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COMMENTARY- Champs Again : Thanking Major Basil Jarrett

Dear Editor,

I am writing to express my heartfelt gratitude to Major Basil Jarrett for his insightful and thought-provoking GLEANER column (of 21/03/2024) titled "No Champs for me this year." Major Jarrett's poignant reflections on the evolution of Champs and the shifting dynamics within high school sports resonated deeply with me as a former athlete, a KC cheerleader, an aspiring research-level academic, and shamelessly among past Fortis school-boy leaders.

Major Jarrett eloquently captured the essence of Champs, reminiscing about the bygone era when school pride, camaraderie, and sportsmanship were at the forefront of the competition. His concerns about the commercialization, intense focus on winning at all costs, and the impact on young athletes struck a chord with me. As someone who has experienced the transformative power of sports intertwined with the power of Christ and military discipline firsthand, I wholeheartedly agree with Major Jarrett's sentiments.

I applaud Dr. "Muggy" Graham for consistently shedding light on the perils that Major Jarrett so eloquently articulates in his column. It is crucial to have voices like Dr. Graham's advocating for a return to the core values of sportsmanship, teamwork, and personal growth in high school athletics.

In today's competitive landscape of Jamaica, where trophies and scholarships often overshadow the intrinsic values of sports, Major Jarrett's call for a reevaluation of our priorities is both timely and necessary. As he aptly points out, true victory lies not just in crossing the finish line first but in the lessons learned, friendships forged, and resilience developed along the way.

I stand in solidarity with Major Jarrett in his quest to preserve the integrity and spirit of sports in our schools. Let us heed his words and strive to nurture not just athletes but well-rounded individuals who embody the virtues of sportsmanship, empathy, teamwork, and perseverance.

Once again, I extend my sincere thanks to Major Basil Jarrett for his insightful column and for sparking a much-needed conversation about the essence of high school sports.

Warm regards,

Dennis A Minott, PhD

Physicist---a Former Athlete and School Leader

North Street School Alumnus

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