PHOTO: Athletes seen with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Sports and Youth Shawn Richards (second from left seated) and his Permanent Secretary (left end standing) as well as SKNAAA officials and Team SKN officials including Team Manager Denville Francis (left end seated); and SKNAAA President Val Henry (third from right end seated) next to Team Head Coach Roatter Johnson (Spokesman Snap)

By: Precious Mills

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Tuesday 3rd April 2018)- Having brought home a total of four medals- consisting of a gold one and three (3) bronze- Team St.Kitts-Nevis has secured a performance improvement in a year’s gap following the conclusion of the recently held 47th annual CARIFTA Games held at in the Bahamas.

Earlier this afternoon, a special reception for the national representatives was held in the VIP Lounge of the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport which saw members of the local media as well as officials from the St.Kitts & Nevis Amateur Athletic Association (SKNAAA), parents and other well-wishers.

The major regional sporting event was held at in the Bahamas at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium from Friday 30th March to Monday 2nd April.

A 20-member squad of 10 females and 10 males was led by Team Manager Denville Francis and assistant manager Stewart Joseph with the support of Team Head Coach and Assistant Coach Roatter Johnson and Kurvin Wallace respectively.

 

The gold medalist is 14-year-old Trishanni Warner who ran in the Under-17 Girls 800 meter.

 

For the breakdown of the three bronze medals for third place positions, first up to do so was national junior and senior record Holder Reandra Richards running in the 400 meter.

 

The other area of success came about following the relay races for the Under-17 boys 4x400m featuring on the SKN team- Junior Rouse, Sharim Hamilton, Timothy Caines and D’Ateyel Stanley while and the under-20 girls followed a similar fashion in the 4x400m which saw Reandra Richards, Jerencia Jeffers, Aliah Vanterpool and Nickeisha Howe representing the Federation.

 

Deputy Prime Minister Shawn Richards who holds the portfolios of Youth and Sports, during his remarks at this week’s ceremony, commended the athletes on “an excellent job.”

He encouraged the youngsters to continue to train.

“Continue to develop yourselves and I am sure that as you do so, you will have even greater achievements. Looking at the team, it’s a relative young team which means there are more CARIFTA Games that you should be able to participate in,” Richards remarked.

He also encouraged the athletes to use the CARIFTA experience to better themselves whilst appealing to them to look at best practices being used by other athletes and to do likewise as they continue to train.

 

SKNAAA President Val Henry alluded to the financial challenges being faced and gratitude to the government for the assistance provided for the CARIFTA Games appearance.

 

“Going to participate in the 47th CARIFTA Games was not an easy endeavor. It was extremely difficult, and though ordinarily at times one may have had doubts about making it possible, there was always, in my view, the strength that we would make it to the CARIFTA Games. I want to say thanks to the minister and his ministry, his Permanent Secretary (Stanley Knight) in particular who played a key role in assisting us financially,” he said.

 

Henry went on to refer to the support from members of the public who attended the interschool championships held in March.

 

“Secondly, I want to say thank you to all the fans of track and field because you also made it possible. It is the support we received a couple weekends ago which made it possible to have the funds in order to facilitate the travel for the team and its stay in the Bahamas.”

 

Notably, following the 2017 CARIFTA Games held in Curacao, the Federation walked away with one medal- a gold one- attained by Jermaine Francis in the under-20 Boys high jump which was a repeat win.

 

As put by the SKNAAA president, the 2018 team has “come back with a 400 per cent improvement of our performance at CARIFTA last year.”