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Bahamas thrills with Opening Ceremony at 50th CARIFTA Games

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By LINDSAY THOMPSON

Bahamas Information Services

 

 

#NASSAU, The Bahamas, April 11, 2023 – After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the much-anticipated CARIFTA Games officially kicked off in The Bahamas for the ninth time, attracting an estimated 800 athletes from 32 countries.

The National Youth Choir performed “Do You Remember,” at the Opening ceremony of the 50th CARIFTA Games held Friday, April 7, 2023 at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium

And, it was a win-win time for The Bahamas, which is celebrating its Golden Jubilee Anniversary of Independence to host the CARIFTA Games, which is also in its 50th year.

In his Keynote Address, Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis said he was happy the CARIFTA Games were back on track.

“We are now settling back into the joy of a sporting tradition which we have come to look forward to at Easter time,” he said.

An excited prime minister told the athletes how proud he was of them; that their tenacity is unmatched, and their hard work has certainly paid dividends.

The Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium came alive with thrilling and exciting topnotch Bahamian cultural performances on Friday, April 7, 2023; the eve of competition in track and field among the young people of the region.

All roads and side corridors leading to the stadium were bedecked with the National Flag, the 50th Independence Anniversary flag, the flags of participating states, and sponsors signaling the jubilee sporting event.

Genesis Junkanoo Organization dancer captured during a Rush-out.

Before dignitaries led by Governor General, His Excellency Sir Cornelius A. Smith, and excited spectators, the parade of nations – teams with their flags — brought thunderous applause of allegiance to respective countries.

The National Anthem, March On Bahamaland, was sung by a trio ensemble who took it to another level from its traditional format, and this was followed with a performance by the National Youth Choir taking the country down memory lane with the song “Do You Remember”.

The segment featuring Swann Talent was a mixture of Bahamian expressions in song, dance and a cultural village; a performance by the Church of God of Prophecy’s Brass Band; Wendi 242 performing the CARICOM Song in a floral dress; Sammi Star with his hit the CARIFTA Song “Come Gold With Us,” engaging spectators in singing it; and a Rush out by Genesis Junkanoo Organization, which capped off the cultural and entertainment segment.

Some memorable moments of the Opening Ceremony were: recognizing MaryAnn Higgs-Clarke as the “Mother of the Games”: she is the first Bahamian to win the prestigious Austin Sealy Award as the Most Outstanding Athlete at the 1978 CARIFTA Games; recognition of Pauline Davis as the Grand Dame of 50th CARIFTA Games, who is an Austin Sealy Award Winner, Gold Olympian and Honorary Life Council Member World Athletics; and the Induction of Mike Sands, President, North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC), into the Legend Walk. He was the first ever-gold medalist for The Bahamas at the 1975 Central American and Caribbean Championships in Athletics; and participated in the Summer Olympics 1972 and 1976.

The CARIFTA Games is an annual athletics competition founded by the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA). It was first held in 1972 and consisted of track and field events including sprint, races, hurdles, middle distance track events, jumping and throwing events, and relays. The Games comprise two age categories: under-17 and under-10. Only countries associated with CARIFTA may compete in the competition.

In 1972, Austin Sealy, then president of the Amateur Athletic Association of Barbados, inaugurated the CARIFTA Games to mark the transition from the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The meet normally runs over three days during the Easter period and includes over 150 separate events.

The countries represented at CARIFTA 2023 are: The Bahamas, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe,  Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Saint Maarten, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.

 

BIS Photos/Letisha Henderson

(BIS Photos/Patrick Hanna)

(BIS Photos/Kemuel Stubbs)

Bahamas News

Nassau Cruise Port Donates Nearly $2 Million Towards Food Security

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Nassau, Bahamas: The Nassau Cruise Port has donated $1.95 million towards
projects that will assist the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources in its aim
to increase food security for The Bahamas.

