Visit Of Trinidad School Footballers Is Cancelled

Author: 
Effat
Date Published: 
1948-01-21
Source: 
Jamaica Gleaner
Page: 
15

Great expectation of the football fraternity of Jamaica and especially those followers of the game of our high school boys, of seeing the combined team of Trinidad school boy players in action out here has fallen to dust, the tour having now been cancelled.

It is hardly necessary for me to make any emphasis on the wide spread disappointment the cancellation of this venture occasions. But this fact I cannot lay too great an emphasis on: if the nursery of our sports—the schools—continues to be reluctant in its co-operation and willingness to assist our various controlling bodies in the upkeep of these competitive games, the day is not far off when Jamaica will be hopelessly trailing the other colonies of the West Indies in cricket, football and track athletics.

I have not been given the substantive reason for the cancellation of the tour as I am one, in all my years of sport-writing, who has the greatest respect for the withholding of any information that I might require as regards certain matters, as too "personal" to make copy of for public information. But I am conscious of the fact, and this was actually told to me although in a somewhat parable form, that at a recent conference of the headmasters of our Public Schools, the decision was arrived at that the tour should not materialise.

REASON REPORTED

Admittedly, Easter is an out-of-season time for football; and, so far as the schools are concerned, is a time when they are concentrating more on track and field athletics. But, if this is the reason or even one of the reasons which prompted the headmasters to withhold their permission for the boys of their schools to engage the Trinidad school boys in a series of just five matches, then one has to wonder, and even has to ask oneself—What next!

For football is one form of sport among others, which requires abundant physical fitness; if a player into training for a track event, may I ask what better playing condition could he hope for physically?

I could more understand the disapproval of the headmasters for the materialisation of the tour, if they felt that, coming at that time, the series may in some directions clash with the visit to Jamaica of the MCC team. I would 'willingly' be on their side for a postponement or even a cancellation, if such a course was the only means to an end. But for anyone to say that a series of five matches in which these boys would play, would interfere with their track indulgence, is positively weak in all its significance.

It is by no means extravagant for me to conceive the feeling that it may be the opinion of some of our headmasters that a tour of this nature and a series of such importance would be placing the boys of these schools in too much of the "big scale football" height. For, it is common knowledge to those of us who have been closely connected with the sports of the schools over the years, that there are headmasters who are totally opposed to public competitive games for their boys.

IN SISTER COLONY

Strange enough, this does not seem to be the feeling of the headmasters of the St. Mary's College and the Queens Royal College of Trinidad, who readily gave their approval to the Football Association of that colony and to Mr. G. M. daCosta, the President of the Jamaica Football Association, who planned the tour for the boys of their school to travel all the way to Jamaica to play against the Jamaica school boys.

However, it is of no practical or material benefit to anyone to even vent one's feeling on the very regrettable turn of events that have taken place. It is sufficient for those of us who were looking forward to the tour with such bright anticipation to endeavour to stifle our bitter disappointment; and even to feel the lash of Trinidad's public opinion when informed the tour is off. They have a famous calypso in sports in Trinidad; and this is sung chiefly when a team fails to fill a bill. It goes: "You run, you run, you better run."