The performance of the St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) team to the April 16-18 Junior Carifta Games in Jamaica did not go unnoticed, as the locally based athletes received a fitting welcome on their return home on April 21.
A reception at the VIP Lounge of the Argyle International Airport (AIA), put on by the Ministry of the Public Service, Consumer Affairs and Sports, was filled with appreciation, commendation and caution.
Among those who commended the team was host minister, Frederick Stephenson.
In his remarks, Stephenson said: “ I want to say how proud I am for you, all the athletes… I want to say special congratulations to the athletes who won the silver and the bronze medals…Next Carifta Games I would see more gold and silver than bronze”.
Minister of Education and National Reconciliation, Curtis King expressed confidence in the team even prior to their departure for Jamaica.
King said that the confidence stemmed from viewing first hand a number of the inter- house meets as well as the Inter- Secondary Schools Championships.
“ I know that the guys were pumped and I was not disappointed … I want to commend those on the team who secured medals , but it is also significant that … [in]research I have done, I have never seen it where so many of our athletes actually made it to the finals”, King related.
The education Minister, however wants to see the fervour that was generated transferred.
“Let us not focus on our small size, focus more on what can happen if we work together , focus more on the confidence [that] you bring to the other team members or the country as a whole,”King urged.
Whilst commending the performance of the student athletes, Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar also provided some advice.
“Every single athlete, your behaviour, your charm, your charisma, your entire being will be looked at by your peers and I am asking you to be leaders.”
Informing the athletes that they have a role to play in national development, Caesar said, “For us to advance our society there is need for an exceptional cadre of multi -talented and multi -faceted young people… Some persons will be involved in sports, some persons will be involved in agriculture, some persons in tourism, but sports is an industry and you have to take it seriously,” he noted.
At the 49th edition of the Carifta Games, SVG registered its highest medal count in the history of the Games which date back to 1972.
They brought home five medals- two silver and three bronze. The silver medals were achieved by Keo Davis and Uroy Ryan in the Under-17 Boys 200m and the Under-20 Boys Long Jump respectively. Davis also got a bronze in the 100m, while Verrol Sam gained a bronze in the Under-20 Boys Long Jump, likewise Amal Glasgow in the Under-20 Boys 400m.
The four medallists were part of a team that also included Under- 17 athletes, Shonte Matthias, Sacri Sobers, Jahieme Harry, AJ Delpesche and Kodi Grant.
Completing the list of Under-20 athletes were Devonric Mac, Grenisha Thomas, Nellie Ambriton, Kyle Lawrence, Kirk Hamblett and Gailann John.
Of the lot, Sam, Thomas and Hamblett, will not be eligible for the 2023 edition, slated for The Bahamas.