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SPORTING BARBADOS 2019

EDITION

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www.sportingbarbados.com


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C O N T E N T S

CONTENTS 8 10 12 16 30 42 52 64 66 74 76 86 88 94 104 112 120 126 132 134 140 144 150

WELCOME CONTRIBUTORS FOREWORDS TOP SHOTS BARBADOS! CRICKET LOVELY CRICKET GOLF SANDY LANE CHARITABLE TRUST HORSE RACING DIAMOND INTERNATIONAL RACE DAY POLO EQUESTRIAN MASTERS FOOTBALL MOTORSPORT RUGBY SAILING SWIMMING DIVING SURFING RUNNING TRIATHLON HOCKEY SPORTING CONTACTS

Cover Image of Miguel Cummins by Randy Brooks

Credits Publisher – Hiltop Publications Ltd, 11 Cottage Ridge, St George, Barbados, BB19071 Tel (246) 228-9122 Fax (246) 228-0243 Email sportingb@caribsurf.com www.sportingbarbados.com www.barbadospropertynews.com Editor – Pamela L Hiles Editorial – Pamela Hiles, J Clarence Hiles, Mark Wheeler and our Contributors - see page 10 Advertising – Pamela L Hiles Photography – J Clarence Hiles, Pamela L Hiles, Peter Marshall, Sandy Lane Charitable Trust, Sandy Lane Hotel, Apes Hill Golf Club, Royal Westmoreland Golf Club, BTMI, Martyn Notesworthy, Caribbean Aerial Photography, Zary

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Evelyn, Mark Harris, Rachel Roett, Chelsea Tuach, Brooks La Touche, Ozzy Osbourne, Kenny Hewitt, Brian Talma, Himal Reece, Nicholas Bhajan, Corey Reece, Randy Brooks, CPL, Louis Venezia, Lucy Agace, Above Barbados, Dean Roberts, St Martin's School & Bushy Park Barbados Design and Art Direction – Neil Barnard at 809 Design Associates, Barbados Distribution – Hiltop Publications Ltd, CITO Distribution (UK) Printed in the UK The Material and editorial contained in this publication was deemed correct at the time of going to print but may be subject to change thereafter. No part of this publication should be reproduced without the consent of the publishers.

Copyright 2019 Sporting Barbados


F O R E W O R D

Welcome to our amazing island!

Editor Pamela Hiles with Motor Sports Guru Robin Bradford

Boosted by a new Government last year, there is a huge buzz around the island these days. After all, Cricket lovely cricket returns to Barbados with an English Test match and ODIs at the Kensington Oval and no doubt the Barmy Army to follow. We can’t have a better start to the year! Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley’s Government has the drive, vision and optimism, albeit there are many economic and financial hurdles to face. However, her Cabinet has been fired with enthusiasm with the appointment of Kerrie Symmonds Minister of Tourism and International Transport and the multi-talented entertainer John King as Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sport. We wish them well! Her appointments were further boosted by International music Icon Rihanna as ‘Ambassador Extraordinaire and Plenipotentiary,’ who had been previously a Cultural Ambassador for several years. In addition, she has added flamboyant watersports legend Brian “Irie Man’ Talma who will also continue as Ambassador. He has spread Barbados beach culture during his travels all over the world. Boost and buzz could be the catchphrases for 2019. The Barbados Sol Rally is already world renowned, and it will celebrate 30 years this season with bumper events to follow. Barbados can boast a huge array of sports in addition to cricket, watersports and motor sports. Beautiful golf courses in an idyllic setting throughout the year doesn’t get much better for the avid golfer, and what about racing at the historic Garrison Track where the Sandy Lane Gold Cup takes place in early March and United Derby in August. Barbados Yacht Club beside beautiful Carlisle Bay is the hub when the Caribbean Regatta season opens to competitors and followers all over the world.

Rugby Barbados is on the move with other venues and at Bellevue Polo club they staged a terrific Rugby 7s for both men and women from all over the Caribbean region. Masters Football has also moved to the majestic Holder’s Hill staged on Whitsun weekend and of course, there is the International Season for polo from January to May. Hockey takes a break for party time on the last weekend in August, and although we suffered the loss of AstroTuf for several years, we are back in full operation and in addition to competitive tournament hockey there is a packed itinerary of entertainment. After all, we are the fun hockey tournament known all over the world. Watersports offers everything and is everywhere throughout the year, but the National Surfing Championship usually takes place in November. For surfers it is a must and swimmers should not miss the Barbados Open Water Festival also in early November. Sporting Barbados doesn’t happen on its own, and we thank all our sponsors, especially during these tough economic times. We would like to thank Ministers Kerrie Symmonds and John King, Neil Barnard at 809 Design, Colin Moffatt our printers and a plethora of writers, photographers and the readers, who love Sporting Barbados and take it all over the world. Remember we are also on www.sportingbarbados.com and keep abreast of major events on our Facebook and Instagram social media channels. We hope you get as much fun from Sporting Barbados 2019 as we have had producing it! Pamela Hiles Editor

Log onto www.sportingbarbados.com for up to date news on events in Barbados! 8 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019


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CONTRIBUTORS

Clarence Hiles

Lucy Agace - Diving

Anne Tindale – Sailing

Amy Goulding - Rugby

Monique Archer Equestrian

Peter Marshall – Photography

Kristina Evelyn – Marathon and Water Festival

Robin Bradford

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F O R E W O R D

Foreword by the Honourable Kerrie Symmonds, M.P. Minister of Tourism and International Transport

It is my distinct pleasure as the new Minister of Tourism and International Transport to contribute to the 2019 publication of ‘Sporting Barbados’. I wish to assure readers that this Government is fully committed to fostering an enabling environment where we can aggressively promote Barbados as an outstanding sports destination. The Sports tourism niche provides numerous opportunities for this island to bolster its tourism arrivals and decrease seasonality in visitor travel patterns. Furthermore, this niche strengthens the diversity of our tourism product, thereby increasing our overall competitiveness in the global marketplace. To capitalize on these opportunities, it is critical for us to develop a sustainable marketing strategy targeted to a myriad of sporting activities. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that Barbados is top of mind for global sporting administrators and enthusiasts. We therefore need to reflect on how we can enhance the image and positioning of Barbados as a world class sports tourism destination. This requires collaboration between the ministries of tourism and sports and in the near future, we intent to determine how best we can use our available resources to improve our sporting infrastructure. Throughout the years, we have enjoyed hosting a number of successful major sporting events such as World Cup Cricket, World Cup Golf, the Top Gear Festival, the Race of Champions, the OK Dinghy Championships 12 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019

and the Finn Worlds Masters Championships. As a sporting country, we are proud of the Sir Garfield Sobers International Schools Cricket Tournament which has grown from strength to strength. In 2018, we received 255 visitor arrivals inclusive of players, coaching staff and visitors participating in that particular event. The 2019 edition of the tournament will feature for the first time a team from Switzerland. We will also be pleased to welcome a team from Australia following their absence from the competition for a number of years. There is also keen interest being shown by a team in Sri Lanka and we are hopeful that they can join us in 2019. Another staple on our calendar is the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race which was rebranded to Barbados Sailing Week in 2018. This classic event continues to appeal to visitors and attracted 41 vessels in 2018 compared to 37 in 2017. In the future, a fresh approach will be taken with the event featuring some exciting new additions. To appeal to a diverse sporting community a number of new events have been added to our sporting calendar including the Barbados Open Swim Festival which is the second largest of its kind in the Caribbean and attracts a greater proportion of visiting entries than local participants. The second Edition of the World Surf League (WSL) Barbados Surf Pro QS3000 Series is becoming one of the premier attractions on our sporting calendar. It has generated significant media value for Barbados with the WSL webcast and Facebook channels reflecting an estimated reach of 1.8 million viewers worldwide. In it’s third year, the Rugby Barbados World 7s continues to show potential for future growth. The organisers expect that the total confirmed teams will increase from 20 to 32 and travel partners in key market jurisdictions have developed a number of travel packages for prospective competitors together with their families and supporters. It is important for us to build on our legacy of sporting excellence and to use this vehicle to woo potential visitors to our shores. Travel for health and wellness as a primary motivation is

on the increase and this has also presented us with an opportunity to take advantage of another growing market. The Barbados Beach and Wellness Festival and the Barbados Cycling Festival slated for 2019 is appealing to those persons with a passion for cycling and beach activities. To ensure that our product offering is always fresh and exciting, we must continue to create new sporting activities and events. Through sports tourism we can build a vibrant and diverse sector, thereby showcasing our warm hospitality, beautiful landscapes, culture and heritage to entice sporting enthusiasts, friends and families to become loyal repeat visitors. On behalf of the Government of Barbados, I wish to congratulate Pamela and Clarence Hiles on another successful year of this publication and to thank them for their invaluable support to the development of sports tourism in Barbados. We look forward to their continued commitment and future collaborations as we seek to create a sporting dynasty in Barbados for our citizens and visitors. Kerrie Symmonds, M.P. Minister of Tourism and International Transport


#BornToDare

BLACK BAY


F O R E W O R D

Foreword by the Honourable John A. King, M.P. Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports Barbados is well, known for its stunning beauty and island charm, its tropical climate, white sandy beaches, azure waters, coral reefs and lush landscapes. Let me not forget to mention its lively local culture and a number of thrilling sporting activities, all combine to make this island an unforgettable holiday experience. For so many of our repeat visitors, this island has been the ideal location for sporting activities like cricket, golf, running, surfing, sailing, horse racing, polo and car racing. Some describe these adventures as ….. “An experience of a lifetime”. Each year, this unique island comprising only 166 square miles, plays host to a number of local and international sporting events and in 2019 it will be no different. At the start, we will turn our attention to the exciting cricket action at the historic Kensington Oval with the English Cricket Tour and the excitement will continue with the 30th running of the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport International event, the Sol Rally Barbados. The world renowned Garrison Race Track will be host to the most prestigious horse race on the island, the Sandy Lane Gold Cup scheduled for early March 2019. We will be privileged to see once again the staging of the Sir Garry Sobers Festival of Golf International Tournament, the Polo Mount Gay Regatta Event at Apes Hill and Holders Hill, the Barbados International Hockey Festival at the Garfield Sobers Complex, the Annual Sizzlin’ and Beach Volleyball Barbados Sunsplash, the Barbados Beach Wellness Festival and of course, finishing off the year with one of the most prestigious distance running events in the Caribbean, the Run Barbados Series in December 2019. In the past, our national socio-economic policy was to treat sports primarily for recreational value, focusing mostly on the health and social benefits. However, in today’s environment, many of our upcoming and talented youths have chosen a career in sports as a way of living. A major thrust of the Government of Barbados is to elevate sports as a central pillar of Barbadian socio - economic development and to make Barbados the region’s premier 14 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019

location for international tournaments, training camps, sporting exhibitions, sports conferences and sports science. In this era, where sports tourism has developed out of its recognition as a potential niche market, sports in Barbados has been a shining example that brings both first time and repeat visitors back to the island. While Barbados may offer plenty of sporting activities to keep our visitors especially those who are lovers of sports satisfied, others visitors will choose to simply relax on our beautiful white beaches, participate in heritage and museums tours, art happenings, duty-free shopping or just interacting with our friendly people at Oistins Bay Gardens on Friday nights. The Ministry of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports congratulates the family of Sporting Barbados, a well-read sports tourism magazine, which exalts the virtues of Barbadian sporting and leisure activities, on another very successful publication. May you continue to grow from strength to strength!! Best wishes for your 2019 Sporting Barbados!! John A. King, M.P. Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports


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Photo: Peter Marshall 16 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019


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Photo: Nicholas Bhajan, courtesy Barbados Rally Club 18 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019


Elegance is an attitude Simon Baker

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Photo: Randy Brooks 20 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019


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Photo: Peter Marshall 22 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019


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Che Allan at Soup Bowl. Photo: Mark Harris 24 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019


Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, Holetown, St. James 271-8230 Lower Broadstreet, Bridgetown, St. Michael 430-2412 Cruise Terminal, Brigdetown, St. Michael 431-9217 / 228-3325


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Photo: Peter Marshall 26 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019


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Photo: Peter Marshall 28 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019


B A R B A D O S

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BARBADOS IT FEELS LIKE HOME!

