Nevisian Athletes receive heroes’ welcome
ZIZ News…July 5 2012 — A number of persons, including family members, Government officials, friends, sports enthusiasts, reigning Culturama Queeen-Santonya Mills and members of the media were on hand on the morning of Wednesday 4th July to warmly welcome home the contingent of Nevisian athletes who were part of the Federation’s team which competed at the recent XIX Central American and Caribbean Junior Championship (CAC) held in El Slavador.
As the Caribe Breeze docked at the Charlestown pier shortly after 10.15 am the welcoming party led by Minister of Sports the Hon. Hensley Daniel, pressed closer and as the athletes stepped off the boat, the hugs and handshakes began.
The athletes in focus were: Adrian Williams who had secured a goal medal in the javelin event with a best throw of 68.41m and broken a 12 year old record in the process; Renika Daniel who had secured a bronze medal for under 18 girls in the 400 meters event; Brittany Morton who had competed in the 100 and 200 meters events; Izaun Ward who had competed in the 800 meters event and Sadiki Tyson who had competed in the 100 meters and the 4 X 100 meters events.
The athletes appeared slightly jaded but were soon all smiles as they were received by their loved ones.
They were then paraded through the streets of Charlestown in a grand motorcade which journeyed down the Samuel Hunkins Drive, through Main Street, into Bath Village and climaxed at the Bath Hotel Administration Building where they met officially with the Premier of Nevis, the Hon. Joseph Parry.
The Premier warmly congratulated the athletes and for those who had not secured a medal on this occasion, he challenged them to drastically improve on their times. This he noted will only be achieved by dint of hard work and sacrifice. ‘If you want to successful at the highest level, you will have to put in at least five hours of work on a daily basis,’ he told the athletes. He also warmly congratulated the parents present on their work in nurturing the athletes and encouraging them.
The athletes were then transported back to Charlestown where they attended an official ceremony in their honour held at the Nevis Sports Museum.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, Alsted Pemberton who chaired the proceedings, welcomed the athletes warmly and congratulated them for their efforts and achievements. He however stated: “Whenever Adrian is competing, we expect to hear that he secured a goal medal—nothing less.’
Also speaking at the brief ceremony was the Hon Hensley Daniel who noted that the achievements of the athletes must not be taken lightly as they would have competed against athletes who have top class facilities and world renowned coaches and despite their limitations at the local level, would have competed stoutly and in Adrian’s case, diminished the field.
He however indicated tha he had been involved in recent meetings pertaining to the construction of an internationally recognized synthetic track on Nevis. He said that it is still on the front burner of his Government’s agenda and that more meetings will be held shortly including NAAA chief, Lester Blackett, to finalize the logistics.
NAAA chief Lester Blackett was obviously overwhelmed by the performance of the athletes and congratulated them for representing the Federation at such a high level. He stated that it is his fervent hope that the international track should be a reality by 2014, ‘in time for the CUT games,’ he said. ‘We want to host the CUT games right here in Nevis in 2014,’ he said to loud cheers.
The athletes were then driven to the Patio Restaurant along with their parents where they partook in a sumptuous lunch.