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Tobago netballers urged to continue shining brightly
“Let your lights shine bright!” This was the message sent to the top student-athletes from across Tobago taking part in the Awards and Incentives Ceremony of the Tobago Secondary Schools’ Netball League hosted at the Canaan/Bon Accord Multipurpose Centre, Tobago on April 17.
It was delivered by Joel Primus, Community Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations Advisor, BPTT, speaking on behalf of the energy company which has supported the league for the past 24 years, leading to its title as the ‘BP Tobago Zone’ of the T&T Secondary Schools’ Netball Competition.
“Don’t be afraid to let your lights shine bright for all of T&T to see and have that light reflected in the pride we hold for all of you. I want to commend everyone for their role in making this competition the success it is, especially the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), the Tobago Zone executive, principals, teachers, parents, and most importantly, the student athletes that make this competition so great,” Primus urged the young athletes.
“BPTT is proud to partner in making this league the best and you, the students, are showing the nation that the future is in capable hands. As you collect the impressive collection of trophies and medals, just remember that you are also creating golden memories and forging a gilded future for Tobago and our nation as a whole.”
Revived in 1991, the league is supported by the THA with sponsorship from energy company BP TT. Tobago has established an intimidating reputation in national netball and some 350 students take part in the Tobago leg of the national competition annually.
Theophilus Trim, chairman of the Tobago Zone executive, spoke glowingly on Tobago’s accomplishments over the years.
He said, “Tobago represents the best organised and managed league nationally and has 90 percent participation from our schools. Our girls dominate the national schools’ competition, and every year, we field players who feature in the junior and senior national netball teams.
“This year is an especially proud one as we boast six players on the national under-16 team, including the captain. These young women carry our brand so proudly that it is no surprise that we are so well supported by the THA and BPTT.”
Delivering the feature address and inspiring the students to even greater glory was Assemblyman Marisha Osmond, assistant secretary in the Office of the Chief Secretary, Tobago House of Assembly.
“I remember my days playing netball in school and I can testify that success takes practice, discipline and commitment. You all embody these qualities and have brought prestige, not only to yourselves, but to your parents, schools, Tobago and our nation as a whole. The synergy required to bring this level of success shows that we are all working together towards creating a better T&T,” Osmond said.
“In support of a greater vision for Tobago, the THA is committed to providing opportunities for young people and this is demonstrated in the high levels of collaboration across Divisions. In fact, the Division of Education, Innovation and Energy is joining forces with the Division of Sport and Youth Affairs in sending coaches to primary schools to find and enhance our prodigious talent at a young age.”
Due to scheduling conflicts there was no award ceremony last year and therefore, with this function encompassing both the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons. The lion’s share of the awards was split between the highly competitive Bishop’s High School and Scarborough Secondary School but players from all eight participating schools were rewarded for their excellence.
Also delivering remarks at the celebratory event were Lynette Duncan, Public Relations Officer, T&T Netball Association; Lawrence Lewis, chairman, Tobago District, T&T Unified Teachers Association; and School Supervisor III, Sherry-Anne Rollocks-Hackett.
As part of its extended support for the Tobago Zone, BPTT established a Bursary Award System in 2007 to further the development of netballers who excel in both academics and athletics. Bursaries are given to students in various age categories from the entire player participation in the competition.
Receiving the bursary awards in the Under-14 and U-15 categories of the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons, respectively, was Bishop’s High School student and national U-16 netball player, Kelelicia George, who also copped a throve of individual awards.
“This is a special honour and I really worked very hard to achieve this success. My success is also a tribute to all the people who help me to succeed including my teammates and classmates, my mom, coaches, principal, teachers, friends and family. I believe in balancing athletics and academics and we are always encouraged to do so,” said George.
“I’m proud to receive this bursary from BPTT and the overall support from the THA, BPTT and the Tobago Zone Executive will go a long way in helping me to achieve my dreams of playing netball internationally, becoming a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and having a career as a kinesiologist.”
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