The statistics revealed before the Joint Select Committee on mental health services and facilities provided for children in Parliament on Wednesday, were deeply troubling, but not surprising.
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Barker finally gets his school title
Otis Barker held-off Jaden St Louis by one second in a sprint finish to win the thrilling 6 kilometre (km) race in the Blue Waters T&T Secondary Schools Track and Field Association (TTSSTFA) Cross Country and Health Fair at the Queen’s Park Savannah, in Port-of-Spain, on Sunday afternoon.
Barker of Toco Secondary, who finished as runner-up in the last two editions, was challenged to the line by St Louis and clocked 22 minutes and 12 seconds to cross just ahead of his St Anthony’s College opponent to finish the Over-17 boys division and overall winner.
St Louis was second in a time of 22.13 seconds and third was Justin Hersley in a time of 22.47.
It was a similar situation in the girls’ category, with Shania Le Maitre and Renata Charles of Bishop Anstey High racing for glory, but it was the former just crossing first in 30.22, another .01-second win. Charles was second in 30.23 while Toco Secondary’s Cheziah Phillip was third in 34.45.
In the 4 km, last year’s boys U- 16 winner Matthew Pulchan did not disappoint, crossing as the overall winner. The Point Fortin West student clocked 10.28 to finish ahead of Toco Secondary duo Joel Laloo (10.43), who was the winner in the U-15 category, and Jamal Goita (10.45), respectively.
Two-time girls U-16 4 km winner Joanna Rogers of St Francois Girls was also at her best, crossing in 12.07 to take the girls’ top prize. Following her to the line were Octavia Cambridge of Bishop Anstey in 12.42 and Cassandra Joseph of Toco Secondary in 12.46.
The combined effort of Barker, Phillip, Laloo, Goita and Joseph to name a few helped Toco defend its title again emerging the top school in the first event on the TTSSTFA’s calendar.
After the run, students and supporters participated in Fun Aerobics and get free check-ups and health products from the various display booths including Blue Waters, VEMCO-Gatorade, Bermudez, Institute of Health and Fitness, Herbalife and Kiss Baking.