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Carlisle Bay

o why did you leave Melbourne Australia to come to Barbados and then never leave? A question posed to a visitor I recently met, who had been here six years and now resides permanently in Barbados. “It just felt like home…I love it here”. What else can we Bajans say? You come to Barbados and fall under the spell – this is one very very special place – a rock in the Atlantic Ocean with the biggest heart there is. Recently we have faced challenges with a sewage problem on a small stretch of the south coast, a welcome change in government, the economy taking a downturn, seaweed on our beautiful beaches…But we are fighting back. Our new Prime Minister, The Hon Mia Amor Mottley, is in control. It will take time, but her government is already making huge strides and putting systems in place to bring back the old Barbados and make it even better! We are so blessed to live on this island – it has so much to offer! Let’s give you a taste –

Beaches An early morning walk on a beach in Barbados should not be missed. One recent walk on Accra Beach revealed the most distinct and amazing turtle tracks – the turtles had come during the night to lay their eggs, covered the nests and retreated back into the ocean. Another time we arrived just in time to see the little turtles making their way to the water. All the visitors around were helping to make sure they made it. A truly moving experience. You can find some of the most beautiful beaches in the world here. If you’re looking for ‘action’ and waves – try the East Coast – Cattlewash and Bathsheba where the surfers congregate at Soup Bowl. The South Coast can also have great waves for body boarding and surfing. Some of the beaches like Worthing Beach are protected by reefs, which makes bathing there shallow and safe. The West Coast, also known as the Platinum Coast, is where the sea is most calm. There you can try a range of watersports, diving, paddle


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Limegrove

boarding, water skiing, jet skiing – miles of white sandy beaches await you with the odd beach bar or two just to provide tantalizing rum punches and delicious food! Try both!

Shopping You can find just about everything in Barbados. Duty Free Shopping in huge here. Don’t miss a trip into Bridgetown to see the flagship stores of Diamonds International and The Royal Shop where you will find exquisite jewelry and watches. A stop into Barbados’ oldest and most esteemed department store Cave Shepherd is a must. Three floors of just about anything you could want. And if you are looking for quality souvenirs? You can’t do better than the Best of Barbados with outlets islandwide. Artist Jill Walker started this gem of a store and her children now continue the legacy. In Holetown you will find the quaint Chattel House Village to meander around with special little shops or coffee at the popular Cafe Bar Carizma. Soak in the atmosphere. Not too far 34 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019

Cave Shepherd - Broad Street, Bridgetown


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B A R B A D O S

Oistins - Photo courtesy BTMI

away, the magnificent Limegrove Lifestyle Centre with the Cartier boutique, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, and many more quality and stylish stores and restaurants. This is definitely the most ‘posh’ mall in Barbados, but you will find it’s open courtyard design charming and when you get tired of shopping, enjoy a movie at the luxurious cinemas upstairs!

Eating out in Barbados

South coast boardwalk

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On hearing that people are coming to this island to some of the magnificent all inclusive places here, I always hope that sometime, they will venture out and experience other amazing restaurants on this island. The choice is endless – from the reasonably priced Chefette with their Barbeque Barn option, including a healthy salad bar to the stunning Champers Restaurant – set on a cliff overlooking Rockley Beach or Daphne’s on the fashionable West Coast. Delight in a quiet cocktail at Tapas on the South Coast, indulge in an exotic Indian on the water at Apsara in St Lawrence Gap or join


B A R B A D O S

Codrington College

the fun at the Waterfront CafÊ in Bridgetown for great music and Bajan food! Of course, you must not miss a night at Oistins, Fridays are the big nights! So much to do, so many flavours and so much rum to try! You will just have to do what most people do – come again and again and again!

Things to do Never a dull moment! See the island the rugged way on a rough and tumble Island Safari Land Rover! Not your thing? Head out in sedate air-conditioned comfort with Sun Tours. Whatever you choose, an island tour is a must! You could not imagine how different this island is from one coast to the other. See the island from the water! Enjoy a fully loaded tour on the Tiami Catamarans! A day many holidaymakers say is not to be missed. Swim with the turtles; enjoy a delicious buffet lunch and all you can eat. The turquoise waters await you. And what about the heritage on the island? Take a stroll through Bridgetown. Go into the 38 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2018

Garrison Savannah


B A R B A D O S

Swimming with the turtles - photo courtesy Brian Talma

Museum in the Houses of Parliament, get your picture taken with Lord Nelson and then go to the Garrison Area and explore George Washington House, the Military Cemetery, the underground tunnels, visit the Barbados Museum…there is history everywhere on this once British island. Our Festivals – we have loads – Food and Rum Festival, Gospel Festival, Fish Festival and the crème de la crème – the colourful energetic Crop Over Festival – coupled with all the sporting festivals, you will never lack for something to do. So what are you waiting for? Take a tour, hire a car – get out and explore – there is no place like home – there is no place like Barbados! www.visitbarbados.org

Kadooment!

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CRIC Photo: Randy Brooks 42 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019


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LOVELY CRICKET Photo courtesy CPL 43 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019


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Kensington Oval - Photo courtesy CPL

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There is a great ring about “Cricket lovely Cricket� from the lyrics of Calypso singers throughout the West Indies and with good reason as they invented, not only Calypso music, but also the cricket brand of entertainment. As early as 50 years ago, West Indian cricketers produced the style and exuberance that was eventually re-invented as IPL (India Premier League) and Big Bash T20 in Australia. These tournaments pack huge crowds, swelled by millions of television viewers from all over the world. T20 cricket is full of entertainment, fun and outrageous shotplaying, much to the delight of spectators, noncricketers and ladies aplenty. The West indies was slow to market lucrative T20 cricket, but we are now on the bandwagon after several years, and the series normally takes place in August, although subject to change as cricket fluctuates in the merry-go-round of international cricket. The cricket purists will be abhorred to concede to CPL (Caribbean Premier League) tournaments, but the facts are simple-big crowds flock to watch it all over the West Indies and a

paltry number of spectators watch Test cricket. There are many reasons to explain the demise of cricket in the West Indies after 30 years of dominance, but Caribbean stars still feature in T20 cricket, sadly not in the West Indies team. Loyalty comes at a cost, and many players would love the opportunity to secure lucrative T20 contracts everywhere. At least 11 West Indies players ply their trade independently of the region they once introduced. However, most of these hired guns are included in CPL franchises so they will be involved. A host of new spectators now watch cricket all over the world, and Barbados is no different. There is a place for Test cricket, but the fringe cricketers are attracted by the shorter matches, the big hitting, the revelry, the music, the dancers, the low prices, the fast-food. Almost inevitably, the close encounters produce tense finishes to intensify the entertainment. Millions of TV viewers watch IPL and Big Bash cricket all over the world, and now West Indies and Barbados can share the same entertainment and enjoyment.


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Kensington Oval - Photo courtesy CPL

Photo - Randy Brooks

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Photo - Randy Brooks

Photo - Randy Brooks


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Of course, Barbados cricket still offers different brands! West Indies Test cricket, ODIs and T20s take place at Kensington Oval for both Men’s and Women teams. The University of the West Indies Campus close to the Kensington has its own Oval with an excellent ground. Barbados never introduced cricket, but many people around the world think they did because the country has produced so many outstanding cricketers. Think about it! Seven Barbadian Knighthoods that include household names like Sir Everton Weekes, Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Clyde Walcott, Sir Wesley Hall, Sir Conrad Hunte, Sir Charlie Griffith and arguably the greatest player in the world-Sir Garfield Sobers. And, all from only a population of 290, 000 people. The statue of Sir Garfield Sobers is at the entrance of the Kensington Oval, and for cricket enthusiasts’ photographs are a must. Another ‘must-do’ is to visit the Barbados Cricket Legends Museum close to Fontabelle Road, which is packed with memorabilia and souvenirs. You should add a copy from Pages Book store of “50 Barbadian Sporting Greats-1966-2016” to mark the island’s Jubilee Year to your shopping basket. It is packed with beautiful photographs and text that include 14 cricketers. Also available from sportingb@caribsurf.com Barbados is often quoted as the Mecca of West Indies cricket and with good reason as many clubs tour from overseas or fans come to watch Test cricket. Any cricket enthusiast worth its salt must include Barbados in their CV! Club tours can be arranged via Sporting Barbados, who will link the right person including schools. Barbados has a tried-and-tested series over 30 years called the Sir Garfield Schools International Schools Tournament. It takes place in July, and includes the final at Kensington Oval. However, tours can take place anywhere and everywhere as we have sand, sea and sunshine throughout. England returns to the West Indies and Barbados in January for a series of Tests and One Days. This normally brings the enthusiastic Barmy Army and a huge following. We look forward to seeing Kensington Oval come alive and some good competition. Cricket lovely cricket abounds in Barbados.

Photo courtesy CPL

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BARBADOS GETS TOP MARKS FOR SCHOOL TOURING! Pamela Hiles talks to Dean Roberts of the St Martins School in Essex, England about their fantastic school tour to the island.

Why Barbados? What enticed you to come on a sporting vacation here? We found the Bajan history of cricket and netball a real draw for both the teachers and the families at our school. Barbados plays such an important role in the history of how cricket developed, and its place in the sporting world today continues to impress. Also, the wide range of activities were really appealing. We liked being able to choose from a variety of sporting and social activities. In addition to this, Barbados is such a safe place, we felt happy bringing our students here. But most of all, Barbados and the Caribbean is somewhere special. There isn’t anywhere else in the world like it. The trip Was primarily Cricket and netball with 49 boys and girls aged 13-15. We would maybe look to try more sports when we next come out though as the locals spoke about their love of football! How did you find the competition in Barbados? 50 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019

Was it competitive? Fun? The competition was very good - very competitive. There were a couple of games that we found too competitive (when we were playing cricket) but all very accommodating and played in the right spirit. We played against two players who represent the Barbados National team for the respective age group and it was a real pleasure to see such high quality cricket! Both sets of fixtures were competitive, especially the cricket! We only managed to win 2 out of 6 and it was evident from the first ball bowled and first pass thrown that the Bajans love their sport! The students loved playing the games and found the children to be very welcoming and fun to compete against. How did you find the facilities in Barbados? What was your favorite day out? We went on the Island Safari followed by the Harbour Lights and this was voted the best day closely followed by the Tiami Catamaran. I think the staff would say the Tiami Cruise as it was a

chance to relax on the Catamaran. The Tiami crews looked after us with food and drink and it was also a chance to swim with turtles at the end of the week. Although all were special in their own way ( we loved the Boatyard because it was unique experience) we found the Harbour lights and Safari so much fun – whereas the Harrison Caves and Welchman Hall Gully were important for culture. Does your school take trips like these often? Many local and European tours. Every year we do a big trip outside Europe and these are not only sport tours but also Drama, Art and Music. What was the overall impression of the island? Amazing place, with amazing friendly people. Would you bring another group back? I am already discussing our trip back in 2020!


