Eight junior athletes have left the Turks and Caicos Islands for the Dominican Republic to compete in the North America, Central America and the Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) two-day Age Group Championships in Santiago Saturday and Sunday.
However, prior to the championships, the team will assemble in Santo Domingo for a two-day training camp. The two-day training camp is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. The team would then depart Santo Domingo on Friday to Santiago for the games.
The Age Group Championships is divided into two categories - 11 to 12 and 13 to 14. The athletes that fall into the 11 to 12 category will take part pentathlon, (five events), while the 13 to 14 age group will be contesting the Heptathlon (seven events). All the events will be done over the two days.
Edith Skippings, President of the Turks and Caicos Amateur Athletics Association (TCAAA) said that three events are scheduled for the first day, while four events will be done on the final day.
Skippings said that the athletes, who have been in full training are rearing to go, noting that four of the athletes are from Grand Turk and four from Providenciales.
“And I am happy to say that three of the kids that made team this year are from Grand Turk, and if you add Rayvon Black, who is also from Grand Turk but resides in Jamaica – attending Denbigh High School – would make the fourth one from Grand Turk that made the team…and the other four from Providenciales,” Skipping said.
The TCAAA Head pointed out that the athletes were chosen by performance, which was done through points accumulation at a recent trial held at the National Stadium.
Skippings, who was at the Howard Hamilton International Airport (former Providenciales International Airport) to see off the aggregation, will travel to Santo Domingo on Friday for the two-day event.
In the meantime, Rayvon Black, who is returning from injury, and arguably the TCI’s brightest medal prospect, said he was very excited to make the team, having missed out on CARIFTA due to injuries. He will be participating in the 13 to 14 category.
“It will be my first time competing at the championships. I am hoping that I would go out there and do my best, bring back a medal to make everybody proud,” Black said. “With all the training that I have been doing, I could end up in the top three, in my opinion.”
He said while he might not be at his optimum, he would leave it all on the track.
“For CARIFTA, I was injured and wasn’t able to participate. But I have been training a lot and getting back fit, so now I will be participating to show not my full potential, but a lot of my potential,” said Black, a former Ona Glinton Primary School student, who was named champion boy for the National Primary School Championships in 2022.
Black will be participating in the 1200M, long jump, high jump, 80M, 80M hurdles, shotput, ball throw and probably the 4x100M.
The other team members are: 11 - 12 Girls - Mia Parra Gutteriez and Enda Jeanty both from Grand Turk; 11 - 12 Boys - Garrico Fulford and Camouri Landy from Provo; 13-14 Girls- Sendia Mercel and Taniare Gardiner – Providenciales; and 13 – 14 Boys - Delixson Jean – Grand Turk.
The officials accompanying the athletes are: Kenesha Thompson – Team Manager and Coach; Chris Foster – Coach; Kayla Mills – Coach; and Acasia Downer – Coach.
The NACAC Age Group Athletics Championship is a biennial event.