Governor Rena Lalgie determined to utilise Government House to benefit the community
Rena Lalgie, the Governor, is exploring options to open the grounds of Government House on a more regular basis to offer greater support to the community.
In what proved a momentous occasion, Lalgie invited Fat Tire massive to host the opening round of the new One Communications Mountain Bike Series season on the northern hillside of the 33-acre estate on Sunday, the first race of its kind on the site.
However, the Governor is adamant it will not be a one-off and she has a strong desire that the event can be a catalyst for further opportunities to utilise the abundance of space for the benefit of the wider community.
“I think the first important point is that this is not my back garden,” said Lalgie, who is particularly keen to offer school children opportunities they may otherwise not be afforded. “Historically the grounds were used for some of the equestrian events and horse shows and so I thought that’s previous form for having sporting events back here and taking place.
“On the sporting side there are exciting opportunities because these grounds are so large and extensive and while it is a privilege for me to be here, it means more to me to have the community be able to be here, so fingers crossed there are more events in the future.
“There are other ways that I’m keen to explore how we might be able to open these grounds and use them more regularly for the community. I’m keen to also support the arts and musical community.
“I’m just really keen that these grounds can be used a lot more to be able to support community activities and in particular giving young people the opportunity to do things that they perhaps wouldn’t be able to do normally.”
For Lalgie, who soaked up the thrilling action throughout the day, the event gave her a first-hand opportunity to see the greater significance and importance of sport and the crucial role it plays on island.
“Mostly these grounds are used for ceremonial events but to be able to see people come in and enjoy the grounds was just fantastic,” she added. “It’s also important for me to feel part of the island. I love being able to get out, speak to people in a normal environment and learn so much about the traditions and stories of the community.
“The turnout has been incredible and for me to be able to see everybody here inside the grounds enjoying themselves, and so many Bermudians who may not have the had the chance to do so before, is just really special.
“One thing that has really struck me since coming to Bermuda is for a small island it is amazing to see all of the sporting opportunities that everyone has here. I think that is such a special part of what brings, and keeps the community together.
“I was at the Women In Formation event and one of the takeaways for me was that you had women who had got to the level where they were excelling in their sport and so many of them spoke about how when they were children they took part of so many different sports on this island.
“To see so many children here who might go on to become professional in one sport or another and also those who might just stay in sport to as a way of staying healthy both mentally and physically is a privilege for me.
“Sport is such an important outlet to so many people. Even if they don’t go on to become professionals or compete at a high level, it can be a really important way of being able to cope with difficulties in their life.”