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Royal Westmoreland

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t’s a golfing paradise for everyone. You can be a champion at the height of the game as Barbados courses can cater for all, but equally the average or honest performer can also be accommodated. Different strokes for different players is the name of the game, and everyone at any level can be just as happy. Handicaps protect the average player, as the ace performer will always be wary of high handicaps! And, when men compete against lady golfers beware at your peril as they have separate tee boxes that shorten the distance, and if the standard scratch is lower from the Men’s then they get an extra shot! Maybe it’s not so fair after all? The 19th hole is the territory of bragging rights and hard luck stories. Usually the stories get longer as the drinks increase because all golf clubs have excellent clubhouses that are

stocked with refreshments and food. Après golf games may last longer than the matches! Golf courses in Barbados are usually determined by price, ability or availability. It is rare that rain would spoil a game, but it does happen occasionally. Availability will restrict the Green Monkey Course as it is only available to Sandy Lane Hotel patrons, while Royal Westmoreland and Apes Hill are not generally available to non members, although different slots of tee times for visitors are available, especially in the off season. Playing at these venues will be difficult in the busy season before and after Christmas. The Sandy Lane Country Club Course, Barbados Golf and Rockley offer Pay-to-Pay arrangements. At a glance let’s see what Barbados golf has to offer…

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Many top golfers often dispute which is best amongst Apes Hill, Royal Westmoreland and the Green Monkey course. There is certainly room to debate as the Caribbean has some beautiful designs with idyllic scenery to match. Apes Hill combines polo, tennis and jogging to supplement excellent facilities, and an idyllic West Coast sunset in the clubhouse at 6pm. The club prides itself on an environmental strategy as the forests, lakes, monkeys, birdlife, real estate align with design layout. The back Nine you can view both West and East coastlines as you journey from the 11th. The 12th has been deemed as the Signature hole 54 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019

and it certainly looks stunning. At the highest tee shot it is an imposing scene, surrounded by high rock faces all around. Add circulating winds, and you’ll be delighted to drop to the green any time! Chris Cole and Jeff Potts designed the 72-par course, and they have made best use of the undulating topography. Players must hit straight, as the stray balls into the jungle and heavy undergrowth are unlikely to be found. Every drive is important, as the 1st is a par-5 against wind, and although the 18th is with the wind and par-4, the errant shot could end in the bunkers or in the trees and destroy your game.

The 12th/13th/14th holes are big favourites as the scenery is simply stunning, but the 16th could also be a contender to the 12th, as it looks beautiful. The par-3 over the lakes in the old quarry is imposing, and a photo- moment for sure. The Pro Shop has colourful attire and accessories and a Professional can assist with lessons. Linda Williams is the expert with real estate for sale, including fractional, and rentals for short and long term. Rentals will receive concessions when staying at Apes Hill. For more information contact www.apeshillclub.com


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The Royal Westmoreland clubhouse overlooks the stunning rolling hills of the West Coast. Robert Trent Jones (Jr) designed the layout and his work has been widely acclaimed as a masterpiece. Jones’ design greatly benefitted from the rock faces, gullies, bush, and lakes. When set with a high difficult factor it will test any top golfers in the world, but the course is normally set for the average golfer to enjoy. The difficult factor increases with wind, as facing the Green will present big problems, especially if you tend to be wayward. Amongst the many highlights of Westmoreland, the par-3s feature four holes and each can be treacherous unless you hit straight shots. Gullies abound on the 3rd/12th and 15th, while the 7th has the additional challenge of a small lake. Many balls are at the bottom! There are a variety of tee boxes used at the par-3s and whirling winds can test anyone. The 8th hole is 365 yards long and marks cricketer Sir Garfield Sobers who once held the world record against Pakistan of 365 not out at Sabina Park, Jamaica.

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The 18th tee box is the highest one at Westmoreland as the view spans the West Coast with yachts and cruise liners aplenty. After surveying the landscape, the golfer is faced with a daunting challenge and a decision to make. Hit straight, and you can avoid the gullies and jungle alongside fairways. Most low handicappers will attempt to approach the Green from the elevated position, while others may lag in front of the Green and then pitch and put to par. The par may be suffice to win the game, but a birdie may be worth the risk. Rock faces with colourful bougainvillea bushes complement the beauty around fairways alongside some spectacular properties. Royal Westmoreland has an excellent Pro Shop, accessories, driving range, putting Green, refreshments, dining facilities, tennis, and a Real Estate office that will give all the information to buy or rent property. For more information contact www.royalwestmoreland.com/golf


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The Sandy Lane Resort combines the Green Monkey, Country Club and Old Nine courses to make it the most formidable golf attraction in the Caribbean; in addition the Sandy Lane Hotel is famous all over the world. The Clubhouse is the core centre of the Resort with administration offices, Pro Shop and excellent dining facilities. The Green Monkey course is an old limestone quarry designed by Tom Fazio with green fees limited to Sandy Lane Hotel patrons. The layout is superbly manicured and maintained with beautiful colourful flowers and plants. The main feature is the Signature hole at the 16th adjoining a lake at the back. A Green Monkey has been carved by the green-keeper amidst the bunkers. It is a spectacular setting against

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the cliff overlooking the lake and 16th Green. Players start from an elevated setting across stunning coastlines and what a pity we can’t see it more often? The Country Club course was used in 2006 to feature the World Play Championship won by Bernard Langer and Marcus Siem. A Pay-asyou-Play for amateurs it is a formidable test at the back tees, although not as demanding on the mid or front tees. Winds will influence everyone on high ground, but the layout offers less of a grind, with leisurely open fairways. Tom Fazio has done a great job combined with excellent maintenance and manicuring. There are five lakes on the 7,000 yards par-72 layout. Once again with West Coast courses the views are stunning.

The Sandy Lane Golf Course was built in 1961, but in later years significant changes took place at the Hotel. Tom Fazio transformed the Sandy Lane courses, and part of old course was made into the Country Club. The Old Nine is the original course. Patrons of the old hotel loved the layout, and for many years it was their playground. The Old Nine is still a formidable challenge, as the tight fairways require straight shots to stop entry into the real estate that adjoins the fairways. A big feature is the 7th Signature Hole, which basically involves a pitch from an elevated tee box, often blind at the longest. The course is par-36. For more information contact www.sandylane.com/barbados-golf


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Irishman Roddy Carr is largely attributed with the re-birth of Barbados Golf Club, formerly Durants after it was closed for over 30 years and became derelict. Roddy brought enjoyable golf to Durants, and removed many of the fairways that were long grinds facing wind. The wind still blows at times, but the layout was visionary and user-friendly. Par is 72 reaching 6,805 yards, and one of the features is capturing water from coral waste ground to trap in a lake alongside the 7th/15th and 16th holes. The user-friendly design captured more golfers into the sport, and the membership enjoys healthy competitive tournaments. Barbados Golf Club is often referred to as the heart of local golf as the club does sterling work to promote young players. The BGA (Barbados Golf Association) is centred at the Barbados Golf Club, and club Professionals provide lessons at all ages. The driving range alongside the 18th provides excellent space for tuition. BGC begins on the 1st tee box with a very reachable par-5, a par-3 at the 2nd and another

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very reachable par-4 at the 3rd. The hard work starts at the 4th facing wind, which was smart golf by the designer. Barbados Golf Club is wide and expansive, and you have to work hard to get out of bounds! However, the exception is the 16th deemed “Amen Corner” where you can’t hide and have to carry the lake over 150 yards, usually against wind. Of course, the drop zone will oblige, if required. The 18th is a great hole to finish where risk can be rewarded, or the game can be lost in competition. It is a par-5 overlooking the Green in front of the clubhouse, and for the big hitters you can reach in two, but there is a little pond that can capture the best. However, a birdie or an eagle can be very rewarding in front of the clubhouse with bragging rights! Barbados Golf Club has a lively restaurant, bar, Pro Shop, changing facilities and perhaps of greater importance-it is very affordable! Tourists and cruise line visitors are very welcome. For more information contact www.barbadosgolfclub.com


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Rockley Golf Club is the oldest Barbados course spanning over 93 years. It is nine holes, small, lined with apartments throughout, has out-of-bounds at every hole, and is ringed with bunkers, trees and monkeys. But, Rockley is the buzz every Saturday afternoon, and a lively place in the season. Rockley sleeps in the summer, although the locals have tournaments twice every month, and the Ladies play on Wednesdays together. However, everything changes in winter as the “Snowbirds” arrive. Rockley has a six-month season from November to April and tournaments take place every Saturday from then until late April. Snowbirds have been visitors for up to 30 years, and many are owners who live in the complex. Rockley has enjoyed the sponsorship of many firms and companies over the years, and in return they make generous contributions to good causes and charity. Rockley is unique for many reasons, and there’s a lot more to Rockley that you may not know. For example, the Men and Ladies play together in tournaments every Saturday, visitors are welcome to play in these tournaments and 62 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019

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can win prizes, Rockley has its own Club Captain and Ladies Captain, many of the owners and members combined to buy Rockley Golf Lands Inc and protect the perpetuity of the golf course, Rockley has its own Directors and Board called Bajan Associates Inc, and a website Newsletter provides news across the word to members. Rockley may not be in the frontline of Barbados golf, but it costs less than most clubs, and you can play throughout the year. Top golfers understandably will want to play 18hole courses, but Rockley has its own niche and people love it. The course may lack the finetuning of maintenance and manicuring, but it works for everyone in the club. And, the low handicap players still find it difficult, as local knowledge is vital. Managing around the course is the real test, not distance, and the trees at the centre of the 7th fairway and at the 8th Green are there for a reason! But, Rockley has the buzz every Saturday afternoon, and is a lively place in the season. For more information contact www.rockleygolfclub.com


SANDY LANE CHARITABLE TRUST The Sandy Lane Charitable Trust has a single mission “ helping the underprivileged children of Barbados” by whatever means necessary! It certainly does just that in the most incredible way. This amazing Trust hosts a golf tournament and gala dinner at the Sandy Lane Country Club

Winning Team. Russ and Trish Abbott. Mrs Judy Kershaw and Peter Harris

annually, raising millions to help the children of this island. The Trustees of this Trust, especially the hardworking and unstoppable Pippa Challis and her team, literally move mountains of red tape to achieve the almost impossible. The work of the Trust is vast, ranging from the Sunshine Early Stimulation Centre and John Payne School for Exceptional Children to primary school counselling, community outreach programmes and more recently, the new Residential Psychiatric Care Provision for Children. You can see their work on

Second Placed Team - Yvonne Brewer, Ken Rohan, John Kelsey Frey, Ian Woosnam.

www.sandylanecharitable trust.org The Gala in 2018 did not disappoint and as usual was fully booked and well attended. It’s become the event not to be missed in the Barbados Winter Season calendar. The golf is competitive, but when the sun sets, it’s a Who’s Who at the luxurious Sandy Lane Country Club Venue. During the evening, a short video is always shown on the work of the Trust. It’s difficult to watch as you sit in your finery, realizing how lucky people are. After dinner MC and Auctioneer comedian Russ Abbott hammers home the message to patrons and sponsors and many guests dig deep to support this worthwhile and much needed charity. Barbados is fortunate to have people driving this organization! Derrick Smith, Trustee and Grand Patron 64 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019

Nigel Lythgoe and Barbadian Singer – Trinity Clarke.


Sir Cliff Richard and Becky Baeling Lythgoe.

Third placed Team – Dermot Desmond (Chairman, Sandy Lane Hotel) Frank Berry, Gay Smith, Ross Desmond & Maeve McManus

Auctioneer – Russ Abbott

Ian Woosnam and trustee Pippa Challis

Prime Minister of Barbados – Rt Honourable Miss Mia Amor Mottley.

Mr and Mrs Michael Tabor and friends with concert pianist Luka Okros.


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The Massy United Derby, Diamonds International Boxing Day race meet and the Sandy Lane Gold Cup!

