KC go to Africa for 'Champs' saviour

December 20, 2016
Ari Rodgers (right) of Kingston College, winner of the men's 5K at the Hugo Chambers Memorial Road Race, receiving a gift basket from Roan Wong, vice principal of Jamaica College.

The Kingston College (KC) principal and coaching staff have refuted claims that the school has recruited a long-distance athlete from Uganda to boost their chances of winning the Inter-Secondary School Sports Association Boys & Girls' Athletics Championships next year.

Middle-distance coach at the institution, Hamil Pagon, told STAR Sports that Ari Rodgers' family heard about KC being the best high school in Jamaica to develop young Rodger's athletic abilities while allowing him to excel in the classroom as well.

"His father happens to know Jamaicans and he wanted the boy in Jamaica because he wanted a better opportunity for him. He did his research and realised that KC was the best school for him because there is a good blend of education and competent track and field coaches," Pagan said.


Pagan said: "We are partially lucky that he chose KC, but part of it is to the credit of the headmaster (Dave Myrie) and the academic staff that our academics are now known worldwide as something good."

He added that it was also a credit to head coach Neil Harrison and rest of the coaching staff that the school's track and field programme is also revered.

Myrie was reluctant to speak to STAR Sports during a visit the school's North Street campus. Myrie says that THE STAR/Gleaner has never portrayed the school in a positive light.

"The Gleaner's articles about KC always have a negative slant," he argued.

When pressed if Rodgers was recruited to boost the school's chances of winning the Boys & Girls' championships, he would only say that Rodgers is a student at the institution.

"We have a very bright student from Uganda."

STAR Sports understands that Rodgers was recruited from Uganda and lives at an athletes' house in Kingston, with athletes from rural Jamaica.

His presence has already reaped dividends as Rodgers won the Hugo Chambers 5K and was part of a winning team at the Burger King 5K in September.

It's common knowledge that some traditional high schools in Jamaica have recruited student athletes from non-traditional high schools to boost their athletic programmes.

Earlier this year Jamaica College's football manager Ian Forbes, said that he would not apologise for recruiting student athletes to boost the school's football programme.

KC is the winningest school in Champ's history, with 32 titles. However, the North Street boys haven't won Champs since 2009.

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