Female senior athletes showing off their medals and awards after competing in the Huntsman World Senior Games held in Utah. Left to right are Shirley Harper, Veta Batson, Wendy Barrow-Smith, Ainsley Lovell, Jennifer Swanson-Jones and Kathy??Harper-Hall.??
Barbados’ senior athletes have again performed exceptionally at the just concluded Huntsman World Senior Games in Utah, securing 83 medals; 21 more than they did last year.
Manager of the Barbados senior team, Rawle Clarke, speaking yesterday after their arrival at the Grantley Adams International Airport, said he was quite pleased with the team’s performance.
"This year we won … 34 golds, 30 silvers, and 19 bronze; surpassing last year’s total, where we only had 62.?? The competition was very stiff this year, although we had fallen off in the competitive section, where we usually have just over 9700 persons competing, but there were 9300 this year.
"I thought it was still a good competition because a lot of records were broken.?? We broke five records," he remarked.
Commenting on the athletes’ inability to capture the team challenge competition again this year, he explained: "We lost the team challenge to the Legends, but what is happening is that you have five or six states coming up against Barbados…They have the resources and technologies, so obviously they will be on top of us, but when it comes to track and field, we are the best."
On hand to welcome the athletes back were Ministers of Social Care and Sports, Christopher Sinckler and Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo.
Dr. Suckoo, in congratulating the athletes, said that she was totally impressed with their recent achievements.?? ??
"It really is inspiring to see our seniors, especially the ladies … To watch the ladies as they get older, looking so fit and breaking records and doing incredible things.?? You are an inspiration to all women and I just want to encourage all of you to continue to fly the flag of Barbados wherever you go," Dr. Suckoo stated.
Minister Sinckler, who also offered congratulatory remarks, said: "Your performance certainly belies your respective ages.?? We, in the Ministry, have for a number of years now supported the Senior Games in Barbados and have seen it fit to support the athletes going out to the World Senior Games.?? I want to give you the assurance that this will continue.?? We know that it is an expensive exercise, but we hope that over time other sporting events can be supported with Barbadian participation."
He added: "We would also want to work with the private sector because it can’t only be government.?? We know that there are some private sector organisations that will work with us to ensure that we are represented, but the overall goal of our activity and efforts in this particular area is that our seniors continue to make the biggest and best contribution with the development of Barbadian society and we are proud that you are doing well."??