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TCI: National Sports Report from Director Forbes points to greater synergy, significant projects and training support

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#Providenciales, May 21, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – TCI National Sports Meeting 2019:

First quarter National Sport Governing Body Meeting was held on May 16th at 6pm at the Gustarvus Lightbourne Sports Complex in Providenciales.  

Eleven of Seventeen Registered National Sport Governing Bodies along with member clubs were in attendance. 

Among those present were: 

Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association; Turks and Caicos Islands Basketball Federation; Turks and Caicos National Softball Federation; Turks and Caicos Amateur Athletic Association; Turks and Caicos Cycling Federation; Turks and Caicos Islands Fitness and Body Building Federation; Turks and Caicos Islands Rugby Football Union; Turks and Caicos Islands Swim Federation; Turks and Caicos Islands Volleyball Federation; Turks and Caicos Islands Cricket Association; Turks and Caicos Commonwealth Games Association and Newly formed, Provo Netball Club. 

Not present were:

The Turks and Caicos National Darts Association; Turks and Caicos Islands Tennis Federation; Turks and Caicos Islands Golf Association; Turks & Caicos Boxing Federation; Turks & Caicos Islands Sailing Association; Turks and Caicos Islands Weightlifting Federation.

According to Sport Director, Jarrett Forbes, “We are excited that this financial year will be one of significant growth in sports in the TCI. The Department is looking forward to working with the various National Sport Governing Bodies to build on what has been done and create a sports system that encourages participation, preparation, competition and excellence.”

Department Officials presented to the various sporting bodies the Government’s Sport Objectives, Strategies and Priorities for the 2019-20 Financial Year. Among the topics discussed were:

The role of Government:

• Access to Government Facilities  

• Inter Scholastic Competition 

• Coaches and Official Development Funding 

• Sport Programme Funding

• Elite Athlete Training and Competition Funding

• Athletic Scholarship Funding 

• Funding Country Representation at International Games 

The role of National Sport Governing Bodies: 

• Coaching and Officiating Development

• Talent Identification and Athlete Development (Grassroots / Youth / Adult)

• Elite Athlete Programme

• National Team Selection 

• Local Organized Competition

• International Competition

The Relationship between Government and National Sport Governing Bodies:

• Good Standing with TCIG 

• Strategic Planning

• Grant Funding 

• Promotion of Sports 

• Technical Support

There were vigorous discussions as Sport personnel voiced challenges and solutions and ultimately suggested ideas on how to advance sports in the TCI.  

Department of Sport Officials highlighted that priority spending for the 2019-20 financial year will be: 

• Coaching and Officiating Development 

• Grassroots and Youth Development Programmes 

• Inter Scholastic Competition 

• Facility Refurbishment and Access

• Elite Athlete Training and Competition Support

There are numerous projects that were approved in the 2018-19 budget that will be realized over the next 3 – 6 months. Projects such as the following:

• Sports Equipment for all Public Primary and Secondary Schools

• New Backboards and Rims for South Caicos Community Basketball Court

• The Development of a High-Performance Training Centre with recovery room at the Down Town Ball Park

• Installation of new sport equipment at various sports facilities across the TCI

• Upgrades to the Gustarvus Lightbourne Sports Complex

• Free Level One Coaching Training Courses; available to all islands 

• Refurbishment of the Grand Turk Parade Grounds

In the 2019 -20 Financial year, funding has been approved for the following:

• Refurbishment of outdoor basketball courts across the TCI: Five Cays Basketball Court in Providenciales; Raymond Gardiner Basketball Court in North Caicos and West Road Basketball Court in Grand Turk

• Installation of dusk to dawn lights at numerous outdoor basketball courts across the TCI

• Continuation of works to Leeward Palms Green Park

• Development of Green Park in Chalk Sound 

• Repairs to the National Stadium

• Repairs to the Gustarvus Lightbourne Sports Complex

• Free Level One Officials Training Course for Four Sport Disciplines

Provided by the Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Sports

#magneticmedianews

#tcinationalsportsreport

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Caribbean News

RTCIPF Marine Branch and USCG Working Together in Keeping Our Borders Secure

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#TurksandCaicos, May 20, 2022 – During the afternoon of Wednesday 19th May 2022, a call was made to the RTCIPF Marine Operations Centre via VHF radio that a suspicious vessel was sighted around 35 miles south east of Providenciales. The operator immediately updated colleagues within the Royal Turks and Caicos Marine Branch who made their way to the location and with the support of a US Coast Guard (USCG) plane, safely intercepted an overloaded vessel carrying irregular migrants.

