By Brithonie Brown | IG: @brithli_
“Only where children gather is there any real chance of fun.”
Physical development in children is critical. It enables them to interact and communicate with others and with the world around them. It’s essential for both critical thinking and physical strength.
It was Thursday morning, and the sun stood still. I anticipated with enthusiasm what turned out to be a fulfilling Sports Day at the National Baptist Basic School in Trench Town, Jamaica. It was my second visit to the renowned community, but my first to the NBBS. I became increasingly eager to revisit the community, especially as a Shash volunteer.
The team arrived just in time for the event opening. From the gate, I saw how the “track stars” were beginning to paint the compound, dressed in sporting gear of various colours, each of which indicated they house they would represent. I noticed that the parents and teachers also wore colours in support of the houses. Suspense and amusement were already evident in their faces, as they were in ours. To kick things off, my team and I participated in what we now label the “Shash Race” before stepping into our roles as recorders.
The entertainment was about to begin. The children were so charged with anxiety and ready to experience pure cheer. The day’s activities, however, brought both joy and disappointment to the participants—it was impossible to award each child with a 1st place ribbon. Nevertheless, the activities brought a friendly, competitive environment to life. Some races were not just about running, and included problem solving, reflecting the idea of having fun while learning.
It was a pleasure to watch the children run with heightened determination and zeal, but it was even more rewarding to recognize these young athletes with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place tags. They felt a sense of accomplishment and the drive to go beyond their expectations.
Undeniably, in my experience, the work Shashamane does inspires consistency and growth. Though the organization’s focus is educational support, visits like these encourage well-rounded growth in our children. I am ready to play my part in facilitating a brighter future for our children. I am ready!
Brithonie Brown is a second-year student at University of the West Indies in the Marketing and Communications program.