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here are many highlights in Caribbean Horseracing, but the two jewels are in Barbados! There are three seasons during the year, but the limelight centres on the Sandy Lane Gold Cup in March, and then on the Massy United Derby in August. Plan your holidays accordingly if you love racing! Many do! The Sandy Lane Gold Cup is very special and well known throughout the world. The international media loves the glitz and many visitors make a point to include visiting the Garrison on the first Saturday in March. Thousands congregate into the Oval grounds at Hastings, encompassing a wonderful legacy of history, sports, military, buildings, and stadium. The Garrison is surrounded by impressive military buildings that include Government offices, the Barbados Museum, colonial real estate, George Washington House, Drill Hall and St Ann’s Fort. The Garrison Track includes the Barbados Turf Club, offices, stables, Hospitality boxes, Grandstand, Rugby clubhouse and pitch, two Barbados Defence

football pitches, a running circle, basketball court and kites throughout the Easter period. Also, the Garrison has a tunnel inside the ground that was used by the military over 200 years, and may ultimately feature as a tourist attraction. Barbados is very proud that the area is now a UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Racing dates back to the 1800s when the British Cavalry used it for drills, celebrations, and sport. Initially the horses were used solely for military purposes, but the soldiers got bored from inactivity without war, so they introduced racing. Initially they raced within the Cavalry, but added the plant owners. The Derby was originated in 1840 and polo was added in 1880. The Derby was the highlight of the sports calendar with the rich and famous joining the military, and the working class had a day off to mark the occasion. The British Military and the rich planters owned the horses so they could only participate. In due course, the Polo players moved to Holder’s Fields in 1966, but racing developed within the Garrison, and the Barbados Turf Club formed in 1906 and


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established its base. Barbados has moved in leaps and bounds these days, and the Turf Club plan to include floodlights with night racing to compliment their impressive surrounds. However, that lies in the horizon, and preparations for the Gold Cup always take precedence every year. The Gold Cup dates back to 1982 and everyone wants to win the majestic trophy owners, trainers, jockeys, and connections. Several years ago Sandy Lane replaced Cockspur as the sponsors, and their involvement injected substantial prize money to attract local and overseas entrants. The build up prior to the race sees British Airways deliver this impressive Gold Cup to the Sandy Lane owners, and on Saturday the city is buzzing all around. Eight races precede the main race and a parade, anthems, music, and MC add to the atmosphere with interviews of both local and overseas visitors. Last year was another victory for the popular American owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who added three to their titles. Dorsett won the previous two years, but Ken made amends with a rousing win on Sir Dudley Digges with jockey 70 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019

Jalon Samuel on board. Trainer Michael Maker also added three trainer titles, but he has a long way to catch the inimitable Bill Marshall with seven wins. Ken will also have to emulate Sir David Seale, the current Barbados Turf Club President with an impressive seven wins. The Massy United Insurance Derby in August rounds off the Barbados Triple Crown Series and is keenly contested with bumper prize money and a bevy of bragging rights. Crowds flock to the Derby Race Day and at $10 entry to the Grandstand it is no-brainer. Alternatively, crowds are free on the perimeter with Tote available and refreshment on call with food and drinks aplenty. The Derby lies in the second season and on the third season the main highlight is the Diamonds International Boxing Day Races. The three seasons during the year usually last for six Saturdays, and there are many features, including the Ansa McAl Festival and Barbados International Jockey Challenge in November. Barbados racing at the Garrison is a must for visitors! www.barbadosturfclub.org


H O R S E

R A C I N G

The winning connections

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DIAMONDS INTERNATIONAL RACE DAY

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POLO What is so special about polo in Barbados? Read on...

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olo in Barbados is known all over the world. Although small in numbers it is popular, and visitors love the International Polo Season, which is normally from Christmas until early May. Visitors often ask, what is the appeal, yet thousands return after two decades. And the reason is simple….we offer much more than just polo, we offer a package that includes social conviviality, glitter, razzmatazz, personalities, excitement, character, tradition, wine, women and music, usually with champers aplenty! Polo is an occasion, not just a competition between horsemanship, although they are very talented players. People want to be seen as much as they want to watch, and the jocular commentary adds much to the entertainment and enjoyment. If you haven’t been to polo you haven’t been in Barbados. On the field the polo action is thrilling,

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exciting and fast. Players don’t mess in competition and the matchmaker has an important role to match teams of similar standards or it can be dangerous. The British Cavalry from the 1880s have been credited with the introduction of Polo to Barbados after regiments occupied in India learned the game. British Engineers drained the swampland at the Garrison in Hastings and Derby races rivalry started in 1840. It was initiated to welcome local plantation owners, as they owned most of the horses outside the army. Derby Races were spectacular occasions with the rich and famous flocking to such a glamour event, unprecedented at the time. Polo took a long time to reach the popular heights it now holds, although the Barbados Polo Club was formed in 1882. However, when the army left in early 1900 the polo struggled for many years and in the post-war era was closed. After World War II it restarted and in 1965 the Polo Club left the Garrison for sunnier


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climes at Holder’s Hill on the West Coast, thanks to the Patronage of the Kidd family. The club has remained in that location since, but it took over 30 years before the glamour events were held. The rebirth of Barbados polo is attributed to a new breed of affluent businessmen post-2000, who had the resources to ply equestrian sport and then expand with other polo grounds. The fairytale of Bajan polo has remained since including the impressive Apes Hill Polo with its clubhouse and grandstand. More polo players were attracted to the sport, including ladies, although it was curtailed to players that own horses or had access. The glamour was provided with the influx of thousands of spectator interest from overseas visitors and celebrities aplenty. Spectators loved polo with easy access to grounds, fanned by photographers and newspapers from all over the world. Barbados polo arrived postMillennium and overseas polo clubs wanted to experience the combination of polo with hospitality, sand, sea and sunshine. Bajan hosts provided generous hospitality, including the ponies that they played in competition. 80 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2018

Barbados formed strong bonds with friends in sport and Cheshire in England and the Villages in Florida have been travelling to the island for several decades. The Barbados polo product can’t match the strength of Argentina, but the connections were built and talented players and grooms are now part of the fabric in polo Barbados. A host of other overseas clubs now feature in the International Season after Christmas. Overseas clubs have now travelled from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and many others. Barbados is now one of the “in” places in world polo. During the International season there are many tournaments, and some of the overseas players are invited to the bigger events including the Battle of the Sexes and the Barbados Open. Ladies and Men playing against each other seem to arouse the passions and of course, the spectators always support the Gals! Sponsorship is vital to the promotion of Barbados polo, boosted by a website, social media and an annual glossy magazine Polo Barbados which is free on line and islandwide. Personalities and celebs are not solely the

domain of overseas visitors as Barbados has its own. Sir Charles “COW” Williams is the best known for his support and the owner of the Apes Hill complex. If he wasn’t already known in world polo his entry into the Guinness Book of Records has been guaranteed, as he was the oldest player in a competitive match several years ago. He could also be an entry for his fiery vocabulary and competitiveness! Barbados polo owes a lot to “COW.” The President of the Barbados Polo Club is Bruce Bayley, one of the big visionaries in 2000 who subsequently developed Clifton Polo Club introduced the Barbados Open. He was the catalyst that welcomed many leading players from all over the world. The Club Captain is Richard Deane, well known as a very successful trainer at the Turf Club with his son Adam, nicknamed the “Professional” and a brilliant young player. Spectators are welcomed to all events and encouraged to enjoy the camaraderie of the clubhouse scene. There are midweek matches, but the finale usually takes place on Sunday late afternoon. Polo in Barbados is special.


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hen the Barbados Equestrian Eventing team – Monique Archer(who had never ridden in an event before September 2017), her daughter Zoe Archer(17 years old) and Laura Smith arrived in Colombia with their trusted horses for the Central American and Caribbean games in 2018 they were definitely an unknown entity. They met the minimum requirements for a team with 3 riders compared to the other teams with 5 riders each. This small but powerful allwomen’s team rose to the challenge against much larger and well established countries. They left with heads held high after a hard ridden competition and are certainly well known now. Joss Gray, their incredible coach, who fell in love with Barbados and their dream, trained the girls over two years to get them to the games. Many sacrifices were made by all on the team – both Monique and Laura work full time and Zoe had to opt out of school for a year. Following their start in Barbados, they spent long spells in the US with a rigorous training and competition schedule. For those who don’t know, Eventing is one of the toughest of the Equestrian disciplines. Horse and Rider combinations compete over three days in Dressage, Cross Country and finally Show Jumping. It is demanding for rider and horse. In Monique’s words “Success depends not only on how well prepared you and your horse

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are physically but you MUST believe in yourself! I did believe we could do this!” And do it they did. The courses were tough with nearly 1/3 of competitors being eliminated on the second day of Cross Country. Combine a difficult course with competing in front of thousands and you have a high-pressured scenario, but in the end, mother, daughter and Laura were presented with their BRONZE medals for all the world to see. Monique herself was 0.6 points away from an individual medal. This achievement was no mean feat for these ladies and it is with great pride that we as a nation salute them. They have made this little island mighty proud and we look forward to seeing them as they strive towards the Olympics!

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MASTERS FOOTBALL COUP

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Era Masters TT - Champions!

arbados has its own World Cup Football Final akin every year! It is the Banks Barbados International Masters Football Festival, which attracts teams from all over the region, and in North America and the UK. Teams are by Invitation because the demand is strong and the tournaments have now completed 22 years last season. In truth, it is a Football Festival as the clubs attract many supporters and they enjoy other facilities and amenities at the same time. Clubs renew annually because there are now waiting lists, as the organizers limit participants to 48, of which 26 are local. A recent addition to the fixture list now includes the Over-50s to align to the Over40s. These old guys don’t want to age! And there was a major development in 2018 with a new venue at the Holder’s Polo Field and the opportunity to attract the West Coast fans to Masters Football. The response was terrific and a big boost for the organizers spearheaded by Chairman Paul ‘Starsky’ Wright, Secretary Adrian ‘Ocky’ Donovan and Fixture Coordinator Grant Trebble. It came from

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an offer from the Polo Club and the ‘Big Three’ snapped at the opportunity. Plans are already proceeding at the same venue in 2019 as they start from season to season every year. It marks the end of an era, as Dayrell’s Road was the Mecca, better known as Wanderers Cricket Club. The tournament prides itself on organization and the program sets stringent rules during the Whitsun weekend. Teams must be punctual at the venues and the Monday finals are now contested at Holder’s Hill with the leading contenders. The 2018 season produced another historic achievement as the Trinis competed with a victory in the Over-40s and Over-50s tournaments. Era Masters TT and X Men TT made the coup after Vincy Masters had won in 2017, and looked likely to repeat. However, Era Masters TT proved invincible without conceding a goal, including a comprehensive victory against Baylands 4-0. However, the Over-50s against Pele Masters wasn’t so straightforward as penalties followed a 1-1


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draw. But X Men TT made no mistake in the outcome winning 4-2 on penalties. The Plates Over-40s was won by newcomers Violet Tourers of Jamaica 3-1 against the Christ Church men from Gall Hill Legends, and the popular Toronto FC of Friends won 2-0 in the Over-50s against another local team Carlton ATP. There was no doubt about the MVP (Most Valuable Player) because the Era Masters TT goalkeeper Trevor Nottingham never conceded a goal. That’s impressive! The Whitsun Festival proved once again to be a huge success despite election turmoil after the BLP (Barbados Labour Party) emphatically took the reins from the DLP (Democratic Labour Party). The new Government were not the only winners as Sports Tourism shone yet again on this tournament and the beneficiaries were Airlines, hotels, apartments, guesthouses, bars, tours, restaurants, caterers et al. Banks Breweries Beer, the principal sponsors should be delighted as production rose astronomically over this weekend! The sponsors also include Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, Scotia Bank and the Barbados Polo Club. The organizers estimate it boosts the economy by $3 million and well done by the Trinidad Defence Force that added 84 to their teams and supporters last year. There is no doubt the tournament is a winner! 92 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2018

Bliss!

