Latest update March 25th, 2023 12:59 AM
Apr 24, 2017 News
By Enid Joaquin
Linden is today proud that after 46 years, two of its star athletes, Compton Caesar and Chantoba Bright were able, simultaneously, to capture gold and bronze medals at the recently held CARIFTA Games in Curacao, at a time when the town is celebrating its forty seventh anniversary.
Caesar won gold in the signature 100 meters event at the Games, along with a bronze in the 200 meters. Chantoba Bright also won gold and a bronze in the long and triple jumps.
A student of the Wismar/Christianburg Secondary, Caesar said that he started running seriously from the age of twelve; and has been trained by Glenton Pantlitz, the school’s coach, ever since. Chantoba Bright is a student of the Mackenzie High School.
The athletes were quite fittingly honored with a motorcade through the town and a luncheon was held on Saturday last at the Watooka Complex.
During the luncheon, both athletes and coaches were lauded for their performances and for making Linden proud.
Those were the official words of encouragement, but out in the street the consensus by most Lindeners is that, given the recent achievements, the proposed synthetic track for Region Ten should be “fast tracked!”
“Imagine these guys ain’t got no high tech facilities and they performing like this, so think about what will happen when we get the track!”, one vociferous taxi driver posited.
Many others echoed these very sentiments.
Hub for Athletic Talent
APNU Member of Parliament Germaine Figuiera declared, “Linden- Region Ten is the hub for athletic talent in this country, and Government in its wisdom rightfully is awarding this community what it has long been denied (a synthetic track).
Figuiera remarked that the installation of the track in Linden will provide an opportunity for new talent to be discovered. He applauded government for making a budgetary allocation for the facility to be established in Region Ten in 2017. Figuiera said that it is something that all residents should be proud of, and should applaud the administration’s serious commitment to sports development within the community.
“We would like to applaud the Government on not only recognizing, but acting on that recognition and giving what is rightfully due to this community.
He congratulated Bright on attaining the honor of junior sport woman of the year, calling it a “tremendous achievement”. Her coach Johnny Gravesande was also applauded for achieving the coach of the year award. Coach Pantlitz was also lauded.
Figuiera noted that Gravesande had been behind Linden athletes for a number of years but had never been given due recognition.
Alluding to Jamaica which he called the sprint capital of the world, Figuiera said that eyes are now going to be focused on Guyana.
In his brief presentation, Regional Chairman Rennis Morian said the significance of the occasion goes very far, noting that what was achieved was all because of what was done by former President Forbes Burnham, who championed the cause of CARIFTA by tabling the motion in parliament, which saw the collaboration of Caribbean countries.
Morian spoke of the impact of the achievement, which means that other countries will now be looking at Guyana.
“It means the Government will be spending more money in this region as it relates to sports and young people in school now have a badge of honor that they will want to strive to attain,” he said.
“There are also other impacts that this achievement gives including a sense of pride to know that these athletes came from Region Ten. I remember the three wise men saw a star because of a very important event that was breaking forth and what we see today is a star that signals the fact that great things are in store for Region Ten.”
Region Ten District Education Officer Marcie Paddy Andrews noted, “We are true champions!”, while alluding to the region’s dominance in the Regional Annual Athletic Championships’, including the last meet.
She was also high in praise of both coaches Pantlitz and Gravesande.
Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland also commended both athletes and coaches, and later presented the athletes with tokens of appreciation.
The motorcade and luncheon were a collaborative effort between the Mayor and Town Council and the Region Ten Department of Education, and was considered a fitting welcome home for the winning team.
The Wismar Christianburg Secondary School student shared that he began running from the age of 12, and has been trained by Glenton Pantlitz the school’s coach, since then. But in his mother, Pamela DeVerious’s opinion, her son actually started running since he was seven. Through the years his ‘track’ has been the steep sand slopes of Blue Berry Hill, but Coach Pantlitz also takes him through his routines at the Bayroc Community Centre Ground, which is presently being touted as the venue for the synthetic track.
Chantoba Bright, a student of the Mackenzie High School said that she placed seventh in the high jump and third in the triple jump.
She noted that it was the second time for her at the CARIFTA games.
“I’m overwhelmed, being the first female to win a gold medal for my country in the female under-18 long jump. My experience was amazing, I’m very proud of myself and my family is proud of me. Without their support I could not have gotten the gold.”
Bright, who trains at the Mackenzie Sports Club Ground was also awarded junior sports woman of the year.
She pointed out that she has been involved in sports for the past four years, and lives by her school’s motto, which is “train hard win easy.”
The other athletes honored were Daniel Williams, Onasha Rogers and Tremaine Browne.
They were all congratulated and offered words of encouragement. Mayor of Linden Carwyn Holland also presented Chantoba Bright and Compton Caesar with cheques valued $20,000 each, while the other athletes received cheques for $10,000.
They were also presented with hampers and certificates of achievement by the Mayor.
Among those gracing the luncheon were Minister within the Ministry of Health, Dr. Karen Cummings, Regional officials including Region Ten Chairman Rennis Morian, Mayor Carwyn Holland, APNU MP Germaine Figuiera and Region Ten councillor Sandra Adams, Aubrey Hutson, President of the Amateur athletic Association of Guyana, among other special invitees including relatives and teachers.
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