A 12-member team will represent Antigua and Barbuda at this year’s Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT) Games slated for 13 and 14 July at the National Sports Centre in Bermuda.
Gedyna Dowdye (100, 200) will fly the country’s flag in the under-13 girls division while Kasiya Daley (long jump), Oshae Gardner (100, 200) and Osei Gardner (400) will compete in the boys equivalent.
Oricia Williams (100, long jump, shot putt) and Briel Soleyn (200, 400) will jostle against their regional counterparts in the under-15 girls division with Ajani Daley (100, 200, 4X100 relay, medley), Jonte Melius (400, long jump, high jump, medley), Kiron O’Garro (shot putt, 4X100 relay, medley), Donte Isaac (800, 1200), Conelly Colbourne (4X100 relay) and Zody Roberts (4X100 relay, javelin, medley) representing in the under-15 boys division.
Coach of the team, Jamille Nelson, underscored the importance of the bi-annual meet to the young athletes.
“It’s a precursor to Carifta, so those who are under-15 would be looking forward to next year because some of the competition you see there [at CUT] you will see at Carifta. Past medalist [CUT], Razeem Richards was a gold medalist from 2016 and most of the competition he had this year [at Carifta] were his friends so they see people who they compete with throughout the years so you can basically say it’s the highest calibre of meet in the Caribbean for juvenile athletes,” he said.
As for the readiness of the selected athletes, Nelson said that given the condition of the YASCO Sports Complex, he believes they are as prepared as can be going into the meet.
“We make do with what we have, all of the athletes on the team right now actually train with clubs so it’s what they have been used to throughout the year. Some have gotten outside competition like Geolyna who, a few weeks ago, went to Grenada for the Whitsuntide Games and she got a double silver in the 100 and 200,” the coach said.
Meanwhile, second vice president of the Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers, Tessa Jacobs, who will also travel as team manager, thanks those businesses and individuals who made the trip possible.
“I would like to say an extra special thank you to the government of Antigua and Barbuda with special mention to minister Lennox Weston for coming through at the very last minute and ensuring that we get to the CUT Games. To the Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew, we want to say thank you as well and you look
forward to a continued partnership with the Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers and the Ministry of Sports and the government of Antigua and Barbuda,” she said.
Cool & Smooth and National Parks also contributed to the team’s trip.