#TurksandCaicos, June 24, 2021 – A couple of years ago, Tajhari Williams was almost shut out of attending the Swim Carifta Games staged in Nassau; thought to not be ready for the major meet because his times were not as fast as others. But as one of the few Turks and Caicos Islands youngsters trying to master the sport of swimming, it was thought that young Williams should be on the team, must be on the team.
Complaints were filed, letters were written and the Turks and Caicos Sports Commission intervened; ruling in agreement that as a Turks and Caicos Islands hopeful, Williams should go, if only for the experience he would gain in the meet.
Tajhari, at the age of 11 years old attended his first regional swim competition; his events were the 50m backstroke; 100m backstroke; 100m free; the 50m freestyle and the mixed 11-12 year olds 4x100m freestyle relay. Truth be told, his times and finishes were less than impressive but his coach confidently point out, it is a matter of perspective because even then, Tajhari managed to improve on his best times, significantly.
The rally to get Tajhari to the CARIFTA Swim meet had done what his supporters had argued and had done what the sports director, Mr. Jarrett Forbes believed; the exposure to racing at the regional level woke up a beast in the boy.
Now, that very same boy, who was almost counted out of national representation, is a part of Turks and Caicos swim history.
Thirteen year old Tajhari Williams left Providenciales on Sunday, with his eyes set on swim hardware at the highest level of swim competition for the Caribbean and The Americas; and on Wednesday June 23, after swimming the best 30-laps of his young life, he got it!
A bronze medal for Williams in the boys 13-14 1500m freestyle race. Young Williams, a student of Louise Garland-Thomas High School in Long Bay, is one of five boys who make up the national team. Three of his team mates – Jayden Davis, Mateo Gardiner and Lenin Hamilton Jr – are from his home club, TCI Aquatics Swim Club.
Almost daily training with his coach, Lenin Hamilton of TCI Aquatics, has birthed a highly competitive contender in the pool despite the myriad of dynamics, which saw the Club struggle to stay afloat. With no public facility for swimming, thriving on the grace of individuals like Amy Schwartz of Banyan Beach Club the boys did not stop and did not settle.
With an ease on restrictions for competitive athletes amidst the pandemic; the boys practiced their drills. Drills were repeated in the pool when they could, but for months in the rough surf of the waters off Ricky’s Flamingo Café.
On the beach is where they did land exercises to build strength and agility whenever the waves were too fierce and it is where they swam pier to pier; commanded to keep technique as they built endurance and speed.
In February 2021; Williams, Gardiner, Hamilton and Davis travelled to Nassau, Bahamas. There they dominated, Young Williams was named best in his age group, capturing the prize and logging numerous personal bests.
By May 2021, the group returned to Nassau Bahamas – a bit crest fallen about the second-year cancellation of the CARIFTA AQUATICS MEET which was to be held in Barbados. Covid-19 struck again, but the boys led by their “Coach” did not quit and during the Mako Aquatics Swim Meet, they clocked another string of best performances.
The performances not only proved the caliber of coaching and athleticism in the swimmers, but exposed that the need for competition level swim facilities in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Tajhari Williams was an underdog when pit against the swimmers of 2019. Those swimmers who were touted to be better and more deserving of opportunities are, for reasons unknown, no longer competing.
But a son of the Turks and Caicos – Tajhari Williams – has used his moment of struggle to eke out a dominant existence as a fierce competitor, record setter, strong student and trailblazer; now to be remembered not as the one who almost did not go, but as the one who went and the very first Turks and Caicos Islander to win a medal at the prestigious, Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships, CCCAN.
Grand Bahama to be CARGO HUB, as Bahamas & Qatar ink MOU
#TheBahamas, September 29, 2023 – With moves to deepen ties, governments of The Bahamas and Qatar have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to solidify agreements in principle surrounding the development of aviation and other related services.
This is according to Chester Cooper, The Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investment and Aviation in a Facebook post.
This comes after The Bahamas Government in a press release on September 24th, revealed that Cooper, was set to meet with the head of Qatar Airways to have talks regarding “multiple mutually beneficial aviation opportunities for both countries.”
The release also said the deputy prime minister and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investment and Aviation are working on “forging strategic partnerships with several Middle Eastern countries to strengthen ties to The Bahamas and the Caribbean,” and this new signing is indicative of such efforts.
Following the September 25th signing, on September 27th, Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General of Tourism for The Bahamas informed via Facebook some details of the agreement saying, “we have now established a framework for cooperation and formed strategic partnerships with Qatar Airways, Qatar’s Transport, Aviation and Investment Agencies and The Qatar Aeronautical Academy, that will benefit our country.”
Regarding further efforts for the improvement of The Bahamas, Cooper announced on Facebook again on Tuesday September 26th that both countries are working to make Nassau a passenger hub for Latin America and the Caribbean adding that talks are being held for Grand Bahama as a cargo hub.
Additionally, as the press release informed, Cooper is preparing for an on ground visit of Bahamasair domestic operations by Qatar Airways Technical team sometime in October.
CUBAN MIGRANTS DETAINED ALONG EXUMA CHAIN
Defence Headquarters 28 SEP ’23: HMBS P-45 under the command of Chief Petty Officer Acadia Smith detained a group of Cuban migrants in Cistern Cay, Exuma on September 27, 2023, due to information received from a Good Samaritan vessel in the area that handed them over to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.
Members of HMBS P-45 retrieved twenty-eight (28) Cuban nationals and transported them to HMBS Coral Harbour in New Providence. All individuals appeared to be in good health and will undergo further processing and assessment by Immigration officials.
The Royal Bahamas Defence Force remains dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in guarding our heritage and appreciates the sharing of information and intelligence provided by the boating community to affect migrants and other unlawful interdictions at sea.
(For additional information, contact the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our official website at www.rbdf.gov.bs. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates and explore our engaging content on our YouTube channel).
CTO mourns the passing of former chairman Obediah Wilchcombe
#BARBADOS (September 26, 2023) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) deeply mourns the loss of distinguished Bahamian leader and former chairman of the inter-regional body, Obediah Wilchcombe.
“We extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to Minister Wilchcombe’s family, as well as the government and people of the Bahamas. He was a true champion for the people of the Bahamas and the wider Caribbean region,” remarked Kenneth Bryan, CTO Chairman and Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands.
Chairman Bryan recalled Minister Wilchcombe held the position of CTO Chairman twice (2002-2004 and 2016-2017) while serving as Minister of Tourism for the Bahamas, and contributed significantly to the advancement of sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean.
Chairman Bryan noted that the CTO plans to honor the life and legacy of “this eminent Bahamian leader” at the organization’s upcoming business meetings and the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) in Turks and Caicos next month.
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