#TurksandCaicos, September 9, 2021 – Caribbean Football Union (CFU) staged the 2021 Girls Under-14 and Boys Under-14 Challenge Series on August 22-29. In previous years, different countries hosted groups. This year’s editions were all in one place- Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and played across four stadiums. The Under-14 Challenge Series Tournaments are usually held in alternating years, however, last year’s edition for the boys was postponed due to the pandemic and resulting restrictions, hence the staging of both competitions this year. Therefore, all boys who were eligible to play last year were allowed to play this year, to avoid disenfranchisement.
The Challenge Series serves as a development competition for young teams, and also provides an opportunity for budding referees to spread their wings. Selected from respective territories, the tournament gave these individuals some of the much-needed international experience required to advance. Turks and Caicos Islands referees, Ancie Bernadin and Wilkiens Martin, were both invited to participate as fourth officials.
The tournament was played in a round-robin Format, with each team playing one match against the other teams in the same group. Teams were grouped based on their skillset, divided into two tiers – Tier I and Tier II. Turks and Caicos Islands girls were drawn into Tier II along with Aruba, Curacao, St. Kitts & Nevis and United States Virgin Islands. For the boys, Turks and Caicos Islands was drawn into Tier II along with Aruba, Bonaire, and US Virgin Islands.
Despite very competitive performances in all of their games, the Boys were not able to advance beyond the group stage.
However, Turks and Caicos Girls team was able to qualify from their group games to the finals against a very talented Aruba team. After a grueling match, Aruba won 3-0, a score which is not truly reflective of the tightness of the game. The Girls came second overall which was a historic result, as it marked the first time any team from TCI (male or female, junior or senior) competed in a final of a regional football tournament.
“I am beyond proud of our team and what they have accomplished. This experience is the true definition of ‘hard work pays off’. The girls are ecstatic and more focused than they have ever been. They are more motivated to play their best. And, they realize and acknowledge this historical moment for both the TCIFA and Turks and Caicos Islands. Our team has played a good defensive game that helped them to push forward in the competition, along with aggression and good shape. It feels amazing to have reached this far, and we are truly excited about our journey and future competitions,” said Girls U14 Head Coach, Olivia Graveley.
President of the TCIFA, Sonia Fulford reflected that “this tournament was an opportunity to provide international competition for our young boys and girls players. The performances of both teams were tremendous showing growth and development and speaks well for the future as we anticipate the matriculation of these players to the senior teams. I am especially delighted in the history making performance of our young female players who reached the finals and were runners-up in this international tournament. I would like to thank the parents of all our young players for entrusting us with their children and allowing us the opportunity to assist in their development both on and off the football field.”
SUNDAY AUGUST 22
TURKS AND CAICOS 1 – BONAIRE 2
MONDAY AUGUST 23
ARUBA 2 – TURKS AND CAICOS 1
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 25
TURKS AND CAICOS 1 – US VIRGIN ISLANDS 2
FRIDAY AUGUST 27
BONAIRE 2 – TURKS AND CAICOS 0
SUNDAY AUGUST 22
CURACAO 0 – TURKS AND CAICOS 2
MONDAY AUGUST 23
TURKS AND CAICOS 2 – ST. KITTS & NEVIS 1
THURSDAY AUGUST 26
US VIRGIN ISLANDS 0 – TURKS AND CAICOS 0
FRIDAY AUGUST 27
ARUBA 2- TURKS AND CAICOS 0
SUNDAY AUGUST 29, TIER II FINAL
ARUBA 3 – TURKS AND CAICOS 0
Cruising should slow down says PAHO
By Dana Malcolm
‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.
“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”
Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.
Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.
A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.
Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1
By Dana Malcolm
#Cayman, January 20, 2022 – Former Premier of Cayman Alden McLaughlin was knighted at the start of 2022; named in the Queen’s New Year Honors List. He is only the second Caymanian to have ever received a knighthood from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Current Governor, Martyn Roper extended congratulations saying, “This is an outstanding personal achievement for former Premier McLaughlin, one of the most important and impactful political leaders in Cayman over the last 21 years. It is a significant moment for our islands. This historic award is only the second ever Knighthood to a Caymanian since the first in the 1990s. It is a strong signal of the respect in which Cayman is held and a visible demonstration of the progress Cayman has made as a vibrant democracy with strong good governance foundations.”
Sir McLaughlin, who is also now a QC attorney, served two terms as premier and had a career in politics that spanned 21 years. McLaughlin is known for his role in modernizing Cayman’s constitution.
Current premier G. Wayne Panton described the occasion as a unifying moment for the country saying, This is a day of celebration and great pride for all Caymanians as a son of our soil has been bestowed one of the highest honour. Today marks a new and most unique storyline in the history of the Cayman Islands. In considering the rarity and magnitude of this occasion, this is certainly a unifying moment for our community.”
Sir Alden McLaughlin, 60, was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on January 1, 2022.
Understanding Sargassum with help from the TCI’s Department of Environment & Coastal Resources
By Sherrica Thompson
#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – Sargassum, also known as seaweed, is a natural brown macroalga that lives in temperate and tropical oceans of the world. The floating micro eco-system is important to many species, including baby turtles, little crabs, and tiny fish. All these animals use the floating rafts of the sargassum for protection, shelter, and food.
Over the years, sargassum has been increasing its quantity in the Caribbean due to climate change. As water temperatures increase, sargassum blooms, and as this continues, it occurs in large amounts. This can be dangerous for some marine life because when seaweed washes up on the shore, some species become trapped in the sargassum mat.
“In the Turks and Caicos Islands, we have not seen the full severity of sargassum blooms. Our neighbours in Bonaire, for example, experience up to six feet of sargassum, and they have found stranded dolphins, sea turtles, and sometimes even birds,” said Amy Avenant.
“When the sargassum washes up on shore, it starts to decompose, and when it decomposes, it emits methane, and that is the stinky sulfuric eggy smell that you can smell when you walk past it on the beach. It is a bad thing for climate change because of the methane, but it is not harmful to your health.”
Turks and Caicos saw this in extreme amounts in October; so severe, resorts were forced to bag and bury the stinky seaweed which for over a week covered the usually sandy white stretch of Grace Bay beach.
Avenant noted that in the TCI, we have a balance between managing the influx of sargassum and impacting the areas where it lands because its influx is correlated to the cycles of the moon.
She also said sargassum can be used as a fertilizer in farming. If you collect it, the advice is to spread it out and ensure you wash the excess salt off before adding to your gardens or farms.
There are also hidden dangers and habitat threats to the piles of sargassum on shorelines.
Avenant informed, when you see sargassum on the beach, ensure you watch out for wildlife that might be stuck and species which might have made a home of the ocean’s deposit which has washed up, this is heightened on rocky shores.
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