Some members of the SVG Commonwealth Games team, along with Vincentians living in the UK, who organized Saturday’s event
August 12, 2022
Commonwealth Games team appreciated by Vincentian-UK group

Members of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Commonwealth Games team who attended last Saturday’s Barbecue and Social event at the Birmingham Community, hosted by the SVG Association of Coventry, left the venue feeling appreciated by fellow Vincentians, living in England.

The athletes and officials were treated to some Caribbean food, music and interaction, as they got away from their housing at the University of Birmingham.

Swimmer Shane Cadogan, speaking on behalf of his fellow athletes, said the time taken by the Vincentian grouping and others, gave them a sense of “love and appreciation”.

“From the athletes’ perspective, we never realized the support that we have out here, and functions like this and knowing that we have a lot of people behind us, who are looking at our every move and performance, it means a lot to us and just having that support is what pushes us that extra mile,” Cadogan told the organisers.

In reciprocity, Fiona Frank Quaynor, president of the SVG Association of Coventry, said: “I feel very warm and grateful that the guys have received our hospitality and it was really important that I took the time out and meet with them and we just want to say thanks”.

Last Saturday’s function, which was graced by the presence of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Ambassador to the United Kingdom Cenio Lewis, added to the Vincentian togetherness and co-operation in England.

Lewis, in a brief address to the visiting contingent, underscored the need to give of their best at all times.

“Wherever we are going and whatever we do we always do our best and that is what we expect from our young people … You are the future of our nation… I know that you may not get a medal, because you are competing against people who have resources,” he said with passion. But for Lewis, there is a greater satisfaction than the physical medal.

“There are two things about medals… There is the one that is physically presented, but there is a different medal altogether, and that is the one that lies within you… When you have done your very best… You have tried your hardest, the satisfaction is the medal that you will take back with you,” Lewis related to those within his earshot.

Despite lacking the resource in the area of sports, Lewis is hopeful, sooner than later, that St Vincent and the Grenadines would be back on the podium.

St Vincent and the Grenadines last won a Commonwealth Games medal back in 2010, held in India, when Natasha Mayers was upgraded to first place in the Women’s 100m.

Mayers, who placed third, was eventually presented with the gold medal following the disqualification of the first and second places.

Before Mayers, George Manners got a bronze in Weightlifting in 1970 and Frankie Lucas gained a gold in Boxing four years later.

At the 2022 Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham, from July 28 to August 8, St Vincent and the Grenadines was represented by 21 athletes and 14 officials, and competed in Aquatics (Swimming), Cycling, Squash, Table Tennis and Track and Field.

The bulk of the contingent returned last Wednesday, and were seen off at the Heathrow Airport, by Quaynor and Ramon Warrican.

The 2026 edition of the Commonwealth Games heads back to Australia, and will be hosted in Victoria.