School Tournaments Aims At Finding Talents To Represent South Sudan In Competitions

Annually, schools in South Sudan have inter-schools athletics competitions.

School Tournaments Aims At Finding Talents To Represent South Sudan In Competitions
Pupils of Emanuel Model primary school training for 2016 athletics competition [Photo| Gilbert Modi]

By Modi Gilbert

YEI, 15 March, 2016 [Gurtong]- The South Sudan Ministry of Education has set in the education calendar, tournaments for primary schools during their first term.

In Yei, secondary schools have ‘mini marathons’ competitions which is usually every second term of an academic year.

About 62 primary schools in Yei are now preparing for the athletics competition which is expected to kick off on the 21st of this month.

The time frame given for the co-curriculum activities in the South Sudan curriculum, aims at developing the talents of South Sudanese upcoming generation in sports.

As every school is expected to deliver offer trainings to those involved in sports in the respective schools, there is need as well for every school to amicably use the period given.

In Yei, a school which fails to let its pupils participate in sports is charged for that, though some still remain adamant.

The competition is set for diverse events which include; javelin, short-put, discus, long, short and triple jumps and high jump.

Track events include short distance races (hits) <100,200 and 400 meters including relays> and long distance races< 1,500 and 3,000 meters>.

Emanuel Model primary school was crowned the overall champion of these events in last year’s athletics competitions.

Moro Gabriel is the games and sports teacher for Emanuel Model primary school.

Though a winner is awarded a trophy for well-done job, Moro says it aims at putting South Sudan among the list of the best countries in athletics in the world.

“I believe in two to three years if we really put the talents of the athletes well, then South Sudan may be among the ten countries leading the world” Moro said “let us put more interests so that the talents of the learners are really developed.”

“Let’s not aim at Emanuel always taking the trophy and sometimes get jealous of that, let’s use the techniques of training.”

Moro explains the the strategy of keeping the athletes fit.

“There are athletes who are fit in some races, if you over use such athletes, reaching the finals, he or she will not do well; we always train our athletes according to the races.”

Training athletes to get used to the type of weather changes also prompts some positive impact on the athletes enabling him/her to perform well.

“If you train athletes in the morning, also train them from 10am up to 12 noon so that they can get used to the sun’s heat then next time also change from 3pm or 4pm till 5pm" said Moro.

Sunday Rose, from Emanuel Model Primary school was among the best athletes last year.

She said what made her become one of the best runners was the belief she had in the teacher.

“If he tells us to do this, we also follow” said Sunday during her training session.

Daily exercise according to Stella Pamela, who is one of the pupils in the same school, helped them “gain enough energy “and gave them the timely victory.

After internal rivalry of schools in each Payam, inter-Payams tournament follows and finally inter-State.

Some of the best runners identified get a chance to represent the nation in regional tournaments.

To win such opportunities, Moro Gabriel, the Games and Sports Master for Emanuel model primary stressed, the importance of training.

To ensure justice during the tournament, learners of the same age group, height and weight are grouped together.

Each child is to submit a passport photo size to the panel for credibility which is later either disregarded or considered after the measurement has been taken.

It is this photo that the panelists use in verifying the accreditation of the child in the course of the competition.

Cases of malpractices have been reported in previous competitions.

Officials are usually blamed of either allowing disqualified or unqualified athletes to compete or awarding obtained marks to wrong persons.

In 2014 protest erupted after the announcement of the results of the tournament with other schools claiming that the results were wrongly awarded.

Kinji primary school which was banned for two years from participating in the tournaments stormed the pavilion where the officials were announcing the results.

The protest escalated into an attack of the wining school with stones being hurled at them.

Cosmas Desire, the deputy chairman of the organising committee for this year’s tournament on Monday said there is an ‘independent body’ set this year to asses those who qualify for the tournament.

He says the committee aims at minimizing complaints of biasness as well to fence out issues of riots.

“The body is coming to act upon this measurement is an independent body” he said “once this thing is done we do request games and sports teachers to witness the measurement so as to avoid such anomalies.”

Though the deputy chairman of the organising committee acknowledges the unfairness in the competitions, he however said there will be tough penalties imposed on indiscipline schools.

“One of the rules says any school organising things like strikes, has to be penalized” he said “Of course we have rules that ban schools for three years sometimes, it depends on the range of the offence.”

In previous years, schools were charged to pay SSP.2 per child if the school engaged in any form of indicscipline.

This money is to facilitate the activities of the tournament which include; panelist welfare, transport, hiring music system, buying equipments for the field events and many others.

However as per the economic challenges in the country, this year the official said, charges are tuned to shoot the situation.

It means that a child in a school has to pay four South Sudanese pounds and this figure of money is multiplied by the number of pupils a school has.

Nevertheless, these charges shall not be friendly to other schools. There are Schools which entirely depend on the collection from the pupils in running their daily activities including the sustainability of the staff.

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