We did it - more or less !
THE SUN CAME OUT !
After incessant rain and flooding, the rain stopped at the track on Thursday, Oct. 19 at about 6.00 pm. during training. Friday dawned bright, with the wind now from the south-west and moderating. Blue sky and hot sun prompted a phone call to the Met. Office in Betio, Tarawa. They referred to the report from the Weather Centre in Nadi. Their forecast was "The same tomorrow !" So a chat with the Football organisers gave us until 1.00 pm. on Saturday morning to complete the Primary Schools Finals programme !
All eight schools reacted positively to the offer of a competition less than 24 hours later. We tried for a "7.30 arrive, 8.00 start" but this is the Pacific and I guess the teams did well to contact their athletes, fix transport, drinks, kit, etc. By 8.30 we had four teams; by 9.00 (one hour late) we had some runners from all eight schools ! But the programme was already under threat !
We ran the 1500m. and 1000m. races first, before it became too hot ! But we were having to wait for inexperienced athletes being rounded up by inexperienced managers ! Considering the short notice, there were not too many absentees, but a lack of officials meant that already it was unlikely that we could do the Field events (Standing Broad Jump and Shot). And so it turned out. In spite of having to re-run the Junior Girls 6 x 50m. Relay (across the Football pitch), we managed to complete all the Track events by 1.00 pm. Again, relying on inexperienced officials meant that the points (in spite of good paperwork and a briefing) were not added up. Rather than keep all the adults and athletes hanging about waiting, we considered sending them home without knowing the result ! Then I lost my keys !! That meant I also could not access the prizes ! So we said "Thank You !" and "Good afternoon !" and sent them away to get a shower and lunch ! Of course, (Thank God !) I found my keys directly - but was hot and bothered and sweaty and hoarse from shouting, so quite pleased to get off and replace the fluid !! (I seriously wondered afterwards whether I was TOO FUSSY about preparing the athletes for each race ! Maybe !)
DELIVERING THE RESULTS and PRIZES.
I spent a couple of hours sorting out the points and completing a Team Results matrix. Having recently received our second World Athletics Day parcel (in October for the Meeting in May 2006 !), we decided to give the posters and pins as prize/souvenirs to the top athletes from each competing school. So today (Monday) they all received posters and pins, plus some type of ball to the age-group and overall winners. (See photo of the most successful school, Tebwanimwaneka.)
SUMMARY of RESULTS.
Please check out our Docs and Records file (after Oct. 24) for the main results.