We Bermudians are punching above our weight
If one was to ask what our national sport is, the answer would vary depending who is replying. Some may say football. Some may say cricket. Others may rightly say gossiping.
Suffice it to say, there is no one answer, as Bermudians participate in a variety of sports inclusive of, but not limited to; football, cricket, rugby, golf, tennis and squash.
Admittedly, for several reasons, most Bermudians have never, and will never play squash. However, there is a large amount of our young people, from every walk of life, who do play on the courts.
And play the courts well they do.
Over the last week a contingent of our very own young people travelled to the heart of Kingston, Jamaica to participate in the 2018 Caribbean Area Squash Association or Casa Junior tournaments held at the legendary Liguanea Sports Club.
The team comprised the following individuals; Anaya Smith, Andrew Cox, Ethan Roserea, Graham Moss, Matthew Elliott, Owen Roserea, Taylor Carrick, Abigail Brewer, Ariana Lowther, Celia Robinson, Charlotte Toogood, Hailey Moss, Taliah Wade. The team coach is Micah Franklin.
There they competed against representatives from the following countries: Barbados, Cayman Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and a few other Eastern Caribbean islands.
There was a great sense of Bermudian pride to be had in observing our athletes conducting themselves in the highest order. Whether it be their interaction in public, their team camaraderie or their performance on the courts, they truly represented our island home as great ambassadors.
Speaking of their conduct on the courts, we have much to be proud about.
For a country of approximately 63,000 persons, we have held our own against, and beaten athletes from countries such as Barbados and Guyana with populations exceeding 300,000 persons.
In some cases, our athletes have defeated Jamaican athletes in their own country of more than 3 million persons. Not something many countries can brag about.
This brings us to this point.
Last year, on July 18, 2017, we were voted in to be the Government for all of Bermuda. Not just one sector or race of Bermuda. This happened primarily as there was, and is, a desire for Bermudians to support each other in all endeavours.
Simply put, as a government and as a country we do not have the luxury of cherry-picking which Bermudian athletes we should support or not support.
We need only look at the likes of Nicky Saunders and Flora Duffy to see that, with enough support, our very own can become world champions in their respective fields. Essentially, we as Bermudians punch above our weight.
In speaking with a few different persons involved with our junior squash players, they have highlighted a number of areas that we can improve upon as a country.
The primary concern was to get more of our public school students exposed to squash. Apparently, there was a programme in place a few years ago but for various reasons it has dissipated.
The secondary concern was for more public support for our athletes who are representing our island in events around the globe.
Whether it be a squash, football or debate team, simple things such as persons coming to the airport to see them off or to welcome them home will go a long way towards giving our young folks a major morale boost.
In closing, in a variety of ways we are moving towards more and more interaction with our Caribbean neighbours. This Casa tournament has helped to introduce many of our young people to the commonality of our region.
For others, it has given them a chance to reconnect with fellow players they met at previous tournaments held throughout the Caribbean.
We wish to thank the families and coaching staff who have prepared our junior squash team for their recent tournament in Jamaica.
It was great to see them spreading that onion juice.
•Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him at WhatsApp on 599-0901 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Roland Skinner (1940-2018)
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