Paul ‘Starsky’ Wright & Grant Trebble


M O T O R S P O R T

WINDS OF CHANGE

Jeff Panton - Photo: Nicholas Bhajan 94 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019


The island’s ability to successfully stage major motor sport events with international appeal is helping to grow its reputation on the world stage in both circuit racing and stage rallying. Story by Mark Wheeler

Dane Skeete & Tyler Mayhew - Photo: Himal Reece

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On the victory podium for Sol Rally Barbados - Photo: Himal Reece

hile you could be excused for expecting cricket to dominate the sporting headlines in the West Indies, and to draw the highest spectator numbers, it ain’t necessarily so in Barbados. Motor sport, which dates back to the late 1930s in the island, is arguably the number one spectator sport, and the Barbados Rally Club (BRC), founded in 1957, is the oldest Club in the island devoted to a sport which doesn’t involve a ball. The BRC will mark the 30th running of its 96 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019

premier event in 2019 – it has been known as Sol Rally Barbados for the past 10 years – which has become a ‘must-do’ event for rally crews worldwide; in 2018, the Club played host to more than 40 overseas crews for the fourth year in a row, pumping millions of dollars into the economy, much in foreign exchange, with more than 4,350 visitor nights over the three weeks of ‘rally season’. While the UK remains the major source market for international visitors, one team from New Zealand shipped three cars for the first time on the 17,500-mile round trip to an event which has become a firm fixture on their annual calendar. While island competitors and fans welcome the visitors eagerly, they are also keen for a local win – Jamaica’s Jeffrey Panton and Michael Fennell Jnr claimed their fourth straight win in 2018, island legend Roger Skeete the last Bajan winner, when he achieved the most recent of his impressive 13 victories in Sol RB14.

As global motor sport evolves, however, so must the sport in the Caribbean . . . and the winds of change look set to blow through Sol RB19. Next year, the BRC switches to a new three-year cycle of Vehicle Regulations (2019 to 2021), under which World Rally Cars built later than 2008 will no longer be eligible and participation by cars built for the worldwide ‘R5’ category is encouraged. Club Chairman Mark Hamilton explains: "It is essential for the Barbados Rally Club to create regulations which will sustain our local competition environment, but we also have to make sure that all those overseas visitors who have played such an important part in making Sol Rally Barbados a ‘bucket list’ event for crews around the world are not disadvantaged, or discouraged from entering.” The island’s first introduction to R5 came in 2016, when M-Sport’s Elfyn Evans finished third in Sol RB16 in a Ford Fiesta R5, while Britain’s Tom Preston and Andy Scott finished ninth and


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Mark Thompson & Kurt Seabra - Photo: Himal Reece

The Fans! - Photo: Nicholas Bhajan

Martin Stockdale - Photo: Nicholas Bhajan

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Start of Sol Rally Barbados - Photo: Himal Reece


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Roger Mayers flat out on Sol Rally Barbados - Photo: Himal Reece

11th last year in Skoda Fabia and Fiesta R5 respectively. While Panton and former UK National Rally Champion Paul Bird were looking to sell the Ford Focus WRCs in which they have won six of the past seven events between them late last year, further take-up of R5 had already started in the region. Trinidad & Tobago’s David Coelho finished third in his brand-new Fiesta on a Motoring Club of Barbados Inc (MCBI) speed event in August 2018. And it is not only in rallying where evolution is under way. With the Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC) going through some challenging times, new regional inter-action is developing. The multi-discipline Bimma Cup, organised by Friends of Motorsport - the organisation behind the Vaucluse Raceway in Barbados – is growing fast, catering for identical rear-wheel-drive BMW 318ti Compacts, which offer ear-to-ear grin-inducing fun for the driver. From a handful of cars early in 2017, numbers had risen to around 50 by the end of 2018; alongside domestic competitions, they also compete in a regional series, which reached its conclusion in Barbados in November, after earlier rounds in Antigua and 100 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019

St Vincent. With only limited performance and safety modifications allowed to an inexpensive base car, the Bimma Cup offers a cost-effective first step on the ladder for newcomers or a way back in for ex-competitors. Then there’s the Radical Caribbean SR3 Cup, an evolution of the Suzuki Challenge Series, which reached the end of its three-year run in 2017. While the Swift Cup saloons were phased out, the Suzuki-powered Radical sports cars have continued, re-launched as a regional series, with two rounds at Bushy Park (one each on the International and the shorter National configuration), plus visits to Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana. While growth in the first year was slower than hoped-for, 2019 promises more, as rising young stars such as T&T’s Isa Deen and Kristian Boodoosingh challenge the established names, like former Champions Suleman Esuf and Sean Maloney of Barbados. Also showing strong growth is the Barbados Association of Dragsters & Drifters (BADD), which runs the short, sharp discipline long been popular in the island. ‘Acceleration Tests’, as they were known decades ago, ran on closed public roads and only rarely with two cars running side by side. The inclusion of a

one-eighth-mile drag strip during the redevelopment of Bushy Park gave drag racing a home, which attracts spectators in their numbers, particularly since the installation of all-arena lighting allows events to run after dark, in the cool evening air. BADD has also joined the move to more regional competition, particularly in St Vincent & The Grenadines, where the construction of a new airport left the previous available as a quarter-mile drag strip. And, while all of this is happening ‘at home’, one product of grass-roots motor sport in the island, former Barbados Karting Association (BKA) Champion Zane Maloney, has been competing in Europe. As this was written, the teenager was preparing for the 2018 World Championship at Kristianstad in Sweden, having already flown his home country’s flag high all season, finishing fourth in the year-end standings of the CIK European Championship and third in the German Karting Championship (DKM). So, while times are a-changing in island motor sport, keep an eye on newsfeeds about European karting, where you might just spot a familiar flag to remind you of your last holiday in the Caribbean!


M O T O R S P O R T

Bimma Cup action at Bushy Park Barbados

Group 4 action at Bushy Park Barbados

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Sol Rally Barbados action - Photo: Corey Reece


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WORLDCLASS ACTION by Amy Golding

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ugby in Barbados took another leap forward in 2018, raising the bar even higher for this year’s action-packed calendar of events. With 2019 set to be another exciting year for the sport, both players and spectators can enjoy regular local Rugby matches, annual Tournaments and Championships, and more international teams visiting the island to compete than ever before. As the sport continues to grow from strength to strength, it’s safe to say there’s a little bit of Rugby in Barbados for everyone! Rugby in Barbados Barbados is said to be the birthplace of Rugby in the Caribbean and has a long history of matches dating back to the 1900s. In 1964, the Barbados Rugby Football Union (BRFU) was formed as the governing body for the sport and today remains responsible for organising local and national team fixtures, training sessions, domestic Rugby-related

activities, and international tours – both to and from Barbados. The BRFU is a full member of World Rugby, Rugby Americas North (RAN), and now the Barbados Olympic Association Inc. (BOA), thanks to the 2016 debut of Rugby Sevens at the Rio Olympic Games. Visitors to Barbados can expect to enjoy free weekly Rugby matches during the local season (January to March) at what locals have coined as the ‘home of Rugby’ – the historic Garrison Savannah, a UNESCO World Heritage site and key tourist attraction on the island. Rugby tours to Barbados are also growing in popularity, and each year brings eight to ten overseas teams to our shores for the perfect mix of fierce competition, fun socialising, and traditional Bajan charm! In fact, Rugby in Barbados has expanded so much in recent years that the longest running Club Rugby 7s Tournament in the Caribbean – the Rugby Barbados World 7s (RBW7s) – is now


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R U G B Y

A Caribbean style ‘Haka’!

played here every December, after being relocated from Trinidad in 2016. Top-class competition Barbados may be a small island, but yearafter-year it remains a top-quality destination for Rugby enthusiasts. And, the standard of Rugby you will find in Barbados is notoriously world-class, with both regional and international tournaments also regularly played here. Last year, the Rugby Americas North (RAN) Regional 7s Championships was hosted in Barbados at the Bellevue Polo Club, with teams flying in just for the opportunity to compete in this little island paradise. The Barbados men’s and women’s 15s teams fiercely challenged the visiting competitors, paving the way for the 2019 Hong Kong Sevens Tournament in April and the Peru Pan American Games in July. This year will again see the local men’s Rugby 7s team, the Barbados JetBlues, set off on their annual tour of the USA to play in various club Rugby tournaments and test their skills against international competition. Sponsored by JetBlue Vacations, the mid-year tour will allow our national 7s team to prepare for the 2019 RAN Regional 7s, as well as continue to promote the ever-growing RBW7s Tournament to a global audience. Also held in December, the annual RBW7s Charity Dinner at the Radisson Aquatica Resort features an entertaining and inspiring sportsrelated guest speaker, as well as a delicious three-course meal all in the name of a local 110 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019

charity. Last year’s event was a Charity Dinner and Auction, partnered with the Royal Shop and the Rotary Club of Barbados South, with renowned British sports broadcaster John Inverdale as the guest speaker – a definite highlight in the Rugby social calendar. We’ve upped the ante! Each year, following the Rugby Charity Dinner is the highly-anticipated RBW7s Tournament; one sporting event in Barbados that’s not to be missed! Last year’s Tournament was proudly supported by Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating and saw over 30 teams (men’s and women’s) from as far as South Africa, Argentina, Scotland, England, Wales, Canada, and the USA, as well as neighbouring teams like Venezuela, French Guyana, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia and Trinidad, all compete over two exciting days at the iconic Kensington Oval; another ‘must see’ attraction for any discerning tourist. The 2019 RBW7s Tournament will be held from 7 – 8 December and will again attract prestigious brands looking to support the development of Rugby in Barbados and beyond. This year will mark the second year the Tournament will be held at the 11 000-seater Oval, showing the world that Rugby in Barbados means big business. Not only that, the prize money has significantly increased from US $3000 in 2017 to an impressive US $30 000 in 2018, so the 2019 competition kitty is sure to be in a league of its own!

The RBW7s is fast becoming one of the biggest tournaments on the global Rugby events calendar and is well on its way to rivalling the likes of the Hong Kong Sevens and Dubai Sevens events, especially in the women’s division. This year, tourists and locals can again expect some of the best men’s and women’s club teams from across the globe competing for the winning title, sterling silver trophies made by Hamilton & Inches (2018), and of course to take home the prize money up for grabs. For teams, the Tournament is a chance to participate in an international-standard competition in a premier destination, where there is an abundance of unique things to see and do once the Rugby is over. Spectators will enjoy watching the high standard of Rugby being played at a world-class stadium and the variety of affordable ticketing packages for fans to choose from means there’s more than one way to soak up all the Tournament action and enjoy all that Rugby in Barbados has to offer. Businesses and individuals are also invited to partner with MERBW7s and take advantage of the extensive local and international coverage that the Tournament receives. There is a range of exciting partnership options – from one-off donations to full packages. Interested teams can officially register for the 2019 Tournament from April. For more Tournament information, follow @BarbadosSevens on Facebook, or visit www.rugbybarbadosworld7s.com. Don’t miss out!


S T . L A W R E N C E G A P, B A R B A D O S

Redefining CARIBBEAN CUISINE

5:00PM - 12:30AM HAPPY HOURS T E L : 2 4 6 - 6 2 2 - 3 0 1 7 5PM-7PM & 10PM-11PM


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RECORD BREAKERS STORY BY ANNE TINDALE PHOTOS BY PETER MARSHALL

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W ith a break from hosting World Championship events in 2018, the focus of the sailing community in Barbados was mainly on the many and varied local and regional regattas which were held during the year. The sailing season got into full swing in the middle of January with Barbados Sailing Week which incorporated the three day Coastal Racing Series and the Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race. Organised by the Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc and Mount Gay, this 114 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019

year’s event attracted a mix of local, regional and international competitors sailing a wide range of different boats. Competitors from countries such as Australia, Russia, Poland, Germany, Holland, the UK, the USA, the British Virgin Islands and Grenada came to sail against their local counterparts in boats that ranged in size from the 11 ft foiling moth, Nano Project, to the 181 ft brigantine, Fryderyk Chopin. The highlight of the Week was, undoubtedly, the 60 nautical mile Round Barbados Race which also attracted a handful of windsurfers and foiling kitesurfers. Family and friends of those out at sea followed the race around the island by car. Stopping at various viewing points such as North Point, East Point and the South Coast boardwalk with binoculars and cameras in hand, they watched the race whilst tracking the boats on their phones and

enjoying the wonderful party spirit. With squalls in excess of 30 knots and swells reaching 3 metres or more off North Point, records were destined to tumble. Unfortunately the conditions proved too much for many of the 34 entries as their boats were stretched to the limit, and they were forced to turn back, in some cases due to equipment failure. One of those forced to head back to Carlisle Bay with a broken boom was the Undercover Youth Team composed of six of Barbados’s promising young sailors, including 15 year old Delyth Morris on the helm, the youngest person to helm a boat in the Race to date. For most of those who kept going however, the conditions couldn’t have been more exciting, especially the sail down the East coast on a single tack, referred to by one skipper as ‘champagne sailing’.


