Gordon Swaby

Champs…So Cliche

Well champs for me was awesome, not because of the athletics, but because of not so obvious reasons i will not mention here. Champs in a nutshell best described by Jamaipanese: “Boys and Girls Champs held in Kingston Jamaica is the biggest yearly track and field event in the western hemisphere. Male and female athletes from from high schools all over Jamaica compete over 4 days in various events for the right to be crowned champions. This year the event was sponsored again by Grace Kennedy, Bmobile, Western Union and others “.

But over the years champs has become somewhat predictable in the sense that the teams that are going to win are expected. Holmwood, my school took it home from about Friday leading by alot of points, while Calabar was leading KC by alot also. It’s not as nail biting anymore, and after winning champs for 6 years straight, the whole champs celebration thing has become somewhat stale, Holmwood was winning two years before i got there, and they have been winning ever since.

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Soon what will happen is that schools will stop participating because they feel somewhat demotivated knowing they don’t stand a chance against the mighty Holmwood and the Calabar Lions. the spectators will shrink every year, sponsors will start pulling, but i guess i’m being somewhat pessimistic, but from what i heard Champs was somewhat empty this year. And what sucks for the organizers of champs is that they can’t do anything to stop the same schools from winning every year, oh well.

Written by Gordon Swaby

Gordon Swaby

Founder and CEO of social learning service EduFocal.com. I’m passionate about technology, the internet and the use of technology in education. I am a recipient of Governor General’s Youth Award, the PSOJ’s 50 Under 50 Award, The commonwealth Youth Award and many others.


Lovingly made on Monday, March 17th, 2008 at 10:06 pm. Filed under Interesting, Jamaica/Politics, Personal.

  • http://stunner101.blogspot.com Stunner

    I guess the other schools need to get some form of funding (government or corporate) to develop their talents and level the playing field.

  • http://www.advance-gamers.com Gordon Swaby

    That will problably never happen because nobody is going to fund/sponsor them if there not sure of there win

  • http://www.jamaipanese.com Jamaipanese

    i am a long time champs fan and although in recent years it’s only been dominated by a handful of schools i don’t thinks it’s all doom for the event. Champs has been around since 1910 and there have been much longer winning streaks in the past. Champs is more than just an event to be sponsored or watched, champs is a staging ground where the young talent of the island is recognized and then the chosen few carry on the wow the world. Champ is more a part of Jamaica than reggae and I see nothing stopping it for the foreseeable future.

    What I am trying to say is that it’s it’s not only about which “school” wins.

  • Esteban Agosto Reid

    Gordon,one is of the perspective that you are being too pessimistic regrding CHAMPS and its future.CHAMPS is an institution within Jamaican society, it is almost one hundred years old, this can be considered a phenomenal and incomparable achievement/accomplishment for Jamaica and its high schools vis-a-vis other countries in the region, and for that matter, even North America.Indeed,CHAMPS has been dominated by relatively few schools,but this is not a new phenomenon.Historically,this has always been the case,especially, the urban schools in the early days or years of CHAMPS.With regard to consecutive winning streaks relative to Holmwood, there have been much longer and protracted winning streaks and complete dominance of the event, Kingston College and Vere Technical High School comes to mind. And interestingly,even with such dominance on the part of certain schools, this has not diminished the interest, zeal and enthusiasm on the part of the various high schools across the island to participate in ths magnificent event,even when some schools are not capable of fielding a full team, but in some instances just one or two athletes that/who are capable and competent in their given athletic discipline or event. Hopefully,in the medium term, the performances of the so called non-traditional high schools will impact greater on CHAMPS, and to some extent we are seeing/witnessing this through a school such as Bridgeport.Gordon,CHAMPS allow the athletes of both town and country (rural) schools to display their athletic prowess at a national level, and in so doing, be recognized by the nation,the athletic cognoscente,international scouts offering university scholarships,and of course the platform or stage for future greatness and international acclaim in terms of the olympics.Concerning the question of attendance, this will always ebb and flow as a consequence of the cost (tickets,etc.) of the event, relative to the state of the national economy accompanied by the general administration of security and safety for, or, of patrons.On the question of the economy, CHAMPS fuel a considerable amount of income and economic energy to the Corporate Area with respect to hotels,transportation,restaurants,vendors,clothing stores,night clubs, inter alia.In this regard the economic contribution of CHAMPS to the urban area needs to be assessed and measured.Also,the sponsors of CHAMPS must be congratulated for their intense, committed and dedicated involvement over the years.Contrary to your position,I am of the perspective that CHAMPS will only get better,and the problems affecting this classical Jamaican event can be managed and resolved.KUDOS to CHAMPS, A GREAT JAMAICAN EVENT.RESPECT!!

  • http://www.advance-gamers.com Gordon Swaby

    Well said Esteban, i totally agree, i guess i was hasty to do this post without proper research, i am now reassured about the greatness of champs through your post.

  • Esteban Agosto Reid

    Respect Gordon!!

  • Jaevion

    While, we might all have our own perspective on champs.. I think I want to agree with the pessimism of gordon … Its this attitude that we have that has been costing us so much – especially our businesses. Look at Cable & Wireless they were so hell bent that they wouldnt lose their market even with the introduction of digicel.

    Cricket lovely cricket .. has been revolutionized by the mastermind of Stanford. Now 20/20 cricket is said to be taking over … so the analyst believe.

    I agree that Champs is where many young athlethes make their strike on gold and get a scholarship to the US. But, this is not the only purpose of champs.. so we have to watch out. If every year we increase the cost for a ticket .. even when sponsorship dollars cover the entire cost then we are going to find that bleachers has less people than it had this year. Even grandstand had empty seats.

    So what needs to happen is – champs need to be more cool and not just a day to come sit in the sun and cheer for your school. Champs need a revolution .. or else some other money person will do the same like Sir Stanford and take the crowd .. cheaper and quicker …. we must always try to raise the bar… there has been no changes in champs really except those that are applicable to the athlethes and increase security patrol and searching.

    So many stars come to champs.. voicemail sat a few seats before me in grandstand and they weren’t even recognised …. u know .. have some gate prizes .. surprises a lil entertainment can do the trick .. keep ppl coming and wanting more.

  • http://mythoughtsonstuff.com Leon

    I sort of agree, but you make it sound as if champs is doomed. You make it sound more predictable than it actually is. KC is good competition for Calabar. As for the girls, well, Holmwood pretty much has it locked. Sad to say.

  • http://www.madbull4.net/wordpress/ mad bull

    Can you believe that I have never been to Champs? I don’t think any of my sisters went either. Can’t say if my brothers went, they were so much older then I was that I wouldn’t have a clue.

    Track and Field has never really been a Mad Bull endorsed sport. Football, Cricket, Volleyball, Tennis, Badminton, etc., yes, track and field, or swimming? No.

    Still, I don’t think Champs will die out soon.

  • http://gordonswaby.com Gordon Swaby

    Lol, well i’m not a sports person overall i didn’t go for the tracks i went for the experience, you should give it a try one year too:)



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