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The staff at the National Family Planning Board on Wednesday July 26 displayed their enthusiasm for the Olympics by organising and competing in an inter-office decoration competition to decorate their workspace.

The competition which was conceptualised and coordinated by Dianne Thomas, Director of Outreach Programmes, was fully supported by staff members who participated by executing the activities which required playful plotting and scheming.

The staff was divided into seven (7) teams and each member on an opposing team was to be seen as “the competitor.” “This is the first time we are doing this event and it met my expectations; it’s what I had hoped for”, the event coordinator boasted.

The competition which was initiated to bring out the true sense of team spirit and to inject more fun in the office in time for the Olympics was enjoyed fully by the members of staff. Each team was required to decorate a selected area within the office in time for a judging on dĂŠcor, the day before the Olympics began; July 26. The competition was launched June 17, giving each team over a month to prepare, plan, plot and scheme, all in good fun. And that they did.

For some teams, the plotting began the moment the NFPB’s director said, “let the plotting and scheming begin! View everyone who is not on your team as ‘the competitor”, a possible threat to your claiming victory, so use code names, signals, binoculars, mores code, hold secret meetings…whatever it takes! This is going to be great!” For others, the momentum developed as the deadline drew to a close.

The day before the judging of the competition, was the day most, if not all members of staff could be seen spinning their wheels, in excitement. Some team members remained in the office until close to midnight, putting up their decorations, after weeks of obvious plotting..

However, what stood out to most, were the surprise attack by the inconspicuous team, who on the day had a grand display featuring an archway and running track and another less assuming team, whose display featured an historical and chronological account of the Olympics since Jamaica's first participation in 1948 to this year.

This was when the competition really got in gear. Nerves were raw, sentiments gushed and new ideas sprung. The day brought out a lot of surprises, oohs and aahs; including a lot of “aha moments�. There was an exceptional cheer among the members of staff.

In the end, it was an office celebration; even though scores were achieved. Miss Thomas brightly emphasized, “the level of creativity, my goodness, it was truly spectacular. The decorations will last throughout the Olympics and beyond. They are perfect for the occasion, so they will be up for the entire time. We were able to see the fun side of persons who are typically quiet. It was truly, truly fantastic.�

The teams were presented with awards by guest judge Anya Gloudon Nelson, graphic artist and set and costume designer, popularly known for her work at Pantomime:

Awards for best overall poster and best depiction of overall theme went to the museum theme executed by the team consisting of: Joseph Reynolds, Jennifer Williams, Sandrene Dunkley, Deandra Williams, Devon Brown, Sacha-Marie Hill, Ann-Marie Johnson, Nordia McIntosh-Vassell and Vivienne Soares. They were rewarded with two (2) cakes from the event coordinator.

The most creative use of material and best depiction of Jamaica and the Olympics went to the running track display executed by the team consisting of: Executive Director, Dr. Olivia McDonald, Camille Santo, Melrose Barrett, Marva McCarthy and Dianne Thomas. They received two gift baskets sponsored by Cari-Med.

Special mentions were made of a straw chandelier constructed as part of the museum theme, hand towel roll batons and the aquatic centre by the “running track� team, condoms repurposed under the history theme consisting of: Racquel Reece, Leo O'Reggio, Nadine Ellington, Nayol smith, Claudette McLeish and Loy Watson; and the vibes and spirits displayed by individual participants.

When asked if this will be repeated, the NFPB director enthusiastically exclaimed, evidently with more tricks up her sleeve, “oh yeah! These wild things will be coming back.�

Join us again next year!

Let the plotting begin!  

NFPB celebrate the Olympics with our athletes; in style

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