The donation officially occurred at the Ministry’s offices recently, where Minister
of Agriculture and Marine Resources Hon. Jomo Campbell, Minister of Labour
Hon. Pia Glover-Rolle, Permanent Secretary Neil Campbell and Nassau Cruise
Port CEO Mike Maura listened to a number of presentations including one for a
poultry programme for schools, a chicken broiler production programme, the
redevelopment of the Blue Hill Road Farmers Market and an Authentic
Bahamian Cultural Concept Store,

Mr. Maura said he was impressed by the presentations.

“I had the privilege to listen the presentations and review presentations that
touched on food security and the need for us to be self-sufficient, which as a
Bahamian I support completely. At the Nassau Cruise Port, we get excited
about the prospects of offering more authentic food to the millions of visitors
that we have each year,” he said.

“And then, in addition to that, we had presentations around the further
development of our artisans, which is so important to us as well. The guests
visiting our shores are looking for something that really touches The Bahamas
and can’t be found somewhere else. The Nassau Cruise Port has made a pledge to BAIC and its affiliates. We will be supporting the projects that were presented and we can’t wait to get started.”

Minister Glover-Rolle, who is also the Member of Parliament for Golden Gates,
hailed Nassau Cruise Port as a “great community partner.”

“Thank you for the opportunity to not only present but agreeing to participate.
Our Minister of Agriculture has a goal of reducing food imports by 25 percent by
the year 2025 and our project in the Golden Gates Community speaks to that,”
she said.

“We have a number of backyard farmers, farmers and fishers in our community
in Golden Gates. Being able to use the Blue Hill Road Farmers Market, which is
going to be dubbed the ‘Fish Fry of the South,’ as a hub for food security but
also a hub where artisans and handicraft persons can come and sell their wares
is wonderful. So, we are happy that you have agreed to partner with us and we
look forward to a partnership and we hope to welcome some of your visitors
when this amazing renovation is done.”

Minister Campbell also lauded the Nassau Cruise Port for its efforts.

“I would like to say thank you to the presenters for the presentations that are
several steps in the right direction for our country, to Mr. Maura and his board at
the Nassau Cruise Port and I would like to say thanks to God for this partnership
and bringing us all together as we move forward, upward, together in building a
better, brighter, future for The Bahamas,” he said.

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Career Symposium 2024 Connects University Students with Successful Professionals

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Nassau, THE BAHAMAS — Some of the most successful and accomplished professionals and business leaders in the country recently shared their experiences and nuggets of wisdom with students at University of The Bahamas (UB) about thriving in a wide range of careers.

The University Centre for Counselling and Career Services and the Career and Job Placement Advisory Unit collaborated to host the 2024 Career Symposium which brought students face to face with leaders in the careers to which they aspire.

Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Maria Oriakhi, said the symposium was key to developing potential as university students strive to leave their mark on the world.

Ms. Rickell Curry

“In the spirit of collaboration and growth, let us engage in meaningful dialogue, cultivate relationships, and harness the power of collective wisdom to shape our futures,” said Dr. Oriakhi. “Together, let us embark on this journey of exploration and discovery, united in our commitment to realizing our fullest potential and making meaningful contributions to our communities and beyond.”

Promoting careers in psychology, Ms. Curry noted that psychologists are equipped with the ability to help others, troubleshoot areas of weakness within themselves, and become better people and professionals in the process.

“The floor is yours to be able to explore. There’s no job where you don’t have to deal with people, so learning, even if you get a bachelor’s in psychology, is a great grounding,” she said.

Dr. Darville, one of few interventional radiologists in The Bahamas, offered another nugget of advice on choosing an area of study.

Dr. Elizabeth Darville

“It is important to know enough about yourself in order to make the decisions you want to make,” said Dr. Darville. “You have to work on yourself first and know what you want to do. Radiology gives you a chance to have fun. It gives you a chance to mold your career closer to your personal life than other medical specialties might.”

Another growing field is project management which Mr. Hepburn called a life skill. He also urged a commitment to lifelong learning.

“Individuals that continue to learn become unstoppable, period,” said Mr. Hepburn. “It is so true. When you learn, you become unstoppable because nothing can stop you in your process of development.

Mr. Wellington Hepburn

“The more you know, the more valuable you are. We need individuals who are cross functional—that can operate in different capacities. So please understand that your learning should never stop.”

