Thursday, April 25, 2024

CUT champs take to the road


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It was a procession fit for a king.
And rightly so, because Barbados are the kings and queens of junior athletics.
The island’s victorious Caribbean Union of Teachers’ (CUT) team was celebrated yesterday with one of the largest motorcades in recent history.
Three weeks ago the team ended their 16-year drought at the CUT Championships, dethroning five-time defending champions and hosts Jamaica on their way to collecting 17 gold medals, 17 silver and seven bronze.
It was the sixth time in the competition’s history that Barbados had emerged champions and they did so in fine style, capturing both the boys’ and girls’ overall titles.
By the time the 20-foot truck containing the 40 athletes and track officials left the National Stadium just after 11 a.m., there were more than 20 cars waiting to join the motorcade.
And as the procession moved through the various communities, people could be seen peeping from behind windows while others made their way along the route waving and shouting hearty congratulations, with some even dancing to the music blasting from nearby speakers.
On board, it was a festive atmosphere as the athletes danced and sang along to some of this year’s more popular Crop Over songs, such as Li’l Rick’s Ah Like Muhself and Dutty Android’s Conduckta.
For Vaman Harbin, manager of the successful team, it was indeed a wonderful feeling.
“I am excited and overjoyed. This motorcade has been the icing on the cake after the team went to Jamaica and performed so brilliantly,” he told SUNSPORT shortly before the procession moved off.
“For four straight competitions we had finished in a Top 3 position, so to go to Jamaica and win it all is a wonderful feeling.”
Rivaldo Leacock, captain of the triumphant boys’ team who returned home with four gold medals including two record-breaking performances, said he was very proud of the team’s achievements.
“I am not only proud of myself but also of the whole team. We went to Jamaica expecting to do well and we delivered.
“To be on this motorcade is indeed an honour, and I would like to say thanks to all of those who supported us,” the 13-year-old Lester Vaughan student pointed out.
Rosette Hoyte and Ajani Haddock, both gold medal winners, also expressed their delight at being part of the motorcade.
“I feel great about being here and I am really proud of what we have accomplished,” soft-spoken Hoyte said.
“It feels good that we have won and that I am part of the team. We worked very hard and it feels good to know that we came out on top,” said Ajani, whose twin sister Leilani was also part of the victorious team.


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