By Neto Baptiste
Antigua and Barbuda will be represented, for the first time, at the Open Challenge World Cup in Draughts, which is slated for November 11th to 17th in Curacao.
The country will be represented by two reigning national champions in Anthony Gomes and Bernard “Premier” Willock while Julian Roberts will travel as team manager.
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Draughts Association (ABDA), Trevor Cranston, explained the make-up of the historic team.
“You have Mr Anthony Gomes and he won the Dagon Shield Easter Classic, and Mr Bernard ‘Premier’ Willock and he won our just concluded Carnival Tournament. These two individuals have been playing well in terms of their mastery of the game and that is why they have been selected. Also, Mr Bernard Willock is our nominee for national sportsman of the year,” he said.
This marks the first time that Antigua and Barbuda will be represented at a world event in draughts, a feat which comes just two years after the association was formed.
Cranston highlighted that the feat would not have been possible without the assistance from the Ministry of Sports and by extension, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda.
“And let me say officially that I would like to thank the Ministry of Sports, the Director of Sports in Heather Samuel-Daley for allowing us to get the finance. Also, the Minister of Sports Mr Daryll Matthew, the Permanent Secretary Miss Sarah Stuart and also my good friend Miss [Marolyn]Yankey. These individuals and the Ministry of Sports have made it possible and also I want to thank Mr Keenan Hourani at Cool & Smooth because without them assisting us, this tour would not have been possible,” the president said.
The team is scheduled to leave Antigua on Saturday with play set to commence on November 11th.