Munro old boys craft grand plans to revive school's athletics fortunesSunday, October 25, 2020
BY PAUL A REID
A number of former track and field athletes have joined forces as they seek to restore their alma mater Munro College to some semblance of quality after the former Boys' Champs and multiple Western Champs winners appeared to have lost their potency over the last few years.
Munro College, who were the first 'rural' school to win Boys' Champs in 1920, won the last of their eight titles in 1948 and their last Western Champs title in 2012.
They have slipped precipitously down the ladder in the last three years, third at Western Champs in 2018, ninth in 2019 and did not enter even one athlete in 2020.
The group, which calls itself Munro College Men of Excellence Inc and led by former Western Champs and Boys' Champs discus throw medallist Rajae Gayle, has come to the rescue and are hoping they will be able to restore pride not just to the track and field team, but the entire school population.
“Over the last couple of years, Munro College has seen a drastic decline in it's dominance where track and field is concerned,” Gayle told the Jamaica Observer last week.
“With that in mind, a group of us decided to pool together to give back to both the school and the team in an effort to rebuild a foundation of success for the future of Munro College,” he added.
Gayle, who attended the prestigious Howard University on a track and field scholarship, said: “Our overall vision is to support Munronians in pursuit of a higher education, while bridging the gap between all generations of Munronians, in an effort to establish a cultivated network and community of powerful men striving for and driven by excellence.”
The group, which has the full backing of the school's administration and Principal Mark Smith, also includes Vice-President Rolando “Midnight” Reid, who attended Morgan State University and who, along with Gayle, represented Jamaica at the junior level.
Other members of the board of directors Dr Kevin Jones, Brando Hayden and Dr Andre Robinson, are all old boys' of Munro College.
They are, however, seeking all the help they can get, and Gayle has called “Munro Old Boys near and far to join the cause of uplifting our alma mater to guarantee a successful future for all the young men”.
“It is time for us to retain our title as the number one all boys' high school in Jamaica and it will start with more proactive efforts such as this from the younger generation of leaders,” noted Gayle.
The goal of the MC Men of Excellence Inc he said is three-fold:
“To provide scholarships/resources for Munronians who are presently in high school or are looking to pursue higher education; To introduce and connect Munro students to a community of leaders serving as mentors; through group and one-on-one mentoring programmes and to provide support to the Munro College Track and Field Team and other students athletes to increase sponsored opportunities to study locally and abroad,” stated Gayle.
Reid said they have already raised funds “to get sanitary equipment so that our athletes can be ready once the Government gives the green light” for training to start.
He added that they were also including “mentor/mentee programme set-up as we pair our past with current athletes. We are looking to also donate materials for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and also to take on other projects”.
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