Dear Parents and Staff.
Our Junior School Athletics Relay Team (boys and girls) recently accepted the invitation from Corona School, Ikoyi, to participate in their annual sports day, which took place last week at the University of Lagos Sports Centre.
There were many invited private Schools from across the Lagos State, including St. Saviour’s Ikoyi, Grange School, Greenwood House School, Corona VI and Corona Anthony.
The CIS Team, upon arrival at the venue, caught the attention of everyone present and many eyebrows were raised as the “green-eyed monster of jealousy” reared his ugly head, with our professional and colourful tracksuit dominating the landscape. As Mr. Mark once remarked to me, “A team identity, shown clearly in togetherness and uniformity, is worth more than any head-start or numerical point advantage in sporting competition.” Immediately, the other schools present couldn’t help but stare at Team CIS. We knew there and then the day’s spoils were there to be taken.
The officials made the draws, leaving St. Saviour’s in heat 1 with five other schools, while CIS were drawn in heat 2 with six others.
Heat 1 started with St. Saviour’s showing complete dominance; finishing both the boy’s and girls’ races in style and thus qualifying for the finals.
The CIS teams then entered the dragon’s den, the cauldron of chaos, the testing tempest that is known as the athletics track. The atmosphere was electric and expectations could be felt thick and heavy in the surrounding air by all those present.
The girl’s team started off with Sopriala leading the first leg and taking any thoughts of winning away from her other opponents before she skilfully handed over the baton to Munachimso, who sent the crowd into a wild frenzy when she completely out paced all the other athletes, creating a 50 metre gap for Chantel Watson, running the third leg, to extend the lead to 60 metres. This left Miss Quicksilver herself – Anjola – to blast to the finishing line leaving the closest second placed school 80 metres behind her, trailing in the slipstream of CIS.
The boy’s team just like the girl’s, took no prisoners and gave no inch, as they re-enacted the same message and completely dominated the other schools, in the manner of Usain Bolt, as they created a 60 metre void, much to the admiration of those present watching from the stands.
With the stage set for the finals, all eyes were on Team CIS and St. Saviour’s – was this to be a dress rehearsal for the COBIS Junior Games next year?
The officials started with the boy’s race, where Fikayo made a powerful impact, getting the team to the second handover neck and neck with the athlete from St. Saviour’s. Ugochukwu took the baton but the slightest of wobbles in the passing of the baton allowed the athlete from St. Saviour’s to take a slight lead. This lead was maintained, with CIS in hot pursuit. Even with Chioma running a spectacular third leg and then Ayomide, who ran the race of his life, CIS could only finish a hair’s breadth in 2nd place behind St. Saviour’s.
The girl’s team had been watching and saw what had happened to the boys. The girls were now galvanised together in unity and commitment, and even more determined than ever. This showed with Sopriala starting off again strongly, before Munachimso did her magic again giving CIS the lead with St. Saviour’s already having to play catch up. We all know what happens when the pressure is applied in sprinting, the shoulders tighten, the leg-stride becomes forced, all coached fluidity and style begins to crumble. And this, dear Parents and Colleagues, is what was happening to St. Saviour’s runners before our very eyes. Chantel Watson, running the third leg, was not ready to let our dominating lead slip, and by the time Anjola took the baton, the crowd were off their seats cheering the athletes on. The anchor leg athlete from St. Saviour’s seemed to be closing at one point but Anjola sensed this, applied the after-burners and turbo-boosters and summoned her inner strength before crashing through the finishing tape ahead for first position.
An exceptional performance from our Juniors, who were as humble in victory as they were gracious in defeat.
Head Coach Payne