Bahamas Wins In Caribbean Cycling Championships
NASSAU, The Bahamas – Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Charles Maynard said that the Bahamas’ medal-winning performance at the 5th Youth Caribbean Cycling Championships Aruba 2010 is a result of the efforts by all stakeholders, especially the cycling bodies.
“We know that it calls for some preparation – years and years of preparation – and fine-tuning to ensure that our athletes get the best chance at competition,” Minister Maynard said, at a press conference on August 18, 2010.
Jay Major, 15, scored gold in the 60,000 km road race and silver overall in Juvenile Boys time trial.
Other team members are 15-year-old Roy Colebrooke, Jr., 14-year-old Anthony Colebrooke and 15-year-old Wayne Colebrooke.
Minister Maynard said stakeholders met earlier in the year to discuss developments for a new state-of-the-art velodrome (track-cycling arena), giving the athletes access to facilities and equipment that could assist them in preparing their skills for the world level.
“We look forward to that becoming a reality and successes like what we would have seen you do in the last few weeks cause us to get even more excited about the prospect of that development and what it could do for the sport of cycling in The Bahamas,” he said.
Minister Maynard congratulated the entire team for their effort in Aruba, showing that they could compete with cyclists from all over the region, some of whom are from islands with facilities that The Bahamas does not yet have.
“Sometimes in the Bahamas we only celebrate the medalists and do not celebrate the finalists and those who would have still ranked very high in the overall standings,” Minister Maynard said.
“I want the whole team to know that I am very proud of their success.”
Minister Maynard said that the young team members are all going to be trailblazers in a “comeback” for the Bahamas in cycling, where the country had a history of successes.
This “comeback”, he added is going to be a permanent one and he looks forward to the 2016 Olympics.
“Anything that the Ministry can do to move the sport forward we will endeavour to do because we believe in cycling,”
“We believe in the Federation that if we continue our hard work with determination that, at the end of the day, success would certainly be ours,” president of the Bahamas Amateur Cycling Foundation Roy Colebrooke said.
Mr. Colebrooke added that the young men on the team are doing “their endeavour best” to ensure that The Bahamas’ name is, once again, in the Caribbean ranks.
“We believe that it is important that these young men be recognised so you see exactly who they are,” he said.
Team Bahamas Cycling Coach Jeff Major said they went to Aruba to take part in an international meet different from competitions in the past.
“This is something new to us, for these juniors, actually, in this international scene,” Coach Major said.
He added that the team worked “very, very well” together, with its members playing their various roles competently.
“We would just like to encourage this kind of effort and hopefully we could get more of the youth of the nation to come out and participate in the cycling events,” he said.
Team Manager Barron Musgrove added that the young team that went to Aruba is just a “ripple in the pool” of young talent The Bahamas has to showcase.
“We have a number of young ladies coming up and we need the Ministry’s assistance in that effort,” Mr. Musgrove said.
“We have 30 or 40 youngsters that we are working with and that’s the key.
“We want to build a reservoir of youngsters, so when Jay and Anthony move on to the higher ranks, we have a plethora of youngsters just filling those slots and that is where you see success.
“Success in your programme could come from creating a feeder system to sustain us for the next 15 years,” he added.
“The is the main thrust of the federation, to create that feeder system where we can continue to prepare more and more competitors and silver and gold medalists.
“The team performed excitingly well.”
Jay Major said the Aruba Championships were good to compete in, at the highest level that he had ever been in and a good place to have a good team.
“You have to have a good team in a team sport,” Jay said.
“The team did well and it was just a team effort.”
Minister Maynard said that, under his administration, he wants to end the stigma of the Ministry only seeming to focus on track-and-field.
“We want to make sure that all disciplines are treated fairly and that all disciplines are given a chance to grow and develop,” Minister Maynard said.
“You have my assurance that we will work with you in order to continue to build your programme.”
By ERIC ROSE
Bahamas Information Services