Olympic week celebrations in Barbados a success

The Barbados Olympic Association Inc. (BOA) held an entire week of activities to celebrate Olympic Day. The celebrations started with an electrifying lecture/panel discussion on June 21 on the topic, “Sports as a pathway out of poverty” at the BOA headquarters in Wildey, St. Michael.

Director of Criminal Justice Research and Planning Unit, Cheryl Willoughby delivered the lecture, which was punctuated by thought-provoking anecdotes from panelists, Mac Fingall, a former teacher and sports coach, Ytannia Wiggins, Barbados Community College Tutor and Country Coordinator for the A Ganar Program and Grand Master Sports Administrator, Adrian Donavan.


The panel agreed that one glaring statistic that supported sport as a pathway out of poverty was that most incarcerated and at-risk youth had never participated in organized sport. The panel touted the value of sports to development including team building, leadership, learning to cope with disappointment, managing stressful situations, belonging to something greater than oneself and being recognised by peers and the public for your efforts. These values, they agreed, contributed to well-rounded individuals who can transcend poverty, violence, and deviant behaviour.


The second event held on June 23 was for primary schools’ students. This outreach activity was also held at the BOA Headquarters, under the theme “Sports for all.”

Primary school students from Luther Thorne Memorial Primary, Wilkie Cumberbatch Primary, Belmont Primary, St. Giles Primary and St. Cyprians Boys Primary took part in traditional Bajan games such as skipping rope, marbles, hopscotch, dominoes, road tennis, and chess. There was also an art room where students made their own medals, and they also went on a tour of the BOA Museum.

Director of the National Olympic Academy, Dave Farmer, commented that through the event, the students were learning new activities and in some areas refreshing some of their learning. “Through games such as skipping rope, marbles, and hopscotch, we have taken the children into activities that are more cultural than modern. We have also given them the opportunity to sharpen their sports skills through volleyball and road tennis, and we have also exposed them to the Olympic movement through the museum tour and going into the art station and designing their own Olympic medal,” Farmer said.

The grand finale was the Olympic Fun Day event. It was billed as a day of family fun and held at the historic Garrison Savannah on Sunday, June 25. Over $10,000 in prizes were on offer in fun sports such as a treasure hunt, 3K walk, 5K run, tug-o-war, and water balloon challenges for the kids. Teams were also encouraged to take photographs and take part in the Facebook picture competition. The day was an overwhelming success with over three hundred persons attending what was an exhilarating fun filled event.

Below are the winners

Overall Championship (all events combined)
1st – Barbados Wrestling Association ($2500)
2nd – Barbados Equestrian Association ($2000)
3rd – Barbados Boxing Association ($1500)
4th – Barbados Netball Association ($1000)

O-SMART Challenge (Team Based)
1st – Daredevils (Barbados Netball Association)
2nd – Badminton Titans (Barbados Badminton Association)
3rd – VRS Cougars (Barbados Netball Association)

3K Walk
1st – Dudley Harewood (Athletics Association of Barbados)
2nd – Mary Fraser (Barbados Boxing Association)
3rd – Kemar Tull (Barbados Badminton Association)

5K Run
1st – Oein Josiah (Barbados Triathlon Federation)
2nd Jaleni Matthews (Barbados Orienteering Federation)
3rd – Kashad Holder (Barbados Boxing Association)

1st – Barbados Rugby Football Union
2nd – Barbados Table Tennis Association
3rd – Barbados Wrestling Association