In total, seven records were broken, the largest number in the history of the Race, resulting in each skipper winning his weight in Mount Gay Extra Old Rum. In total, seven records were broken, the largest number in the history of the Race, resulting in each skipper winning his weight in Mount Gay Extra Old Rum. These include Trevor Hunte who, in smashing his own 2016 Windsurfer record by just over 4 minutes, did say that it was the most difficult sail of his life. Jason Tindale at the helm of College Fund$ broke the J/24 record that he had already broken in 2015 and then broken again in 2016, whilst Adres Berg from Germany broke his own Singlehanded record from last year in his Darfour 44, Luna, and the TP52, Conviction, helmed by David Staples broke the 60 ft and Under record that had been broken in 2015 and again in 2016 by Conviction under the helm of Paul Johnson. Another major regatta on the 2018 Sailing Calendar was the Barbados Sailing

Association’s Old Brigand Rum Regatta which was sailed in mid-May. Competition was fierce, especially in the J/24 Class, since points gained from the Regatta went towards deciding the 2018 J/24 National Champion. After competing in a total of nine J/24 regattas through the season, the well crewed boat, Bunga Bunga, with Charlie Gloumeau at the helm, emerged as overall J/24 Champion for the second year running. Outside of Barbados Sailing Week and the Old Brigand Rum Regatta, a dinghy, J/24 or racer/cruiser regatta was sailed in Carlisle Bay or along the South and West coasts of the island on most weekends between January and July, thanks to the generous sponsorship provided by Armstrong Agencies, Golden Ridge Farms, Harris Paints, Lucky Horseshoe, Massy Stores, R L Seale and Co Ltd, Stansfeld

Scott, Taylor’s Cycle Centre, the Boatyard and Tiki Bar. The year then ended with the National Dinghy Championships being held in Carlisle Bay between September and November. Several sailors from Barbados also represented their country in a variety of regional and international regattas through the year, including Grenada Sailing Week, Bequia Easter Regatta, Antigua Race Week, the Caribbean Dinghy Championships, also in Antigua, the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barrranquilla, Colombia, the World Sailing Youth Worlds in Corpus Christi, Texas, the Laser World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, and the GP14 Worlds in Mount’s Bay, Cornwall, the same Championships that Barbados hosted in 2016.

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Trevor Hunte

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wimmers at the seventh annual Barbados Open Water Festival enjoyed an enhanced experience in November 2018 with the introduction of professional timing by Sportstats and the addition of Festival “bling” a.k.a newly designed finisher medals for all races for the first time ever. New title sponsor ANSA Rentals lent a helping hand allowing organizers to once again raise the bar for the Festival that has continued to grow significantly since inception in 2013. The established sporting event on the island’s calendar welcomed the usual plethora of swimmers from United States, Canada, Germany, Trinidad and U.K. as well as registering an increase in numbers from South America, particularly Argentina and Brazil. For the first time the Festival received entries from Singapore, Nicaragua and South Africa. The local swim community was well represented across all the races. As usual there was a wonderful mix of recreational swimmers, competitive Masters Swimmers, Olympians and Marathon Swimmers. The number of race events has grown over the years and the Festival offered races over four distances: 1.5K, 3.3K, 5K and 10K. The 1.5K Just for Fun race always provides an opportunity for first timers or those who don’t

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want to race to be a part of the Festival while raising money for the Variety Club Children’s Charity. The pre-race weekend practice swims were once again well-subscribed and highly social! Organizers were honoured to receive recognition from the World Open Water Swimming Association: “Barbados has been delivered to the international open water swimming community and an ambiance has been created at the Barbados Festival that is only usually shared among much more established events. They put on an outstanding event with a limited budget, hosting Olympians, well-known personalities and swimmers from all over the world. After the 2017 event a first-timer wrote: "I did two of the open water swims, it was an absolutely magical new experience. I saw sea turtles, starfish, coral, multi-coloured fish - so much more interesting than the black line at the bottom of the pool.” Returning swimmers wrote: ”This truly has become a yearly highlight for our family and we look forward to returning for many more.” The 2019 BOWF is scheduled for November 6-10. www.swimbarbadosvacations.com


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Simon Wilkie was the first bajan to finish the 10 k and was awarded the Chris and Peter Gibbs trophy.

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CORAL REEF CONSERVATION Story & Photos by Lucy Agace

Photo: Lucy Agace

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Photo: Lucy Agace

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W hen you think of Barbados what comes to mind? Beautiful beaches, partying, rum, or an island bathed in the sunshine 365 days a year? Probably all of the above but I and many scuba divers who have been here countless times over the years think of coral reefs, fish, turtles and making bubbles in the deep blue water. There is so much to see and experience whilst diving here on the 39 or so dive sites that are largely sprinkled off the west and south coast reefs. If you want in-depth information about the scuba div-ing and marine life found around Barbados there is a detailed book called the Barbados Dive Guide available at most dive shops or on Amazon. 128 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019

Scuba diving in Barbados is a relaxed hassle free activity for all ages. Dive shops will pick you up from your hotel (there can be a small charge for this), kit you out with dive gear and take you on a guided dive along a reef, whilst pointing out anything of interest along the way. Children can dive from as early as 11 years old providing they are strong enough to carry a scuba tank. Starter level dive courses usually take about 4 days and include at least 2 dives. If you just want to have ‘a go’ Discover Scuba courses are also available and will give you an unforgettable experience. There are over ten fully equipped dive shops which are located on the south and west coasts, they provide excellent diving services. They range from large dive centres with two dive boats that can take up to 16 divers on each boat to operations with one small dive boat licensed to carry 5 divers. So it depends on the type of personalised experience you are looking for, but they all guide divers of any ability on dives and can teach various dive courses to those who wish to learn the sport or improve their level of ability. A variety of hard and soft corals cover the Barbados reefs along the west and south coasts. Brightly coloured sponges like orange, yellow, green, purple and red-brown bring colour and an added dimension to the reefs. All this is

complemented by a profusion of beautiful Caribbean reef fish, pelagic fish, sting rays, turtles and in a few areas sharks. Sharks are a misunderstood creature and one of my favourites. The only ones you are likely to see whilst diving are nurse sharks off the north coast hiding in caves or under ledges, they are not found on our reefs at all. There are the occasional sightings of manta rays, eagle rays, whale sharks (large and harmless) and sun fish. Indulge me for just a moment and let me explain what a coral reef is and the importance of their environmental role in the world. Coral reefs are an ecosystem, made up of a multitude of living organisms of which there are 1000’s. Reef building corals are the bedrock of a reef, they grow very slowly, only 1-2 centimetres per year. These are called hard or stoney corals and have sharp hard surfaces and come in various shades of tan, brown, beige, yellow and green. To remain healthy they need between 23º- 29º water temperatures. Sustained temperatures of above 32º will cause the coral to die and go white which is called coral bleaching. There are many other different species and types of corals like; sea fans, black corals, gorgonians and soft flexible ones that grow tall and move gracefully with the movement of the water.


They (hard corals) are classified as an animal, they are alive like a tree. They grow, get bigger and need sustenance to do this but like a tree can’t move or breath. They need a few things to survive:- sun, relatively clean sea water, food and the correct water temperature levels. Without one of these they die and go white which is called ‘Coral Bleach-ing’. White because they are made of a calcium like material and thats all thats left when the ‘flesh’ dies: a bit like us.

The ecosystem also includes a huge variety of reef fish, crustaceans (shrimp, crab), sponges, anemones, echinoderms (starfish) and mollusc (octopus) all living together competing for food, sunlight and trying to stay safe. Reef fish can’t survive without corals and vice versa. Together they form the most fragile ecosystem that exists on our awesome blue planet. Please read that sentence again! It’s true, corals are in mortal danger and they need protection, restoration and respect. The reality is that if we don’t act now by changing the way we live our beautiful coral reefs, indeed our oceans, will change forever and possibly even go over the edge of a nonreturn line. So what are the environmental issues facing coral reefs, oceans and the marine life that they sustain: plastic, sunscreens, effluent, pesticides and fertilisers (nitrates), algae, anchor damage, ocean acidification and rising sea temperatures. Researches and scientists have documented that oceans absorb around 28% of the worlds’ carbon dioxide (CO2) which we produce when we burn fossil fuels. CO2 reacts with seawater and forms carbonic acid which causes the acidity of the sea to increase. Some carbon is turned into organic matter and sinks to the seabed. Other carbon is absorbed by hard corals

and used to build their calcium carbonate skeletons, but they can only absorb so much and they don’t live on carbon, it is just part of their growing process. When oceans absorb too much carbon 'Ocean Acidification’ occurs which means marine life especially coral reefs will not be able to survive. Going back to what I mentioned earlier coral reefs are the most FRAGILE BIO-DIVERSE ECOSYSTEM in the world. So when one component of the system is off balance the entire system starts to fail. PLASTIC pollution has had the most recent explosion in environmental global awareness, thanks to social media and impart the movie “A Plastic Ocean” (available on Netflix and other sources in Barbados). Plastic pollution has become a life threatening issue. It has been present in island size quantities floating on oceans for many many years. With the combination of sun and salt plastic breaks down over time to microscopic sizes called ‘micro plastic’. Tiny plankton eat the micro plastic particles, assuming them to be food and in turn they are eaten by small fish and so on up the fish food chain to bigger fish. This is how plastic enters our food and our bodies, if you eat fish make a mental note to re-use or recycle your plastic and don’t leave it on the beach. The

proportion of polluted fish around the world has not yet been researched fully but plastics have been found present in fish in all the oceans. That’s not all. Plastic particles such as bottle tops can float on the surface for some time and they can be mistaken for food by many species of seabirds, such as the albatross. They feed the plastic to their chicks unknowingly giving them mouthfuls of what will kill them. This is happening all over the world and declining seabird populations are staggering. In fact the albatross, turtles and some whales are all critically endangered species. Pesticides and fertilisers enter the sea by various means but largely through run off caused by heavy rainfall. Land to sea pollution from farming, littering and defective disposal of waste matter delivers extremely harmful nitrates which cause algae growth and deplete oxygen levels. With the help of reef grazers like Parrotfish and Surgeon fish who eat algae, the algae is partly kept at bay. These fish form an essential part of the coral reef ecosystem, without these algae grazers the reefs would be in peril. However, it is a better strategy to eliminate the harmful chemicals to start with. Farmers would be advised to grow crops in a contour 129 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019


