It was another spectacular year for primary and secondary student-athletes on the island of Grand Bahama.
Over the past few years it has become a customary tradition for the Grand Bahama Primary and Secondary School Athletic Associations (GBPSAA and GBSSAA) to pay a courtesy visit to local law enforcement to showcase the outstanding accomplishments of said athletes.
Both the GBPSAA and GBSSAA continued that now yearly tradition this past Thursday afternoon, May 31 when they paid a courtesy visit to the Royal Bahamas Police Force Headquarters. There, the most outstanding athletes from this year’s All-Island Track and Field championships received their trophies.
Also the national basketball champions, the Tabernacle Falcons and national soccer champions, Lucaya International Buccaneers were recognized in front of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Samuel Butler and his colleagues. The eight-members of the 2018 CARIFTA Swim team and members of the 2018 CARIFTA track and field teams were, too, recognized for their accomplishments during those high-profile competitions. Holland Martin was also celebrated for being the top Junior College Male Athlete for indoor field events.
ACP Butler deemed it an honor and privilege to be introduced to the athletes. Butler acknowledged that he knew the country is no stranger to producing quality athletes and has done so since the 60s. He named different athletes from different eras such as former Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Perry Christie to Chris Brown, Debbie Ferguson and Pauline Davis, to the current generation of athletes such as Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Steven Gardiner and even Chavano “Buddy” Hield.
The ACP, however, was more than delighted to celebrate the top athletes of tomorrow and encouraged each athlete to continue on the paths the athletes are making for themselves.
“Today we’ve come to celebrate our younger athletes,” Butler expressed, “You are certainly making us extremely proud.”
Butler furthered that sports has done well to open the doors of opportunity for so many athletes and reminded the younger athletes to recognize the possibilities they have ahead of them.
“All those who participated, and even yourself who are following in the trail blazed, will understand the power of what participating in sports will do. For so many of our Bahamians it’s opened the doors of opportunity for a University education and to serve proudly as Bahamian leaders. So you’re really following in excellent footsteps.”
He highlighted former track athlete and Olympian Iram Lewis who eventually became current Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Works and Member of Parliament for Central Grand Bahama.
ACP later admonished the parents and coaches to continue believing in their children and athletes.
“We understand your hard work and even realize your dream within the dream. And if you aren’t dreaming with your children or dreaming with your students maybe their dreams would not still be alive today. So we say thank you to you parents and coaches for what you’ve done.”
In the end, Butler was compelled to let the athletes know that no matter what sacrifices they must continue to make, he urged them to be steadfast.
“We understand that you have to wake up early in the morning or go out late in the afternoon for practices and still get your homework done and score great on your assignments. And so if you’re pushing yourself up another hill while others are just going along the flats I ask you to continue to push yourself up that hill. At the top of that hill are some great victories and even greater benefits.”
ACP concluded and let the athletes to continue to surround themselves with persons who have like-minded goals and share the same determination.
The top athletes from the Primary and Secondary All-Island Track and Field Championships are as follows:
7 and Under - Female: Shanna Higgs (East Grand Bahama) Male: Travis Adderley (Sunland Baptist Academy)
9 and Under - Female: Kentae Virgil (Hugh Campbell Primary) Male: Aaron Taylor (Sunland Baptist Academy)
11 and Under - Female: Shanaiah Rolle (Hugh Campbell) and Shaniah Miller (Walter Parker) Male - Tyrone Conliffe (Martin Town Primary)
13 and Under - Female: Shadai Miller (Martin Town) Male: Thamonte Curry (Hugh Campbell)
Under 13 - Female : Maddison Deveaux (Sunland Baptist) Male: Malik Wood (Sunland Baptist)
Under 15 - Female: Kenya Forbes (Sister Mary Patricia) Male: Linden Johnson (Tabernacle Baptist)
Under 17 - Female: Damasvia Dames (Tabernacle Baptist) Male: D’Vontae Forbes (Eight Mile Rock High)
Under 20 - Female: Destiney Huyler (Bishop Michael Eldon) Male: Raynon Hudson (St. George’s High)