ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA – A 12-member team will represent Antigua and Barbuda at this year’s Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT) Games slated for 13 and 14 July at the National Sports Centre in Bermuda.
Gedyna Dowdye will fly the country’s flag, and will participate in the 100 and 200 metres respectively, in the Under-13 Girls division.
Kasiya Daley in the long-jump, Oshae Gardner in the 100 and 200 metres, and Osei Gardner in the 400 metres, will compete in the Boys Under-13 division.
In the Girls’ Under-15 division Oricia Williams will compete against regional counterparts in the 100 metres, long-jump, and shot putt, along with Briel Soleyn who run the 200 and 400 metres, respectively.
In the Boys Under-15 division, will be Ajani Daley 100 and 200 metres, the 4X100 metre relay, and the medley, Jonte Melius in the 400 metres, long jump, high jump, and medley, Kiron O’Garro in the shot putt, the 4X100 metre relay, and the medley, Donte Isaac in the 800 and 1,200 metres, Conelly Colbourne (in the 4X100-metre relay, and Zody Roberts in the 4X100-metre relay, javelin, and medley.
Coach of the team, Jamille Nelson, underscored the importance of the bi-annual CUT Games to the young athletes.
“It’s a precursor to Carifta, so those who are Under-15 would be looking forward to next year because some of the competition you see there [at CUT] you will see at Carifta,” Nelson said. “Past medalist [CUT], Razeem Richards was a gold medalist from 2016 and most of the competition he had this year [at Carifta] were his friends so they see people who they compete with throughout the years so you can basically say it’s the highest calibre of meet in the Caribbean for juvenile athletes.”
As for the readiness of the selected athletes, Nelson said that given the condition of the YASCO Sports Complex, he believes they are as prepared as can be, going into the meet.
“We make do with what we have, all of the athletes on the team right now actually train with clubs so it’s what they have been used to throughout the year. Some have gotten outside competition like Geolyna who, a few weeks ago, went to Grenada for the Whitsuntide Games and she got a double silver in the 100 and 200,” coach Nelson added.
Meanwhile, second vice-president of the Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers, Tessa Jacobs, who will also travel as team manager, thanks those businesses and individuals who made the trip possible.
“I would like to say an extra special thank you to the government of Antigua and Barbuda with special mention to Minister Lennox Weston for coming through at the very last minute and ensuring that we get to the CUT Games,” stated Tessa Jacobs.
She add: “To the Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew, we want to say thank you as well and you look forward to a continued partnership with the Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers and the Ministry of Sports and the government of Antigua and Barbuda”
Meanwhile the Saint Lucia Teachers Union (SLTU), has shortlisted a 25-member team for possible selection to contest the track and field portion of the 2018 Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT) Games.
The biennial championships, which this year will also include swimming, will be held this year July 13-15 in Bermuda.
Headlining the pre-selection or provisional squad are Kayla Charles and Leon Alexander, both of whom were triple champions at the recent 14-and-Under National Championships, as well as returning medallist, Naomi London.
Kayla Charles, a student at the Entrepot Secondary and a member of the Survivors Track Club, will compete in the Under-15 girls 100, 200 and 400 metres, as will Hannah Charles of St Joseph’s Convent and the Rockets Track Club.
Also in the Under-15 Girls will be Joy Edwards (Leon Hess Comprehensive/Survivors) for shot put and long jump, and Jenneil Jacobie (Corinth Secondary/Morne Stars) for high jump.
Alexander (Beanefield Secondary/Morne Stars) will line up for the Under-15 boys 100 and 200 metres, as will Shiloh Perpie (Micoud Secondary/Nightriders).
Wesley Desrivieres (Leon Hess Comprehensive / Survivors) is expected to compete in the 400 metres, shot put and long jump.
Naomi London (Belle Vue Combined/Pacesetters) was a double medalist when the games were last held in the British Virgin Islands in 2016. She will compete in the Under-13 Girls 10 and 200 metres, and cricket ball throw, as will Jada Emmanuel of Choiseul Secondary.
Sierratina Hilaire (Camille Henry Memorial/Morne Stars) is expected to go in the 400 metres, and Brianna James (Survivors) is set to enter in the long jump and high jump.
Ishmael Pierre of Augier Combined could lead the charge for the Boys Under-11, along with Rohan Joseph and Ryan James (Nightriders).
In the Under-11 Girls, the fabulous Genevieve Mann (Pierrot Combined) will do a 100, 200, and 400 metre triple, as will Shakima Matty of District 5.
The biggest group identified for possible selection is the Boys Under-11, which includes Zachary Isidore, Shevon Byron, DeAndre Isidore (St. Aloysius RC Boys/Elite), D’Andre Norbert, and Neondre Charles.
In the Under-9 category, Joewel James (Vieux Fort Primary/Pacesetters) and Earlan Joseph (Dame Pearlette/Morne Stars) are picked for the Boys 80 and 150 metres, CBT, and for the Girls, Barbara Marie-Maxim (Augier Combined) and Destiny Cenac (District 1).
No official word has been forthcoming as yet as to the final composition of the team, but the SLTU will certainly be scrambling for sponsorship to make the long trip to the North Atlantic. Last time out, in the BVI, Saint Lucia got three medals with a team of two.