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fashion which means ploughing the lines across the contour of the land and not down the land. When it rains the water will hold in the furrows, thus watering the crops. The planting of khus khus grass, an old Barbadian practice could do with being reintroduced. A good example of contour planting is at Peg Farm, St Joseph, a local bio dynamic agricultural farm, it is worth a visit and the views are magnificent. Banning the use of micro plastic beads by the cosmetic industry has begun in many European countries, along with single use plastic items. Many Caribbean islands have banned the importation and use of single use plastics and styrofoam. I believe the Barbados government is about to take the same step. They realise the importance and value of our coral reefs. The new ministry of Maritime Affairs and Blue Economy is holding many stake holder meetings on many issues in a concerted, dynamic effort to protect and restore the biodiversity of the marine life that encircles Barbados. Sustainably managed coral reefbased tourism is the direction Barbados is going in. I see this new phase as one of environmentally friendly growth, educating and awareness for the paradise island. On another positive note Barbados has a number of NGOs mostly charities that work 130 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2018

tirelessly for the sake of the environment. Corall (Coral Reef Restoration Alliance) was formed to “foster the conservation and restoration of the coral reef ecosystems in Barbados for the wellbeing of all�. The project is in the infant stages with a number of pilot sites of out-planted coral pieces relocated from a laboratory situation. The plan is to restore the coral on the inshore reefs which will be easily accessible to snorkelers. I am personally involved with this project and feel lucky and privileged to be able to do something to help Barbados. If you are also interested in volunteering with this project the contact details are here email:- corallbarbados@gmail.com . Although the inshore reefs are depleted there are areas with some good coral growth. Folkstone Marine Park, where you can hire fins and snorkel gear, has some huge boulder starlet coral colonies, sea fans, gorgonians, brain and finger corals. This is inside a roped off area safe from passing boats and jet skis. Folkstone also has a shop and shower, toilet facilities, children play area and picnic area, all with ample free parking. The main snorkelling area in the south is the Carlisle Bay Marine Park wrecks, which are easily accessed from the glorious beach. The wrecks are at various depths but all easily visible from the surface and offer snorkelers a perfect spot

to see masses of fish and sometimes turtles and rays. This beach is by far the biggest and best one in Barbados and should not be missed. There are many beach bars and restaurants with sun loungers and umbrellas for hire and the cost is sometimes refundable at the bar. Quite a few dive shops are located here too. The economic value of coral reefs is well documented. Barbados is one of many islands in the world that to some extent depend on their coral reefs for tourism and financial stability. They play a vital role in the following ways; sand is derived from reef ecosystems (much of it comes from parrotfish poop), creating a barrier against storm waves which damage coastlines - properties - livelihoods beach erosion, fishing industry, food chain and tourist enjoyment. Every time I scuba dive or snorkel I am always struck by the in-credible complexity and beauty of corals and marine life; to me it is like walking (instead floating) through a forest full of plants, flowers and birds. Many divers speak about a calming tranquil feeling whilst diving which is no doubt due to many factors; weightlessness, no noise except your breathing, no talking or phones just moving gently through the water looking at the vista laid out before you. Totally getting away from it all escapism!


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FREE DIVER

Alex Davis is an accomplished and high performing athlete in a sports field on his own. He’s a freediving & spearfishing expert in Barbados and holds several National records for the island. According to him he has yet to peak as he improves each year and feels he can get deeper and deeper to set higher (or in this case lower) breath hold records. His plan is to add more depth to each discipline in a gradual process but he recognizes his biggest challenge will be to freedive the elusive 100 metres (328ft). For the Last two years Alex has traveled to Deans Blue Hole in Long Island Bahamas, during this years Vertical Blue Competition 2018 in July he achieved four new National records across three disciplines with the deepest at a staggering 92 metres. In real terms this is 301 feet down to the depths and 301 feet back up to the surface on one breath. He gained a National records in No Fins freediving at 55 metres, some 180 feet down. In the discipline of Free Immersion dive he reached a depth of 81 metres, some 265 feet down using only his hands to pull on the rope. Alex competes among the Worlds best men and women, although he will readily admit the competition is within himself as he strives for better performances. At this year’s Vertical Blue 2018 Competition

between the 44 athletes there were 10 new World and 44 new National records set from countries around the world. In between competitions Alex trains hard as the sport demands high levels of both fitness and diet control. He owes a lot to his sponsor Ryan Pannell of Synergis Capital for his support, encouragement and providing Alex the opportunity to represent Barbados at the biggest freediving platform on the planet. Alex is a qualified AIDA Freediving Instructor and has his own local school (www.FreedivingBarbados.com) as well as offering spearfishing charters. This exceptional athlete looks destined to reach greater levels in the deep, and higher levels at providing exciting and different sport from the norm.


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CHELSEA TUACH AT DRILL HALL


CHELSEA ROETT AT SOUP BOWL

CHE ALLAN WINS AT SOUP BOWL

SOUP BOWL – KNOWN AROUND THE WORLD

Surfing is hugely popular in Barbados and international surfing competitions can bring up to five hundred visitors to each event! One of the biggest surfing features in the Caribbean region attracts surfers from all over the world and takes place at the famous Soup Bowl, Bathsheba on the East Coast of Barbados in November. Competitors love the Soup Bowl ambience in this unique stretch of East Coast Barbados and hundreds of spectators, supporters, parents and coaches congregate watching the thrilling excitement and buzz of surf competitions. Being at Soup Bowl is a bit like stepping back in time to old Barbados. Quaint chattel houses provide accommodation, local food and plenty rum punch and banks beer. The waters are rough, the signature East coast rocks and reefs are picturesque and the girls are plentiful in colourful bikinis! There is no where else like it. Over 128 men and 48 women battle for the premier awards in this competition and the one held in April at Drill Hall Beach in Christ Church on the south of the island. Surfers hail from Hawaii, Australia, Japan, Europe, North and South America and within the Caribbean region to these well organised and seriously competitive events. The November competition marks a poignant

memory as the tournament was renamed in 2017 after the tragic loss of young Zander Venezia amongst these waves. The event was originally called the “Soupbowl Junior Pro” in 2013 and subsequently renamed “The Live Like Zander World Surf League Junior Pro Men and Women” and the inaugural winner when the event was renamed was Cole Houshman. Previous winners over the last six years were Parker Coffin (2013), Daniel Glenn (2014), Cam Richard (2015) and Che Alan (2016). The event is hosted and organized by The World Surf League and Surf Promotions (Barbados) Limited in April and November. The World Surf League also provides online information from the main page via a webcast offering coverage to millions all over the world. Surfing in Barbados is well known across the globe, and the sport makes a huge contribution to sports tourism and the national economy. Barbados has many local surfers making a name for themselves worldwide -Josh Burke, Jacob Burke, Dane Mackie, Bruce Mackie, Che Allan, Chelsea Tuach, Chelsea Roett, to name a few… November at the Soupbowl is the place to be and April at Drill Hall! Follow all the latest events on www.sportingbarbados.com and on the SB Facebook page! 133 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2018


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ome for the Run! Stay for the Fun! The tag line for the Cave Shepherd & Co. Run Barbados Weekend aptly epitomizes the experience. Every year since 1983, runners, from recreational to elite, have visited Barbados to take part in the run weekend and enjoy a fantastic vacay at the same time. In 2018 Run Barbados organizers stepped up their game introducing professional timing by one of the world’s largest timing companies: Sportstats and offering newly designed finisher medals with a local flair. Three unique race challenges allowed runners to claim extra bling: the “Pride of Barbados Gold”, “Flying Fish Silver” and “Sugar Cane Bronze” which require runners to run three races in three days. The five running races of Run Barbados all start and finish on the picturesque Bay Street Esplanade. The Friday night Mile kicked off the Festivities with its strictly "FUN" race attracting families, costumed characters and walkers followed by the competitive Mile Races for Men and Ladies. The atmosphere on the Esplanade for the second day, Saturday, was electric and

buzzing with excitement as hundreds of runners took to the streets of Bridgetown for the 5K and 10K races. Throngs of spectators lined the Esplanade to cheer the runners across the finish line. For those who wanted to join in but were unable to run, the 5K Walk, in support of The Substance Abuse Foundation Inc. provided an excellent opportunity to be part of the festivities. The final day of the event is marathon day with both a half marathon and a marathon on the schedule and an early morning start to take advantage of cooler temperatures. The 2018 edition welcomed runners from more than 20 countries as well as many returning run groups such as “Run the Sol” and “Canada Running Series Road Trippers” led by Alan Brookes. The 2019 weekend, on December 6-8, will offer: Signia Fun Mile, Cave Shepherd Visa Credit Card 5K, Colombian Emeralds Intl 10K, the Fortress Half Marathon and the Cave Shepherd Marathon as well as the Ganzee 5K Walk for charity.


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STRIDES TRIATHALON IN BARBADOS

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hroughout the year, there is a range of top quality local and international triathlon events hosted in Barbados that both athletes and spectators can enjoy. All age groups, including children, can participate in the island’s various triathlon activities, which also cater to various levels of fitness. From the recreational to the elite, Barbados welcomes triathletes and sporting enthusiasts from all over the world to train, compete and test their endurance in paradise. 142 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019

2019 is sure to be a big year for triathlon as it continues to expand its reach and grow to new heights in Barbados and beyond. In the beginning … In 1989 the first National Triathlon Championship race took place on the island, and this annual event has carried on in Barbados as a triathlon tradition to this very day. The following year, the Barbados Federation of Island Triathletes (BFIT) was formed in 1990 by a small group of practicing triathletes who chose the name BFIT (‘be fit’) to represent the level of fitness involved to race in the three disciplines of triathlon – swimming, biking and running. BFIT is the governing body for triathlon and triathletes in Barbados and is responsible for sanctioning and organising multi-sport events related to the discipline. Throughout the 1990s, triathlon on the island continued to grow with shorter Sprint races and Duathlon races (run/ride/run) also becoming popular additions to the local Olympic distance races (1.5km swim/40km bike/10km run). In 2000, the sport of triathlon debuted at the Sydney Olympic Games and officially cemented the discipline as a full member of the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA). In 2017, the first ever annual CARIFTA Triathlon

Championships were held in Barbados, showing just how far the sport has come since its humble early beginnings. Last year proved to be an even bigger year for the growth of triathlon on the island, with BFIT and the British Triathlon Federation coming together to bring in tutors from the UK to host triathlon clinics for local athletes and regional coaches. In a first for the Caribbean and British triathlon, these intensive camps were very well-received by the global triathlon fraternity as a trend-setting sporting initiative. Triathlon in paradise As a highly sought-after tourist destination, Barbados is home to great beaches, lots of sunshine, friendly culture, and delicious local cuisine. There is also a range of accommodation styles to suit all manner of tastes and budgets for the visiting triathlete. The island has so much to offer triathletes including an Olympic-sized pool, beautiful open sea water, and safe roads, and both triathletes and triathlon clubs are encouraged to consider training and competing in Barbados. To add to this, BFIT offers its specialist knowledge and assistance to overseas clubs to help them organise a variety of triathlon camps and clinics hosted right here in paradise. To make the trip even easier, BFIT


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also provides logistical support for a hassle-free Barbados triathlon experience. Regular triathlon activities The popular PineHill Juice Kids Triathlon Series is held every month at the Barbados Aquatic Centre and gives children the opportunity to learn about the sport and race in a supervised environment. The series encourages children to build their fitness levels, develop their triathlon skills, and most of all, have fun. There are 10 scheduled races per year and the first race is free! Notably, Barbados’ two elite triathletes Jason Wilson and Matthew Wright are both graduates of the Kids Triathlon Series. In 2016, Wilson was the first Barbadian triathlete to compete in the Olympics at the Rio Games. Wright, together with Wilson, has also impressively represented Barbados in triathlon at World, Pan American, Central American, Caribbean, and Commonwealth Games. In more recent years, BFIT has hosted a Duathlon at Bushy Park, as well as participated in the BOA BiiG Games in November with a fun Aquathlon (run/swim/run) event, and both have been very well-received by the local sporting community.

Annual triathlon events Barbados’ annual triathlon events calendar is fast becoming one to watch and tends to bring in fierce competition. In February last year, the Celebrity Triathlon Challenge was a fun one-off event that saw teams of local celebrities each complete a minitriathlon, much to the entertainment of the spectators. At the time of writing, it is anticipated this crowd-favourite challenge will return in 2019. Every April also sees the CAMTRI Elite Sprint Triathlon CAC Championships held in Barbados, attracting elite athletes from all over the world including Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, France, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, USA and Venezuela, just to name a few. This race also usually brings our two elite triathletes back to compete on home soil with friendly rivalry against the international triathlon community. Next up is the Age Group Sprint and Sprint Relay which is held in July and is also open to both residents and non-residents of Barbados. Last year, for the first time, the event was held at the infamous Port St. Charles Yacht Club in Speightstown. Due to its 2018 success, the race is set to be held at Port St. Charles this year – stay tuned! Mid-October, our 29th Annual Barbados

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National Triathlon Championship will again be hosted at the picturesque Brandon’s Beach along the same fast-paced course as the renowned Bridgetown Continental Cup. This race decides our National Champion and offers competition in the race categories of Olympic, Sprint and Sprint Relay. It is probably the most popular event on our triathlon schedule, and triathletes from across the globe as well as neighbouring islands travel to Barbados just to compete, with large contingents coming from Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua, Grenada and Bermuda, in particular. The road to Tokyo … Barbados has one sole elite triathlete, Matthew Wright, currently vying to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 2019 will see Matthew completing the second half of his twoyear arduous Olympic Games qualifying journey and Barbados has high hopes for this rising young star of triathlon – watch this space! For more information about triathlon in Barbados, please visit BFIT’s website https://triathlonbarbados.com/ , Facebook @BarbadosTriathlon, or email triathlonbarbados@gmail.com .

