April 14, 2008
The St. Johns Primary School held its victory celebration on Friday, April 12, 2008, to formally recognise its athletes outstanding achievement during the recently held Golf Insurance Primary Schools Championship. Victor Ludorum Master Steffon Collison was noted for his distinction with thunderous applause from cheering fellow athletes and students.
The elated 2008 B Division champs heard words of commendation from Sports Minister in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Hon. Hensley Daniel.
“This afternoon is a great opportunity for celebration and with the new school has come new ideas and as a result, this has spurred you on to do very well in a new environment. I want you to join me in congratulating all of the outstanding athletes. I congratulate you for the upset
“You have good reasons to be celebrating. You had no track field to practice and you had limited coaches leading up to the competition until Mr. Kurvin Wallace was engaged with the athletes and in that context it’s important that all of us in the sporting community formally recognise your outstanding achievement,” the Minister of Sports said.
It was awe inspiring to reflect on the success of the athletes, who won first place in their division and placed fourth overall in the competition.
In 2005, St. Johns won the Primary Schools Football competition, although the athletes lacked proper training facilities. The previous location of the school did not have accommodation for athletics. The B Division champs recently relocated to a newly constructed modern facility equipped with land space to develop sports facilities that would enhance its sporting programmes.
To further develop and nurture the School’s talented athletes, Minister Daniel promised the athletes a 300-meter track on the School’s compound, in preparation of the 2009 competition.
He also singled out Mr. Kurvin Wallace and Physical Education teacher Ms. Natalie Nisbett who he said was responsible for the school’s victory and responded positively to the School Principal’s request for Mr. Wallace to be officially added to the School’s coaching staff.
Meantime, School Principal Mr. Carl Williams applauded the athlete’s success stating that the odds were against them for many years and a collective effort was made to work on the school’s overall image academically and athletically.
“I know the odds were against us for many years however this year we decided no longer it would be so. Even though it was athletics, I promise you it would be more than athletics. I cannot help but say how much I appreciate the help and work of some persons who have contributed tremendously to our victory and our success
“First and foremost I must thank the coaches Ms. Natalie Nisbett and Mr. Kurvin Wallace for his volunteer services. I have asked the Hon. Minister to ensure that coach Wallace remain full time with St Johns Primary. I am certain with the combination of Wallace and Nisbett, we can go very far [in athletics],” he said.
Principal Williams thanked the speakers who gave of their services and motivated the student body athletes and prepared them to develop the proper attitude that was conducive to winning. He also thanked the school’s two major sponsors Cable and Wireless and LEFCO.
Mrs. Avril Elliott, Education Officer with responsibilities for St John’s Primary School extended congratulatory remarks to the student athletes, Principal, teachers and coaches, on behalf of the Department of Education.
She inspired the student athletes to continue to expand on their victory and to be reminded that in the midst of their celebration they overcame the odds that were against them, through their determination, hard work and commitment.
On hand to celebrate the school’s athletic performance were Education Officer Mrs. Palsy Wilkin, LEFCO representative and HOPE Nevis organisation representative Ms. Shanelle Simmonds, a former student of St. Johns Primary who shared in the spirit of her Alma Mateur. She told the cheering athletes and students that the organisation was proud of them and would continue to work with them academically and athletically.
Present were top Pastry Chef from the Montpelier Hotel Ms. Annelise Leibbrandt who adopted St John’s Primary School for the past 10 years. She provided the school with her chef and photographic services and presented the elated students with one of her signature Chocolate Strawberry cakes for the school’s victory party.
Victor Ludorum Steffon Collison was presented with an undisclosed cash award for his distinction from Coach Wallace and Cable and Wireless Branch Operation’s Manager Mr. Jerome Rawlings promised Master Collison a personal computer, which would be delivered to his home for his distinction, compliments of Cable and Wireless. The School’s athletic team was awarded with trophies for their outstanding performances.
The Ministry of Sports in the NIA has provided a wide range of service for athletes. The Ministry is the focal point for sporting excellence in Nevis and is committed to helping athletes on Nevis win at all levels in sports through athlete centered, coach led, performance driven and administrative support.