Barbados is ready for Nanjing: Schoolchildren celebrate the arrival of the Virtual Torch

Bridgetown, May 27, 2014 – It was a day of fun, education and cultural exchange at the Hilda Skeene Primary School on Monday as part of the celebrations for the Youth Olympic Games Nanjing Virtual Torch Relay. The school received a special visit from the Chinese Ambassador to Barbados, H.E. Ms. Wang Ke; Youth Ambassador for the Nanjing Games, Ryan Brathwaite, and representatives from the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA).

Opening the day’s proceedings the Hilda Skeene student body welcomed the Ambassador with a rousing rendition of their school song. “I am so happy to be here today with all of you celebrating the Virtual Torch Relay and the upcoming Nanjing Youth Olympic Games,” said the Ambassador as she praised the school for its participation in a cultural exchange programme which pairs them with a school in China.

Other activities throughout the day included a Tai Chi demonstration, table tennis and a relay around the school involving different classes and some of the school’s outstanding athletes. There was even a special lesson on the correct use of chopsticks conducted by members of the Chinese delegation who had brought traditional Chinese food as a treat for the students.

“We are extremely pleased with the response to the Nanjing Virtual Torch Relay,” said Glyne Clarke, General Manager of the BOA and the Chef de Mission for the Nanjing Games, “Many people visited our Facebook page and downloaded the app so that they could participate. We are also thrilled by the efforts of Hilda Skeene Primary School and the tremendous support given by the Chinese Ambassador. The Games in Nanjing promise to be a unique experience for our young athletes and we hope to carry the momentum from today straight through to August when our contingent travels to China.”

The Barbados Youth Ambassador for Nanjing, Ryan Brathwaite, spent the day visiting classrooms, educating the children about China, relaying his experiences and instilling Olympic values. Some of the younger children worked with him to create collages highlighting Barbados’ athletes and Brathwaite has promised to proudly display these in China during the Games.

The Youth Olympic Games takes place in Nanjing, China from August 16-28.