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All the way home for Faion Hicks, Son of the Soil makes it to the NFL & Denver Broncos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, July 25, 2022 – You have the potential if you work hard was the underlying message in last week’s motivational speech courtesy of American-TCI NFL player Faion Hicks.     After being drafted in April, Faion and his mother Schevette Glinton, a South Caicos native, wasted no time reaching out to the TCI Sports Commission for a chance to share his wisdom with the hope that budding Turks and Caicos residents could make it to the top as well.

Despite this being his first trip to the Turks and Caicos, his loyalty to his cultural home is high and Faion brought along his agent Sandy Cornelio with the hope of setting up even more opportunities for TCI youngsters.

The pair paid a courtesy call on the Office of the Premier and met with Washington Misick, TCI Premier, several ministers including for Sport and the Sports Commission about the range of options in programs.

Saturday July 16 was, however, his main event:  My Journey to a Pro.  He took the time out to tell his story to the gathered athletes and well-wishers.

THE VALUE OF EDUCATION

“Growing up, sports was always an outlet for me just being outside and competing. I started playing football when I was about nine so I started late. For those of you who have island parents they don’t play about school. My mom wouldn’t sign me up for football unless I was doing good in school so one day I just decided to sign myself up, that’s how bad I wanted to play football.”

He had encouraging words for students who weren’t at the top of their game yet noting that he wasn’t always good at football.

“My first year playing I barely touched the field but at the end of the day I stuck with it because that’s what I really wanna do.”

He said the kids who were better than him were his motivation.

“The first step to being an athlete is getting rid of that ego, never feel like you’re better than the next person.”

Faion explained that putting in extra effort was the only way to the top even if you’re not perfect at first.

“Take pride in being an underdog.” He urged “when you go out and you earn it it means a lot more— do a little extra, wake up a little earlier, do something you wouldn’t do and it will add up.”

Hicks said he struggled in high school and prayed that he would get recruited to a good school. He explained that he would have to take three trains and two buses to get to and from practice every day.

“It was a lot of lonely nights going to the park working out on my own— my mom couldn’t always pick me up because she was working.”

He urged the athletes, boys especially, to handle their studies and grades first before any type of athletics but to work hard at both. Hicks said he was never a big time prospect in college or high school and he had to work hard to get to where he is now.

“I wanted to go to college so bad I’d get home from practice at 11pm and 12 o’clock at night I went to the park and just jumped rope — I feel like College can better your life in ways that you never imagined.”

Faion’s agent Sandy jumped in with, “When it comes to boys we push them to sports immediately and we don’t push Education. Our males need to understand not everybody is going to make it in football, basketball or track and field. They need to get an education, it will open opportunities. I’m Dominican, we believe baseball is everything. I had a baseball scholarship and I lost it but at the end of the day I got an education and that opened a door.”

THE CALL THAT CHANGED MADE HIS GRANDMA CRY

Faion was recruited for Wisconsin State University and explained that being a university athlete was a delicate balancing act with classes, meetings, games and training but eventually it all paid off. On April 30th 2022, Faion Hicks got the call of a lifetime; he had been drafted to the NFL to play for the Denver Broncos in a first ever for the Turks and Caicos.

He recalled the moment he got drafted.

“Midway through the 7th round I’m like whatever happens happens I’m not even watching the draft at this point. My family started surrounding me and saying if you don’t get drafted it’s okay you tried your hardest. We were just sitting there and the phone rang.”

Unfortunately that call was the Detroit Lions telling him they wouldn’t be drafting him. Faion got one more discouraging call from the Giants who would not be drafting him either, but then came The Call.

“I pick it up and he’s like,”Hey How are you doing”. I didn’t even sound excited and then he was like “we’re gonna draft you” and I just dropped my head and everybody just went crazy. When I saw my Grandma cry that’s when I kinda broke down cause I know how bad she prayed.” Hicks said.

Minister of Education with responsibility for Sport, Rachel Taylor said talks were already underway for new programs.

“He came and asked ‘what can I do for the young people of the Turks and Caicos islands?’ They have already sat down with us and are mapping out when they will return and the kinds of programs they will put in place so we can ensure opportunities are afforded to our children through scouting.”

Faion stressed many NFL Athletes drop out after only three years and despite the hype of the professional career getting an education is paramount. He also urged youngsters to appreciate their high school careers and embrace the innocence and the love they have for their sports as it would be some of their best memories as they grew older.

The Denver Broncos have three pre-season games scheduled this August.  Game one for the Broncos is September 12 against the Seattle SeaHawks.

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Bahamas News

Caribbean Rising: Regional Heads of Government Meet in The Bahamas Aug 16-17 to discuss Caribbean position on Climate Change Mitigation

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#TheBahamas, August 5, 2022 – The Bahamas will host the first Regional Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean in preparation for COP27 in Nassau, The Bahamas on August 16-17, 2022.

The inaugural event is being introduced by the Government of The Bahamas with the aim of devising a regional position on climate change mitigation ahead of COP 27 which will take place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt November 6-20, 2022.

Invited participants include the Head of State from the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla,

Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago and Turks and Caicos.

The Government of The Bahamas intends to establish the meeting as an annual event and will seek to have it instituted as a regular meeting on calendar of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC).