Following delicate coordination and the stabilization of the boat which was unsafe, severely overcrowded and none of the occupants was wearing life vests, the RTCIPF marine unit was joined by a second RTCIPF Marine crew and a third vessel crewed with TCI Regiment and Tactical Unit officers to support the delicate operation.

The vessel was carefully offloaded at sea to ensure the safety of the occupants after which, the boat was towed to South Dock where it arrived around 10:30pm with a total of 110 persons (84 males and 24 females and 2 juveniles) who were then taken into custody by the Immigration Department.

Superintendent Martyn Ball said, “Once again working with partners we have safely intercepted another vessel that was overcrowded, unsafe, risking the lives of those on board. This demonstrates the professionalism and dedication of the RTCIPF Marine Unit, working together with colleagues in the Marine Operations Centre, USCG, TCI Regiment, TCI Immigration and the RTCIPF Tactical Unit to save lives and keep our borders here in the Turks and Caicos safe.  In the last couple of months around 768 individuals on 8 dangerous vessels have been intercepted which is testament to the professionalism of our teams here in the TCI and I am very grateful to the passing vessel who raised the alarm.  I would appeal to anyone if you have any information relating to such activity that you call Crimes Stoppers free and anonymously on 1-800-8477 (TIPS) not only will you be saving lives but also supporting our national security here in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

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Education

Ten Selected for the TCREA Real Estate Mentorship Program

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#TurksandCaicos, May 20, 2022 – Since the official announcement of the Turks & Caicos Real Estate Association’s High School Mentorship Program, ten mentees have been selected for the inaugural group and will begin their journey on the road to embracing the fundamentals of the real estate field this month.

TCREA Ambassador and Director of the mentorship program, Mr. Trevor Musgrove, shared how pleased the committee was to have received thirty applications for the program, “We extended the opportunity to high schoolers and young college students aged 13-17.  Initially, the invitation for applications was shared only with Providenciales students because of the logistical challenge to accommodate in-person sessions with sister island students, as all our committee members are based in Providenciales.

Luckily, once the Ministry of Education came on board and endorsed the program, Honourable Rachel Taylor immediately encouraged us to extend the mentorship opportunity to all islands, pledging her Ministry’s commitment to handling the necessary authorizations and cost to ensure successful applicants outside of Provo would be able travel here as needed,” said Musgrove.

 The successful applicants and their respective schools are as follows:

·     Clement Howell High – Dashawn Brooks, Alyssa Callum

·      Raymond Gardiner High – Olique Stubbs, Lewis Walkin, Jr.

·      Precious Treasures – Aniyah Bovie

·      Maranatha Academy – Shamya Missick

·      British West Indies Collegiate – Pavla Lalakova, Andino Parker

·      Louise Garland Thomas High – Abnise Noel, Antoine Gedeon

Musgrove said they were pleased to have had applicants from North Caicos and were hopeful to have students from Grand Turk and South Caicos among the group, however no applications were received from those islands.

On Tuesday, May 10th the final group came together for a virtual meet-up and briefing, where they were formally introduced to the program’s mentors and were given an overview of what to expect in the coming months.

The teens will receive a monthly educational module over the next six months and will be provided 1-2 weeks to internalize the information. They will then enjoy a monthly in-person session with their mentors where they will put their real estate acumen to the test in interactive sessions, field trips, and more.

