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Athletes support group formed


Ezra Stuart

Athletes support group formed

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WHAT A WAY to support  Barbadian athletes at the 2011 CARIFTA Games in Jamaica!
For all three days of the Caribbean’s most popular junior track and field meet, which was staged at the Catherine Hall Sports Complex in Montego Bay, several parents and their children – some of Barbados’ most promising athletes – assembled at three different homes to watch the games on television as well as from an Internet website feed provided by the sponsors, LIME.
For Saturday’s opening day, they gathered at Fontana Roach’s residence in Ocean City, near the Crane in St Philip, while the next day, they journeyed to Thornbury Hill, near Gibbons in Christ Church, where they were hosted by David and Ingrid Corbin.
On Monday, the athletics lovers climaxed their “CARIFTA house picnic” in Durant Village, near Holder’s Hill, St James, at the home of John and Heather Hollingsworth, where they cheered every gold, silver and bronze medal won by the Bajan athletes. The cheers and claps started from the time the athletes lined up in their lanes, but the youngest Barbadian at the games, Tristan Evelyn, just 13 years old, was a real darling among the supporting group.
Among the young athletes, who watched the action while promising to be part of the Barbados team next year when the Games are staged in Bermuda, were Shaquille Hollingsworth, Mario Burke, Tamal Atwell, Shae Nurse, Pius Emilien, Rivaldo Leacock, Shem Forde, Akeem McCollin, Kyle Farrell, Danielle Scantlebury, Javani Smith, Chelsi Corbin, Tamia Stoute, Celina Forte, Akeilia Knight, Sherlyssa Harris, Mya Millington, Alisha Harris, and Zaria Weatherhead.     
Even two of Barbados’ leading coaches, Michael Jules, a former CARIFTA medallist, and Jasper Blades, were among the gathering as they watched the action on a large screen, telecast via a projector.
During the lunch break on Monday, John Hollingsworth made a presentation in which he announced that an organization of parents, athletes and supporters of track and field will be formed.“Our main aim is to create a better rounded athlete, not necessarily to focus on the technical side but more so on the psychological, social and academic development of the athletes and to enhance their performance and achieve greater success,” Hollingsworth said.
He said that from as early as next month, the group planned to do some fund-raising activities to help achieve their objectives as they want to take their support of the Barbadian athletes to Bermuda and really build a strong support base.
“We plan to host two self-development events, as well as a publication of a track and field quarterly magazine, while having stalls at all the mass events like the Crop Over Festival, in addition to seeking corporate sponsorship,” he added.
Ingrid Corbin, who is a member of the steering committee, which includes Roach and Vincent Burke, said the group would also hold raffles, car washes and cake sales to raise funds.
This year, they received donations from Baker’s Choice, BICO, Pizza Man Doc and Purity Bakeries. 
It was the second year that they had gathered together after meeting one another at athletic meets at the National Stadium while watching their children compete.

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