July 2020 Volume 16

Welfare & Sports Virtual Townhall

Royland Gordon
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The Kingston College Old Boys Association International continued its virtual event series on June 25th 2020, with its virtual townhall titled Welfare and Sports. The townhall is a follow up to the association’s initial virtual event Fortis Covid-19 Primetime Event: Its impact on our families, the school and the Fortis community, held on April 30th 2020. In case you missed this momentous event, the recording is available at https://kcobausa.org/covid19relief/ or at https://www.kctimes.org/.

KCOBA International Welfare & Sports Virtual Townhall

The virtual event series is a collective effort by the eight chapters of the Kingston College Old Boy Association (KCOBA). It serves as an open invitation to the Fortis fraternity and supporters to not only engage and connect with the association but also get information and updates from representatives of the school, as their alma mater grapples with the impact of COVID-19.

The virtual events also support the association’s COVID-19 fundraising effort that was launched on April 30th 2020, during the initial virtual event. If you have not yet done so please make a contribution to the Covid-19 Relief Effort, through any of the KCOBA chapters.

The welfare and sports themed event had an impressive lineup of presenters as the association sought to deliver to its audience updates from key representatives of the school’s academic and athletic programs. In addition to representatives from the school, there were presentations from two notable KC old boys and a prayer from Rev. Canon Calvin C. McIntyre O.D..

Perry Broomfield officially opened the event. A prayer by Rev. McIntyre followed this. The KCOBA chapter leaders did a brief introduction of themselves and an overview of the chapters that they represent. Following their introductions, the leaders spent the rest of the event interacting with the attendees.

The event then transitioned to the sports segment, where the Famed Purples of North Street took center stage. This was a rare occasion: to have all the school’s athletic programs’ representatives collectively providing updates on school performance and the impact of COVID-19. The sports presenters included Mr. Leaford Green Track and Field Head Coach, Mr. Richard Smith Sports Master, who also filled many other hats within the sports department and Mr. Derrick Banks an integral part of the football management team.

The presenters highlighted the tremendous success that various athletic programs enjoy currently and in recent years. Many attendees were surprised to learn about the numerous athletic competitions KC participated in and how well our athletes did in those competitions. Mr. Smith pointed out that KC has the national U-16 Chess champion, is the 2019-2020 Lacrosse champion, and that the U-16 and U-19 Table Tennis teams were undefeated when the competitions were cancelled due the rapid spread of COVID-19 locally. KC is also actively involved and continues to do exceptionally well in Basketball recently reaching the finals, Cricket, Swimming, Lawn Tennis, Rugby and Field Hockey. Mr. Banks made it a point to highlight that the junior football teams continue to excel. The U-14 and U-16 teams have consistently produced championship seasons and their achievements should not be overshowed by the performance of the senior team who have done well in the last 5-6 years, winning the Manning Cup, Walker Cup and becoming the first school to win the Super Cup twice.

Going into the 2020 Boys and Girls Athletics Championship, KC was favored to retain the Boys Championship following stellar performances at meets and events leading up to the competition. However, it was not meant to be with cases of COVID-19 increasing in Jamaica, the governing body cancelled the Boys and Girls Athletics Championships, disappointing Fortis fans and track and field enthusiasts alike.

Collectively, the athletic programs echoed the same sentiments, of sweeping changes to training and operating protocols and increased focused on safety and precautionary measures in the post COVID-19 environment. While the school has enjoyed a great deal of success in its athletic programs in recent years there needs to be a renewed focus on funding for the various athletic programs.

With the school celebrating its 95th anniversary, Fortis everywhere are elated that the founding principles, vision and mantra that KC was established on is still being realized with each incoming class and each graduating class. Kingston College continues to open its gates primarily to inner city underprivileged boys, untapping their potential through academia and all the while building their character to becoming upstanding young men and leaders of tomorrow. The Fortis experience, as many KC old boys can attest, has many challenges and its fair share of tough times, but it is the fortitude and determination to overcome that the Fortis spirit is built and strives on.

The presenters in the Welfare segment highlighted this. Guidance Counselors Mrs. Nadine Eschoe and Mr. Roger Shaw who provide free haircuts to students, and the Vice Principal Ms. Juliet Wilson. They shared stories of the students’ personal sacrifice, commitment, unfazed determination and a thirst for attaining academic excellence despite their circumstances and limited means.

I am encouraging you to watch those powerful testimonials and seized the opportunities available for you to make a difference.

Former KC Head boys Prof. Wilks and his son Dr. Rohan Wilks capped off the presentations by focusing on the importance of the Fortis Fraternity giving back to Kington College. Both have been active contributors and volunteers on programs and initiatives at the school and they hope to inspire others to join in the effort of giving back.

By all accounts, it was a successful Fortis event!

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