With small and medium-sized businesses helping to drive the economy at an incredible rate, Ms. Rolle affirmed the importance of entrepreneurship in any economy.

“When we talk about entrepreneurship, we usually look at it from a myopic standpoint,” she said. Ms. Rolle. “What do I mean by that? Small, but usually about self: ‘how do I make more money?’ And in some cases, some look at entrepreneurship as a way of survival. ‘I need to make a couple extra dollars, I have this bill to pay’. Those types of things.

Ms. Samantha Rolle

“But entrepreneurship really, in its truest form, is about innovation, whether it’s a new concept or any existing concept that you innovate new ways, or help expand the economy.”

The career symposium was held at the Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre and is held every academic year.

 

PHOTO CAPTIONS

 

  • Career Symposium 1: UB Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Maria Oriakhi, delivers the opening address at the 2024 Career Symposium.
  • Career Symposium 2: Students and guest speakers enjoy a lighthearted moment during the 2024 Career Symposium.
  • Career Symposium 3: Ms. Rickell Curry speaks to students during the 2024 Career Symposium.
  • Career Symposium 4: Dr. Elizabeth Darville delivers remarks during the 2024 Career Symposium.
  • Career Symposium 5: Mr. Wellington Hepburn educates students on the importance of project management during the 2024 Career Symposium.
  • Career Symposium 6: Ms. Samantha Rolle talks about the role and importance of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in any economy.

 

Office of University Relations

University of The Bahamas

2nd Floor, Michael H. Eldon Complex

Oakes Field Campus

P.O. Box N-4912

Nassau, The Bahamas

Tel: (242) 302-4355/4354/4365

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$36 Million Dollar Upgrade for World Athletics Relays in Nassau, Bahamas

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

 

#TheBahamas, April 15, 2024 – After years of thorough maintenance, The Thomas A Robinson National Stadium in The Bahamas is finally getting a multi-million dollar makeover, readying the 10-year old facility ahead of the World Athletics Relays on May  5, 2024; it is being staged in Nassau for the fourth time.

This $36 million refurbishment is being funded by the Chinese Government, as part of a vision to enhance the country’s sport infrastructure to benefit youths in athletics. The stadium was gifted to The Bahamas in 2012 by the Chinese.

The relay is the qualifying event for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games and there will be 32 national teams, in each relay event, and 20 races on both days of competition, according to World Athletics.

Day 1, will have 20 heats across the five Olympic-calibre events (4 heats each for 4×100, 4×400, men, women and mixed) and will qualify 40 teams for the Summer Olympics.

Distinctly, the top two teams from each heat will directly qualify for the 2024 Games.

On day 2, 30 more national teams will be qualified through 15 heats and five finals, across those five events.

The upgrades which include new trusses, rooftops, seats, the lawn, score boards, LED displays and more, are expected to be complete at least two weeks before the relays, being held under the theme: ‘Chase the  Sun’.

In a special ceremony on Monday April 8, The Bahamas Prime Minister, Philip Davis said:

In December 2023, our shared vision took shape, as the government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and the government of the People’s Republic of China, inked an implementation agreement for the renovation of the stadium. This gesture of goodwill and friendship, from the Chinese government to undertake the China Aid Maintenance and Renovation project of our national stadium, stands as a testament to the strong bonds that unite our countries. This project, executed by China Urban Construction Research Institute Company Limited, and the China Machinery Industry Construction Group Company Limited, reflects our shared commitment to excellence, innovation and mutual development.”

Additionally, H.E Dai Qingli, outgoing Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas who also attended that ceremony, spoke.

“At the end of the project, the Bahamian people will get a fully renewed and modern world class stadium because everything is going to be either renewed or repaired,” she said.

Some 1,600 athletes will be in The Bahamas for the World Athletics relays, with five events.  The Bahamas won the bid over Lausanne, Rome in 2022.

Mario Bowleg,  Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture in reports, thanked China for their contribution to the redevelopment of the stadium.

“We thank them for their commitment to ensuring that they bring this facility back up to A1 standard so that we can continue holding international events and using these facilities as a development of our young people.”

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