As I sat and enjoyed the spectacle of the 2013 Boys’ and Girls’ Championship inside the National Stadium, I thought to myself, what is different about this year's staging?
I looked around the entire stadium jam-packed as it was and there it was right beside and immediately in front of me. There you had Fortis diehards, and I’m one such, Rabalac fans, JC fans and those cheering for Wolmers.
All around was that friendly bantering and mustering among adults and it seemed to have spread to the kids. Even among the rival athletes there was this spirit of camaraderie, playfulness and friendship. It was such a wonderful sight when the victors were congratulated by those that finished behind them (none of our kids are losers).
Everyone was supporting their team, vigorously cheering and shouting every time their team crossed the finish line ahead; but what was surprising to me was when the athletes, and there were many, broke a record all of the patrons cast aside their partisan ways and expressed their joy by cheering loudly for that individual or team. So it was for Pullen, Mcleod, Matherson, OHara, Dacres, Bann, Bryan, Peter-Gaye Williams, Rushelle Burton, Kimone Shaw and all the others. Additionally, there was a sense of appreciation and awe whenever Delano Williams of Munro stepped on the track.
The KC band struck a real chord with all in the stadium. The drums kept beating and the horns kept blaring for the duration of the meet and the people danced to their own beats. It was clear: Jamaica was unified, even for 5 days, as a result of Sports and Music.
But as fate would have it, the event wasn't going to end completely incident free. Just minutes before the final event, the security team made their usual ring around the stadium. The throwing of items started from one section the bleachers. After the final event there were a couple of small incidents. These few small and unsustained incidents were the only times the Peace for Champs initiative appeared to come under any threat.
Well done to ALL the athletes, supporters and fans who made Champs 2013 the great event it was.