Program mentor Manfred Smith of Sotheby’s Turks & Caicos shared his elation for the program’s momentum thus far, “We are excited about providing this opportunity to introduce high school students to the real estate industry.  From the initial feedback, the students are also very keen to learn, which makes it rewarding for all as we contribute to the development of tomorrow’s professionals.”

Smith says the program also demonstrates TCREA’s continued commitment as good corporate citizens in the rapidly growing country.  The committee hopes that the mentees would grasp all that they can as they continue their educational pursuits.

The program’s Facebook page, @tcreamentors, is live and will document the group’s journey as they move through the program’s phases.  Along with Musgrove and Smith, the community can get to know more about the other committee members: Blair MacPherson of REMAX; Nina Siegenthaler of Sotheby’s; Vernica Delancy and Dedra Gray of Keller Williams; and Sean O’neill, of The Agency through the social media page as well.

At the end of the program, the students will sit a mock real estate license exam and will enjoy a retreat for a fun and memorable close-out. 

It is TCREA’s hope that this initiative will garner an interest and appreciation for the industry among high-schoolers and will act as springboard to the development of the next generation of local real estate professionals in these islands.

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News

DECR Launches Important Tropical Plant Areas & Species in TCI Project

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#TurksandCaicos, May 19, 2022 – The Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR) along with visiting scientists from Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBG Kew) will launch the DarwinPlus 114 Project Tropical Important Plant Areas and Important Plant Species in TCI. The project was originally to begin in May 2020, but with Covid-19-related travel restrictions, along with restructuring at DECR and RBG Kew, two years of deferments were necessary. The project has begun and will be officially launched this week in a workshop on Thursday 12 May 2022 beginning at 9:00 AM in the National Environmental Centre.

In reference to the project, DECR Director Lormeka Williams stated, “With the recent completion of the National Physical Development Plan, the signing of the Climate Change Charter, and the review of the National Parks Ordinance, we are poised and ready to utilise new information on land use and impacts to our Protected Areas and green spaces. We are newly energised to commit to the discovery and description of our most sensitive and significant plant diversity hotspots. We’re inspired by our colleagues in the British Virgin Islands having completed the pilot of this project. We are also ready and excited to find out what these plants are that evade identification and may prove to be something unknown to science.”

The project is focused on identifying Tropical Important Plant Areas (TIPAs) in Turks and Caicos Islands. TIPAs are a network of the key sites for wild plants and threatened habitats identified using scientifically robust data. They are not legal designations, but a means to identify the most important sites for wild plant diversity and to inform the protection and management of sites. Identifying TIPAs will help prevent the global loss of plant diversity, whilst safeguarding the role of plants as primary producers and providers of ecosystem infrastructure, products, and services.

TIPAs also provides a framework for Governments to implement target 5 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Global Strategy for Plant Conservation – to ensure the protection of at least 75% of the most important areas for plant diversity of each ecological region by 2020 with effective management in place for conserving plants and their genetic diversity. TIPAs also contribute to implementing the CBD’s Aichi Biodiversity Target 12 – by 2020 the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained. Criteria for identification of Tropical Important Plant Areas were developed, and the first nationwide project was completed by RBG Kew and the Virgin Islands National Parks Trust in the British Virgin Islands in 2019. Assistant Director of Research and Development B Naqqi Manco participated in the April 2019 BVI TIPAs Workshop, and discussed the potential to replicate the project with long-established partners at RBG Kew in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Following the TCI TIPAs Launch Workshop, the DECR and RBG Kew team will trial the criteria over several sites of high plant diversity in Providenciales, North Caicos, and Middle Caicos. Over the next three years, the teams will cover other islands as well. Of particular importance will be the Turks and Caicos Islands eight known endemic plant species – those found nowhere else on earth. A secondary component of the project focuses on investigating some unique populations of rare plants in TCI, which may constitute new varieties or even species. RBG Kew will use DNA analysis to explore the relationship of these species to their closest relatives. Importantly, the rare and endemic species will be targeted for IUCN Red Data Listing as well, to assess their wild population status and trends.

 

Release: DECR

Photo: This beautiful Encyclia orchid is one of the unique groups of plants that will be studied by the project.

 

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