Lt Stitchie, Harrison look to revive Tivoli's track programme
Former dancehall star-turned-gospel singer Cleve Laing, better known as Lieutenant Stitchie, said he is back at his alma mater partnering with some of his former schoolmates to form a Tivoli Gardens High School Alumni Track Cooperation with the aim of reviving the school's track and field programme.
Laing's comments were backed up by his former schoolmates Neil Harrison, head coach of schoolboy track and field powerhouse Kingston College (KC), Clive Foster, teacher and track and field coach in Canada, and medical doctor Michael Weir, who all graduated from G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport as teachers and coaches.
Weir said that they hoped someone would have picked up where they had left off, with Tivoli Gardens finishing in the top 10 at Boys Champs while they were students but nobody did, so it is now up to them, through the formation of the alumni cooperation to lift the school's programme.
"Over these years nothing happened for Tivoli Gardens' High track and field ... so we have started this cooperation with the aim of getting the track and field programme back on top," said Weir.
Laing, who believes that poverty is not an excuse for failure but can be a prerequisite for success, told Star Sports that he intends to use the school to be an example for the wider community, which is one of the most volatile in Jamaica.
"Our direct involvement with track and field is to use it as some kind of approach to develop the mindset of the children at the Tivoli Gardens High School because there is a negative stigma attached to the community, but we are evidence that it is a myth," said Laing, who taught at his alma mater before going into music in 1988.
"We want to use it as a template to spiral outwards not only the inner-city communities in Kingston but across the length and breadth of Jamaica, not just west Kingston," he added.