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H O C K E Y

FESTIVAL

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Barbados offers a wonderful experience in Festival Hockey.

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he Banks International Hockey Festival has come alive in recent years thanks mainly to the re-birth of the Astroturf, a rejuvenated committee and the dynamism of new President Mark St Hill. A lot has happened in recent times, and it is reflected in overseas visitors, the catalyst of Festival Hockey. The bad times without Astroturf was a huge loss, but now operative in full swing all is forgotten. Now we can welcome more visitors and there is a lot of attraction to playing hockey in Barbados. It is unique as few countries offer six days of competition, an excellent pitch, friendly camaraderie, social activities, Opening 146 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019

and Closing ceremonies, trophies, beer aplenty, and of course, boundless sand, sea and sunshine. Barbados is often called a paradise location and what better than to combine with your first love hockey. After all, many other sports have joined the bandwagon and throughout the year Barbados welcomes cricket, golf, rugby, tennis, and a plethora of watersports activities. Festival hockey takes place at the end of August when the normal program takes a break. The Festival started in 1986 and the brainchild of the late Mike Owen and Tony Cozier. Tony was perhaps better known as the West Indies cricket commentator. Both were hockey stalwarts in their halcyon years. It is amazing over 33 years of the series it has stood the test of time and overseas visitors are always guaranteed an unforgettable tour. Local teams take pride in their performance, and throughout the years locals dominate when it comes to the Finals on the last Saturday. Six days needs careful monitoring combining with sport and social activities, and the flyers from overseas teams often flag at the final matches. Extreme Beer consumption has its challenges and Banks Beer is a generous sponsor, with Cockspur close behind. It is said Bank’s beer figures significantly increase at the end of August. We wonder why? Countries have visited from all over the world and when individuals apply they are

accommodated in Mixed teams. There are four categories, namely Men’s, Ladies, Mixed and Vets. Birth certificates are not normally required for Vets! Many of the visiting teams come with colourful outfits at the Opening Ceremony and with catchy names. Most won’t understand the titles, and who would with teams like Artful Dodgers, Pigs will fly, Madhatters, or Auld Reekies? Venues cover a wide area in Barbados, including Dover at St Lawrence, Police at Wentworth, and Empire near Carlton, and the Kensington Oval. Grass grounds are dinosaurs in the world of hockey surfaces, but most players still relish the opportunity to experience the Oval when so many great Test players adorn the same territory. However, time has moved on in world hockey, and the Astroturf is now used as much as possible during Festival hockey. The ethos of Festival hockey is sport, fun, social, entertainment, revelry, sightseeing, tours and competition. There’s a lot to pack in. Visitors usually include members to accompany the players, and what a wonderful experience to combine with beautiful sunshine, beaches, restaurants, nightlife, countryside tours, diving, cruises, and excellent hotels. Barbados offers a wonderful experience in Festival Hockey. For more information contact www.barbadoshockey.org or hockeyfestival@barbadoshockey.org


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S P O R T I N G

C O N T A C T S

Sporting Contacts BALL SPORTS

CRICKET BARBADOS CRICKET ASSOCIATION President: Conde Riley Tel: 246 274 1325 theoffice@bca.org.bb www.bcacricket.org BASKETBALL BARBADOS AMATEUR BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION President: Derrick Garrett Barbadosbarsketball.assoc@gmail.com www.bajanbasketball.leaguerepublic.com NETBALL BARBADOS NETBALL ASSOCIATION President Nisha Craigwell Tel246 231 4344 (c) Netballbarbados.com FOOTBALL BARBADOS FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION President: Randolph Harris www.barbadosfa.com office@barbadosfa.com GOLF BARBADOS GOLF ASSOCIATION President: Trevor Tasker www.barbadosgolfassociation.com bga@caribsurf.com RUGBY BARBADOS RUGBY CLUB Contacts: Martin Varga, Katihie Daniel barbadosrugby@olympic.org.bb HOCKEY BARBADOS HOCKEY FEDERATION INC President: Mark St Hill president@barbadoshockey.org www.barbadoshockey.org BARBADOS BALL HOCKEY LEAGUE www.barbadosballhockey.com info@barbadosballhockey.com VOLLEYBALL: BARBADOS VOLLEYBALL ASSOCIATION President: John Griffith jfgriffith@olympic.org.bb www.volleybarbados.com

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COMBAT GAMES

JUDO BARBADOS JUDO ASSOCIATION President: Hoskins Caddle Tel: 246 436 2608 (h) www.barjudo.com president@barjudo.com/ TAEKWONDO TAEKWONDO ASSOCIATION OF BARBADOS Contact: Henderson Turton www.taekwondobarbados.org KARATE THE BARBADOS KARATE ASSOCIATIONBARBADOS SHOTOKAN KARATE CLUB President: Paul Bernstein www.Shotokanbarbados.com ISKF Peter Warren, Chairman and Chief Instructor Tel:246 289 8699 pwar@caribsurf.com FENCING THE BARBADOS FENCING CLUB Contact: Kurt Straker Tel: 246 253 0282 barbadosfencing@gmail.com BOXING AMATEUR BOXING ASSOCIATION OF BARBADOS Contact: Anthony Jones Tel: 246 258 9833 captainj@caribsurf.com

BAT AND RACKET SPORTS

ROAD TENNIS PROFESSIONAL ROAD TENNIS ASSOCIATION www.proroadtennis.com TABLE TENNIS BARBADOS TABLE TENNIS ASSOCIATION President: Edwin Jordan btta@olympic.org.bb TENNIS BARBADOS TENNIS ASSOCIATION INC. President: Dr Raymond Forde Tel: 246 427 5300 raydoc@caribsurf.com/ tennisbarbados@caribsurf.com www.tennisbarbados.org

SQUASH BARBADOS SQUASH ASSOCIATION President: Alison Smith-Padmore aspadmore@caribsurf.com www.squashbarbados.org BADMINTON BARBADOS BADMINTON ASSOCIATION Contact: Kevin Wood www.barbadosbadminton.com Email: bba.association@gmail.com

CYCLING

BARBADOS CYCLING UNION President: Mr. Keith Yearwood Tel: 246 248 1299 keitheyearwood@gmail.com www.barbadoscyclingunion.org

EQUESTRIAN

HORSE RACING THE BARBADOS TURF CLUB President: Sir David Seale The Garrison, St. Michael Tel: 246 626 3980 www.barbadosturfclub.org POLO BARBADOS POLO CLUB AT HOLDER’S HILL www.barbadospoloclub.com APES HILL POLO CLUB www.apeshillpolo.com info@apeshillpolo.com EQUESTRIAN BARBADOS EQUESTRIAN ASSOCIATION President: Mrs. Monique Archer monique@archershall.com/ barbadosequestrian@gmail.com www.barbadosequestrian.com

HEALTH AND FITNESS

BODY BUILDING BARBADOS BODY BUILDING AND FITNESS FEDERATION President: Dr Alfred Sparman info@barbadosbodybuilding.com www.barabdosbodybuilding.com GYMNASTICS BARBADOS AMATEUR GYMNASTICS ASSOCIATION President: Douglas Patrick Luke Tel: 246 822 3218 luke@gsab.com


MIND GAMES

WARRI Contact: Lee Farnum-Badley leefarnumbadley@gmail.com Tel: 246 432 1292 BRIDGE BARBADOS BRIDGE LEAGUE barbadosbridge@gmail.com www.barbadosbridge.org CHESS Barbados Chess Federation www.barbadoschess.org

MOTOR SPORT

BARBADOS CLAY TARGET SHOOTING ASSOCIATION info@bctsa.com www.bctsa.com

TRACK AND FIELD

ATHLETICS ASSOCIATION OF BARBADOS www.aab.sports.bb Run Barbados – runbarbados@gmail.com BARBADOS OLYMPIC ASSOCIATION INC. Contact: Sandra Osbourne Tel: 246 429 1998 www.olympic.org.bb info@olympic.org.bb

BARBADOS RALLY CLUB: Sol RALLY BARBADOS Contact: Jeanne Crawfordrallyoffice@rallybarbados.net www.rallybarbados.net

SPECIAL OLYMPICS (BARBADOS) Website: www.specialolympicsbarbados.org PR Edward Thompson: 246 423 0967 (h) 246 825 0021 (c) publicrelations@specialolympicsbarbados.org

BARBADOS ASSOCIATION OF DRAGSTERS & DRIFTERS badd.chairman@gmail.com

BARBADOS FEDERATION OF ISLAND TRIATHLETES triathlonbarbados@gmail.com http://www.triathlonbarbados.com

BUSHY PARK BARBADOS Bushy Park, St. Philip, Barbados Tel.: 246 537 1360 info@bushyparkbarbados.com

TARGET SPORTS

ARCHERY BARBADOS ARCHERY ASSOCIATION General Secretary – Judy Magras Tel: 246 437 9479 www.barbadosarchery.org SHOOTING BARBADOS RIFLE ASSOCIATION ellcorentals@caribsurf.com THE BARBADOS RIFLE & PISTOL FEDERATION INC. President: Antonio Rudder info@rifleandpistol.org www.rifleandpistol.org International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) Ipscworld.org/bar/ bar@ipsc.org

WATERSPORTS

DIVING DIVE HIGHTIDE WATERSPORTS Contact: Martyn Norsworthy or Gavin Smith Coral Reef Club, Holetown, St James info@divehightide.com www.divehightide.com Tel 800 970 0016/ 246 432 0931 SURFING BARBADOS SURFING ASSOCIATION secretary@barbadossurfingassociation.org www.barbadossurfingassociation.org WINDSURFING AND WATER FESTIVAL Contact: Brian Talma Tel: 246 428 6596 www.briantalma.pro

SWIMMING BARBADOS AMATEUR SWIMMING ASSOCIATION President: Tony Selby basa@caribsurf.com www.swimbarbados.com GAME FISHING BARBADOS GAME FISHING ASSOCIATION Contact: Ralph White ralphw@caribsurf.com www.barbadosgamefishing.com YACHTING BARBADOS YACHT CLUB Tel: 246 427 1125 byc@caribsurf.com www.barbadosyachtclub.com BARBADOS SAILING ASSOCIATION www.sailbarbados.com

SOME USEFUL CONTACT INFORMATION BARBADOS TOURISM MARKETING INC Tel: 246 535 3700 UK btmiuk@visitbarbados.org Canada - btmicanada@visitbarbados.org Miami- btmimiami@visitbarbados.org NYC - btminy@visitbarbados.org LA- btmila@visitbarbados.org NATIONAL SPORTS COUNCIL Tel: 246 430 7700 http://www.nscbarbados.com/ Email: nsc-bdos@caribsurf.com YMCA President:Antonio Elcock www.barbadosymca.org Barbados Hash House Harriers www.barbadoshash.com

BARBADOS KAYAK AND CANOE FEDERATION Contact: Nicholas Neckles Tel: 246 256 3848 nickneckles_@hotmail.com

KENDAL SPORTING www.gokendal.net kendalsports@caribsurf.com 151 / SPORTING BARBADOS 2019


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Sporting Barbados 2019  

Barbados' leading sports tourism publication.

Sporting Barbados 2019  

Barbados' leading sports tourism publication.

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