Minister of Sports, EP Chet Greene, has acknowledged the achievements of both long jumper Sheldon Noble at the Commonwealth Youth Games being held in the Bahamas and the Antigua & Barbuda Under-12 Girls Tennis team which captured the Sub-Regional 4 (SR4) International Tennis Federation (ITF)/COTECC competition held in Trinidad.
Greene, in first looking at Noble’s achievement as something for the entire nation to savour and for his entire team to be proud of.
“Jumping 7.64 at the youth level, capturing gold for Antigua & Barbuda, our second time on the medal podium at these youth games is of course, something deserving and worthy of recognition. Other athletes are in the Bahamas as we speak and we are still hopeful we will end up with more than one medal but still, we savour this moment, we bask in the success and achievement of Mr Noble. I commend his coaches, I commend the national association,” the sports minister said.
Noble leapt a personal best 7.64 metres to beat Australia’s Schmidtchen Benjamin and the Bahamas’ Whymns Denvaughn who had jumps of 7.54 and 7.14 respectively.
Meanwhile in the southern end of the Caribbean, the country’s young tennis stars were busy winning the ITF/COTECC event, beating Curacao in two of three contested matches in the finals.
In the first singles match, Antigua & Barbuda’s Samaar Davis went down 1-6, 3-6 to her opponent but the Antiguans rebounded to take the second singles match which was won by Sibley Charles 6-1, 6-1.
Team Antigua & Barbuda then snatched the championship by taking the doubles competition with the team of Brasha Dyer and Charles winning 6-2, 6-2 in the finals over Curacao.
Greene, who met the triumphant tennis players at the airport on Sunday morning, said their success speaks to the need for a continued effort by the major stakeholders of sports in Antigua & Barbuda to work in unison with a view of achieving greatness.
“This speaks to the developmental work being done within the Ministry of Sports and within the national associations and a broader vision of the Antigua & Barbuda government with respect to the investment we make in our youngsters and the development of their sporting abilities,” he said.
“Our young females won the ITF championships over in Trinidad and I want to, through your programme, once again offer them congratulations and words of encouragement as they continue their sporting [journey]. I did encourage them to also pay attention to their education because education and sports makes for a beautiful twin,” the minister added.
Antigua & Barbuda finished ninth in the boys’ competition.