“The Bahamas is introducing this conference as we seek to get results in the climate change fight,” Prime Minister Hon. Philip Davis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas said ahead of the talks.

“The Bahamas, along with the region, has lobbied year after year, meeting after meeting, as we sought for the world to acknowledge our vulnerable position.”

“This meeting will position the Caribbean region to take control of our fate and present a unified position to the world at COP27,” Prime Minister Davis added.

The meeting is also intended to establish a Caribbean response exclusive of the conventional Latin

America-Caribbean pairing in order to better reflect common geographical and geo-political issues of Caribbean states.

“What we’ve been lacking regionally is a strategy that would aid us in our negotiation process when we go to the conferences of the parties referred to as COPs,” says Rochelle Newbold, Special Advisor on Climate Change and Environmental Matters and Climate Tsar in the Office of the Prime Minister in The Bahamas.

“This year will be COP number 27 and, as a region, we have never put forward a strategy document or an intent of how we want to deal with the issues that we face within the region collectively,” Newbold added.

The conference agenda will also focus on renewable energy, energy security, climate adaptation, climate financing, loss and damage due to tropical weather systems and establishing a framework for the sale of carbon credits.

Delegates attending COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland in December 2021 signed off on a global climate agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and counter global warming by limiting the temperature rise on Earth to a 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold.

The global warming phenomenon has been linked to more frequent and aggressive hurricanes in the Caribbean, which have subjected the region to billions of dollars in damage and bound countries to burdensome loan commitments.

According to the Assessment of the Effects and Impacts of Hurricane Dorian in The Bahamas report issued by the Inter-American Development Bank in March 2022,       damage and losses from Hurricane Dorian amounted to US$3.4 billion, a quarter of the country’s GDP.

A heat wave rolling across the United States and Europe is also being attributed to rising temperatures.

The UK recorded temperatures of over 40°C (104°F) for the first time in July 2022, according to local forecasters.

“We know that if we reach that 1.5°C and we exceed it, everything changes for everybody. While land-locked countries and large continents like South America will experience a change, island-states will experience that change three and four-fold.”

“With this meeting we will have all of those who face the same threat level sitting down together, discussing options, considering what is being suggested and how realistic this will be. For us, this is a fundamental thing that we should have been doing a long time ago,” Newbold said.

At the conclusion of the meeting, a Chair’s Summary will be made available detailing the scope of the discussions as well as key messages and ideas that emerge. Additionally, the region plans to launch an initiative at COP27 to advance advocacy efforts on behalf of Caribbean States.

 

Photo Caption: During the weekly Press Briefing, at his Office, on August 4, 2022, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis announced that The Bahamas will host the Regional Caribbean Heads of Government Meeting, 16-17 August, 2022 at Baha Mar Resort.  (BIS Photos/Eric Rose)

 

For Press Inquiries:

Clint Watson, Press Secretary

Office of The Prime Minister

Commonwealth of The Bahamas clintwatson@bahamas.gov.bs

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Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.

 

Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

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Caribbean News

Dunn’s River Offers Special Summer Package

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#Jamaica, August 5, 2022 – Persons looking for an adventurous activity to do this summer are being encouraged to take advantage of the ‘Summa Thrills’ promotion, being offered by the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls and Park.

The promotion, which ends September 15, includes paying one cost to climb the Falls, ‘Tek-A-Hike’ and Zip over the Falls via the Chukka Falls Flyer. In addition, persons will also have access to the beach, splash pad, and other amenities.

The cost for residents is $5,000 per person and US$75 per person for non-residents. A photo identification is required to access the resident rate.

“We have partnered with CHUKKA to create this five-star experience,” Marketing Manager, Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Kereen Cole-Ivey, told JIS News.

She further informed that ‘Tek-A-Hike’ is the newest product offering at Dunn’s River Falls and Park and that the promotion provides an opportunity to build awareness and renew interest in the falls and park.

‘Tek-a-Hike’ is a guided, one-hour-and-a-half hike that starts at the Tranquility Gardens and ends in the Dunn’s River Falls & Park Nursery. Here guests can purchase plants or adopt a tree as part of the park’s Reforestation and Conservation Programme.

The hike is approximately two miles and is an experience that the entire family can enjoy. Along the trail, guests will learn about the flora and fauna on the entire property, which is called the Belmont property, as well as the general history of Dunn’s River Falls and Park. They will also get a chance to visit the Belmont Great House ruins.

“Coming out of COVID-19, we thought that this (Summa Thrills) would have been a very great adventure for the family and for everyone to enjoy and have a good time,” said Mrs. Cole-Ivey, adding that the UDC has other plans in place for Dunn’s River.

Dunn’s River Falls and Park is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Persons are being encouraged to book ahead via the Dunn’s River website at www.dunnsriverfallsja.com, otherwise tickets can be purchased on location.

You may also visit @dunnsriver.jamaica and @udcjamaica on Instagram or call 876 618-6052 for additional information.

The Dunn’s River Falls and Park is managed and operated by St. Ann Development Corporation (SADCO), a subsidiary of the UDC.

 

Contact: Shanna K. Salmon

Release: JIS

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