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TCI: “Race for the Conch” Back With 101 Swimmers



#TurksandCaicos, July 8, 2021 – COVID forced the cancellation of the 2020 “Race for the Conch” Eco-SeaSwim, but not this year. Conditions could not have been more perfect on Saturday June 26, 2021 for the 11th annual open water swim race in Grace Bay. 101 swimmers took part in the one mile and half mile events that ran along the shore from Rickie’s Flamingo Cafe to just past the Venetian Resort and back. An additional 15 youngsters under 11 years swam in the 100 meter Children’s Swim.  

Co-Race Directors Ben Stubenberg and Chloe Zimmermann implemented several COVID mitigation measures to get clearance, including a requirement that all athletes had to show a vaccination card or take an antigen test on the spot before registering or checking in. Swimmers supported the forward leaning actions as a small inconvenience for the thrill of getting to race through TCI’s turquoise waters.   

“We didn’t do much promotion of the race this year because of the uncertainties,” said Ben Stubenberg. “So we were truly amazed and happy that so many local and foreign swimmers signed up. We were particularly impressed that many young local swimmers had practiced hard to get ready for the race and held their own.” Chloe Zimmerman added, “We wanted to make this happen. Every swimmer who comes to TCI and swims through our beautiful, clear water knows it doesn’t get better. Huge thanks to all the swimmers, sponsors, providers, and volunteers who made this race happen. You rock!”

This year saw another fast field of swimmers with American Drew Modrov winning the men’s division in the one mile in a blazing 20 minutes 21 seconds. American Genny Jordan won the women’s division with a brilliant time of 22 minutes and 46 seconds. In the half mile, American Eric Erenstopft finished in speedy 11 minutes and 56 seconds, while another American, Beth Stuble finished in a super fast 12 minutes and 8 seconds. Many young local swimmers gained valuable experience in open water swim racing, as they started alongside these and other top swimmers.

Once again, the Race Directors presented conch medals and conch trophies made by local artists Stanford Handfield and Lucie Stubbs respectively. Evans Joseph (Keep it Xtraordinary) printed the T-shirts locally as well. In keeping with the “Eco-SeaSwim” name of the race, the Race Directors welcomed Turks & Caicos Reef Fund to promote reef protection, while Stream2Sea provided reef safe sunscreen for swimmers.  

Special thanks to Sports Commission for valuable advisory support.

Next year’s race takes place on Saturday June 25, 2022. Information on the race can be found at

Along with dedicated volunteers, race directors want to acknowledge and thank the following sponsors and service providers who did so much to make this a success: Grace Bay Club, Hartling Group, Surfside Ocean Academy, Accu Diagnostics, Finishing Touch, Turks & Caicos Reservations, Carolina Medical

Centre, Provo Ambulance, Big Blue Collective, Paradise Photography, Bay

Bistro, Got-U-Covered,, Blue Loos, TC Crystal Water, NUUN rehydration, Marco Travel, and Caicu Naniki Sports Adventures.

Caribbean News

Educational Aids Strengthen Learning Experience for Provo Students



PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands: Scores of students in Providenciales will benefit from back-to-school supplies donated by Sandals Foundation Ambassadors at Beaches Turks and Caicos resort, strengthening the instructional process in four schools at the start of the new school term.

More than 2,000 students from Ianthe Pratt, Enid Capron, Oseta Jolly and the Thelma Lightbourne Primary Schools were presented with a generous supply of educational materials including notebooks, pens, pencils, rulers, sharpeners, knapsacks, reading material, sports gear and musical instruments from members of the philanthropic arm of the family all-inclusive resort. While sharing the gratitude for the gifts received, the leaders at the various institutions lauded the efforts of the more than 20 volunteers on hand.

Neekimo King, Principal of the Ianthe Pratt Primary School shared, “Beaches Turks and Caicos and the Sandals Foundation over the years have adopted our institution as their own. These reading books will go a far way in increasing our library stock and improving literacy among the students while the physical education and the guidance counseling units have received lots of materials to bolster the learning experience for our students.”

Sophia Garland, Principal of the Enid Capron Primary School was equally elated as she expressed how beneficial resources will be for the teaching and learning process.

“These supplies, including the books, will definitely aid in increasing literacy amongst the students and the many teaching aids that we have been received will create an environment that is conducive for teaching and learning.”

In sharing with the schools, James McAnally, General Manager at Beaches resort noted, “Sandals Foundation and the resort remain committed to the development of the education of our children, the environment and the communities in which we operate. These four government operated primary schools were identified for these supplies to help in fostering their academic and extra-curricular growth.”

McAnally continued, “A big thank you to the Sandals Foundation Ambassadors who came out and helped with making these distributions possible.”

Vice principal of the Oseta Jolly Primary School, Diana Dean, also expressed gratitude noting, “With these tools, I am sure the students will be excited about learning and the teachers will be better equipped to deliver the lessons.”

The Sandals Foundation and Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort have long been supporters of education and community development in Turks and Caicos, donating to a number of schools and youth sports programmes. Since 2011, the organisations have been assisting students at Ianthe Pratt, Enid Capron Primary Schools and other schools across the islands in their holistic development by providing educational supplies and the opportunity for Sandals and Beaches resorts guests to meaningfully engage with the students through a weekly literacy enhancement programme, hosted in partnership with Island Routes Tours – Reading Road Trip.



Header: Staff and students from the Enid Capron Primary School share a moment for the cameras with members of the Sandals Foundation team as the school received educational items from the Beaches Turks and Caicos and the Sandals Foundation.

Insert: James McAnally, General Manager, Beaches Turks and Caicos (front left) makes a presentation to members of the Ianthe Pratt Primary School recently with sporting gear and educational items looking on are members of the Sandals Foundation team, Sesame Street Character

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#TurksandCaicos, January 27, 2023 – The Ministry responsible for Education confirms that a recent report of alleged sexual abuse was brought to the attention of authorities at a particular school. For the protection of the child, we will not divulge details of this matter. We do acknowledge that there were issues experienced which resulted in less than appropriate response to the incident.

 The Ministry is continuing its investigation of the incident, in its totality and has since requested a comprehensive report on the response from all involved. Several meetings, visits and discussions were held. The key is to ensure that the minor involved is afforded additional counselling and care and that other students within the institution are also afforded the relevant support needed. The Student Support Services has been active in coordinating this response which is currently in operation.

 As an immediate further action, the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) entities will convene and existing protocols will be reviewed and investigations conducted to determine the consistency of the response, exactly where the established protocols were not followed and the subsequent actions to be taken.

 The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Social Services considers its responsibility for the Safeguarding of children of utmost importance. In so doing, the Ministry of Education has instituted a number of measures over the years to ensure that allegations of abuse to children in schools are treated with urgency. The creation of the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) was created to ensure that teachers, leaders, Social Workers, and Police can respond to allegations with the child’s safety and protection as the core consideration. Child safeguarding remains the Ministry’s primary concern.

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Bahamas News

UB Statement: Portia M. Smith Building Under Assessment



#The Bahamas, January 27, 2023 – In response to concerns expressed, University of The Bahamas released a notification on Thursday 26th January 2023 that effective immediately the Portia M. Smith Building at the Oakes Field Campus is closed until further notice as a precautionary measure.

Immediate steps have been taken to engage the Ministry of Environmental Health to conduct a thorough assessment of the building. In the interim, personnel assigned to Portia M. Smith have been instructed to work remotely to maintain the continuity of operations. A further communication will be issued once the assessment has been completed as we continue to provide timely updates.

Please be assured that the health, safety, and welfare of members of the University community and the general public are paramount and we are working with urgency to address this matter.

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