such, he stated, was by employing a Games Master.

The state the ground was in before it was cleared.

He also mentioned his desire to see inter-form and inter-house competitions hosted more regularly.

Granger also shared that it is his dream that an all-weather track can be installed on the field, to ensure that is can be used all year round.

“There are lots of priorities but I feel that this will be one of them because the field is an integral part of children’s growth. Children can’t study alone and don’t play sports, they won’t develop properly. This is the only country in the Caribbean where children are playing education and not playing anything else, it’s ridiculous,” Granger commented.

He further stated that there is the need to move to a place where children are able to participate in a range of activities that will leave them well-rounded individuals.

“If the field is used and the children are accustomed to playing sports, more and more they will play sports. When I was at Queen’s College we had two cricket teams playing in the second and third division in this country, we want to get back there.”

“We have to get to the point where children are developed fully—they are playing sports, they are involved in elocution contests, they’re involved in drama. There was a time where each year the school put on a major play—a major Shakespeare play; this was like a huge production. So we want to get back to that…get back the school to where it was in the 60s and before where they had all the clubs going,” he added.

The entire QC field was finally cleared earlier this week of the majority of its overgrown weeds, after past students took the initiative to take up the responsibility of maintaining the field for the next six months.

Dr Terrence Blackman, who is spearheading the initiative, said the group has every intention of restoring the field to its former glory, while stating that they “will not be satisfied” until students are able to use the ground in the same way that it was utilised by their predecessors. This means that in addition to having the grass cut once monthly, the group will be working to facilitate funding for additional works, such as grading of the ground. The cost for the additional works have not yet been estimated.

This newspaper was told that more than five years ago owner of DeSinco Trading Frank DeAbreu, who at the time was a member of the Governing Board, had donated $1 million for the rehabilitation of the field.

DeAbreu then spearheaded a campaign which saw the college raising an additional $2 million dollars before the end of 2012. However, since DeAbreu was injured in an accident on October 21, 2012 the drive to raise $20 million for the first phase of the field’s rehabilitation appears to have stalled.

Additionally the Board could not reach a consensus on whether or not to begin the rehabilitation process using the funds already available. That $3 million has for five years sat untouched and raised some $35,000 in interest.

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