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Champs never misses SSP Steve McGregor

Over the past four decades, the ISSA GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletic Championships, more popularly known as Champs, has chalked up a plethora of good memories for police veteran Steve McGregor.

The senior superintendent said that he has been in love with track and field since he was a boy, and that the spectacle associated with attending Champs was always a high point for him.

McGregor boasted that he has never missed an edition of Champs since he began high school in the mid-1970s.

"From the exploits of Lennox Miller to Davian Clarke, and Andre Wellington, to the new sensation Bouwahjgie Nkrumie, I am always here supporting my school," remarked the former Kingston College (KC) head boy.

However, McGregor said that his favourite Champs' moment occurred in 1979 when his schoolmate Ian Stapleton defeated pre-race favourite Bertland Cameron of St Jago High School in the coveted 400m finals. Cameron later went on to become a World Champion and Olympic silver medallist, but the memories of that famous race are still spoken of among the KC faithful.

"Ironically, Bert is one of my best friends now, but, at that time, we weren't. I remember we all walked from North Street to [National] Stadium. We descended on the stadium with about 75 per cent of the student body. The spirit alone I think drove Ian to beat Bertland Cameron at stadium. As you know, Bert turned out to be world champion. But that is what Champs is," McGregor said.

Although his career in the sport was short-lived, the widely respected policeman said he has always invested time and resources in developing Jamaican youth who have shown an interest doing sport.

"I am a sports enthusiast and, going to KC, you have to be into it. I just love sports and I love every sport. I am deep into it, cricket, athletics and I have gone to The Bahamas with the Jamaica team being a part of their management, and they were surprised by what I brought to the team. Working with people is my thing," said McGregor, who participated in the 4x100m race at the Gibson Relays for Franklyn Town Primary School.

McGregor also said that he has seen a sharp difference in the excitement around Champs, despite the glamour and publicity associated with the staging in recent years.

"We were really more intuned then, and that is what we are trying to instill in these young ones," he said.

The senior crime fighter, who is in charge of operations for the Area Four Police, said he is expecting his alma mater to defend its title.