• Today
    October 19

  • 01:46 AM

Sunday fun at the beach

Wendell Callender,

Added 14 January 2014

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It was a sunny but cool Sunday afternoon when we made our way along the Needham’s Point peninsula on the St Michael/Christ Church border. At the back of Hilton Barbados, which dominates the coastline, two vendors were unobtrusively plying their trade, on opposite sides. The beach bar was being fairly well patronized by a low-keyed clientele of locals and visitors. At the eastern end, the beach volleyball court had attracted its fair share of enthusiasts. We were advised that many of the folks who were fully engaged as players or spectators were representatives of the local volleyball fraternity, with some being players for the national team. It was clear that they preferred not to be disturbed as the intensity of the game had fully grabbed them. We then ventured down to the beachfront near the water’s edge. Our attention was gripped by a gentleman who held a little child aloft on his neck. The child seemed quite secure and happy and was obviously enjoying his ride. Richard Alleyne told us the gleeful child was his grandson Davanni, whose mum, Chantelle, was also at the beach. She was not too far away seated with her niece Shalia playfully digging holes in the sand. Richard looked out to the sea and pointed out his granddaughter Shayla who was having fun with her surfboard. He remarked: “Shayla called me and asked me if I was taking them to the beach. Next thing I knew she and her sister were at my house ready to go to the beach. They usually come up here because their uncle, my son, works up here as a lifeguard.” Richard was delighted to be out on the beach with his family. For him it was a great family outing as they all enjoyed themselves in various ways. For Shayla, an active lifestyle was par for the course. A track athlete who competes for her school, Lawrence T. Gay Memorial Primary, and a competent swimmer, she was a picture of energy as she entered and exited the water where others were also enjoying its briny qualities. Chantelle, a sprightly, charming soul, revealed that she works as a hospitality agent at the Opa restaurant, although she has some love for accounting, the career choice of her dad. Soon we would see a lithe, athletic young woman doing a quick jog along the beach. She did not mind stopping to have a chat. “I do this most Sundays,” Sonia Burgess said. “I do it to keep fit. People say you are small, so you don’t need to keep fit. It is not about being small, it is about keeping fit. Once you are alive you should keep active.” Sonia was indeed a very active young lady, being a member of the Barbados Landship Association, Christ Church Youth Chorale, and the steel pan orchestra of St Matthias Anglican Church. She had also been a volunteer at the Cricket World Cup in 2007 when she had just turned 18. She is also a youth champion with the National Initiative for Service Excellence. A lover of the traditional Bajan board game warri, she credits board maker Lee Farnum-Badley with giving her great encouragement to pursue her interest in the game for which she has received a few awards. The former Springer Memorial School student points to the influence of retired principal Joan Blackett for encouraging the students to be the best that they can be. Sonia was a house captain and represented the school on the successful badminton team. She holds a diploma in office technology from the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic and has just completed her BSc in economics and mathematics from the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies. After speaking to us, Sonia darted off to complete her jog along the beach. Sunday evening at the Hilton beach did reveal another slice of Bajan life.

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