The Turks and Caicos Islands Track and Field and Swim teams returned from the Carifta championships to much fanfare and celebrations.
The junior track and field tournament was held in Jamaica over the Easter Weekend, while the junior swim tournament was held over same period. The track and field championship is held over three days, while the swim meet is held over five days.
The track team returned on Tuesday, while the swim team got back on Friday. However, the Turks and Caicos Islands Sports Commission decided to stage the event when all the athletes got back.
Members of the Track Team, including sole medalist Wooslyn Harvey, mined Bronze in the Octathlon, Lyn Antoine, who set a new national long jump record, reenacted their arrival, alighting from the arrival area with the swim aggregation.
They were greeted by a throng of supporters, including the We Funk Junkanoo Band, Minister of Sports Hon. Rachel Taylor and Minister of Home Affairs Hon. Otis Morris.
They then boarded a float-style truck, accompanied by the junkanoo band, where they later took part in a motorcade from the airport along the streets of Providenciales, ending at the Gustarvus Lightbourne Sports Complex, where a ceremony was held.
Jayden Davis, the double gold and double silver medalist in the pool, was presented with $5,000 grant, towards his training, while Harvey was given $1,500 grant to continue with preparation. Harvey currently attends Jamaica College in Jamaica.
The sports minister used the opportunity to announce that government has purchased three plots of lots adjacent to the National Stadium, which would be used to construct a professional swimming pool and a warm-up track for athletes.
She told the audience that government has been committed to invest in local athletes for them to become podium athletes. She used the opportunity to laud those swim and track and field athletes, who did not medal, encouraging then to only give of their best next time.
Daniel Redmond, President for the TCI Swim Federation revealed that though one athlete returned with medals, many of them recorded personal bests, which he said would only auger will for future swimming in the Turks and Caicos Islands, as they athletes were evidently improving.
President for the Turks and Caicos Amateur Athletics Association (TCAAA), while applauding her athletes for representing the TCI well, stated that her organization would pull out all the stops to ensuring that they are cared for.
For his part, Godfrey Been, President of the local Commonwealth Games Association, revealed that after learning of the successes on the track in Jamaica and in the pool in Barbados, reached out to the Sports Federation to see where they were at in throwing a welcome party for the returning athletes. He urged that no stones should be left unturned to ensure that local athletes get the tools required for them to perform at their optimum.
Meanwhile, Jarett Forbes, Director for the Sports Commission, commended the youngsters for representing the Turks and Caicos Islands well at the games. He pointed out that the Sports Commission would do everything in its power to ensure that various sporting federations locally are empowered to carryout their mandates.