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Executive members in the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA) officially adopted the residents in the Elizabeth Estates Children's Home, wanting to provide them with equal opportunity in learning the sport of tennis.
On Saturday, director of the 'Play and Stay' program Bradley Bain along with national team member Larikah Russell and Ricardo Demeritte took about 16 of the residents through a series of drills and games. In the introductory lessons, the residents worked on hand and eye coordination, as well as foot work. The 'Play and Stay' program, designed to improve the playing skills of all, has caught on quickly in the country and president of the local association Derron Donaldson is ready to take it a step further.
According to Donaldson, the local association is planning to adopt more homes and use the development program as a form of exercise for residents. Each month, the BLTA will reach out to other organizations in the capital and the Family Islands. Donaldson said: "Now that the 'Play and Stay' program has caught on in the country, we want to do more. We want to make sure that everyone who wants to play tennis in the country is playing. If it means us going out and setting up the courts, we are willing and ready to do so. Adopting the Elizabeth Estates Children's Home is just the first stop on our agenda. We plan to do more, go to more homes and schools.
"Bradley is doing a fantastic job in making sure that The Bahamas at large is playing tennis. His aggressive approach in building the sport is really helping as more and more persons are catching on. He, along with Larikah and Ricardo take the registered persons through a series of drills, that anyone can easily catch on to, so persons who believe that they can play, or always wanted to play can come out to any of our venues especially when we are hosting the 'Play and Stay' training sessions."
The BLTA has already launched the program in several schools in New Providence. In a couple of weeks, a team will travel to Freeport, Grand Bahama, and host a two-day clinic for teachers. In March, they will travel to Exuma and re-visit Eleuthera in April. At the completion of the courses, all participants will be awarded certificates.
"Everyone is under the impression that tennis is an expensive sport, when in fact it is really not," said Donaldson. "It doesn't cost a dime to come and teach, or hold sessions at the schools or other places, so with that in mind, we are encouraging persons to come and join us. The goal is to have everyone in the country pick up a tennis racket at least once or twice. We want to see more persons play."
The 'Play and Stay' program has changed some of the rules in the sport, making it easier for persons to serve, rally and score. Newer balls are now being used on smaller courts that have lower nets. The red balls are for beginners who will eventually move on to the orange and then green. The height of the net, as well as the size of the courts and rackets, will change with each step a player takes while enrolled in the program. The yellow balls, used in regular play, will be introduced during the final step. Persons will then play full games on the standard-sized courts.
Marsh Harbour, Abaco - Thousands of Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) customers can now experience improved cellular service, as the company launched its 4G network in Abaco over the weekend.
There was no space left in the St. John the Baptist Anglican Church hall, as scores of people lined up to participate in the launch event on Saturday.
Last month, BTC officials confirmed to Guardian Business that the revamp of the island's system would be completed by mid-May.
"We have completed 35 of 41 cell sites on Abaco to date and expect to have the remaining few completed within the next several weeks," said Marlon Johnson, BTC's vice president of brand and communications. "When the work is done, customers will enjoy greatly improved service, fewer dropped calls and much faster speeds as Abaco goes from a 2G platform to the blazing speed of 4G."
Arlene Clarke, BTC's senior manager on the island, stressed the need for residents and visitors to the Abacos to have the latest technology available to them, as the island represents BTC's third largest sector throughout the country.
"We have approximately 7,000 wire line customers and 3,000 cell phone customers. Throughout the Abacos, we have nearly 22,000 customers. From these numbers alone, it underscores just how crucial the Abaco market is, not only to the company's success but to the national economy as well," she explained.
The country's telecommunications giant has undergone major upgrades to its network since the company's privatization last year.
However, Tellis Symonette, BTC's senior vice president of commercial and family islands, admitted to Guardian Business that the upgrades have not been without their share of challenges.
"Over the last year, there have been a lot of upgrades to our network system in order for The Bahamas to now have 4G capability. It required us to rip out the entire network and put in new platforms. Of course when you do that, you are going to have issues with the network. However, as we come across these things, they are being addressed," he noted.
Abaco's 4G launch comes after New Providence has been blanketed in 4G, Grand Bahama is nearly 100 percent converted and Bimini and the Berry Islands went live earlier this month.
4G is the fastest available speed for wireless users.
Now that Abaco has been completed, BTC officials are looking to finish off Exuma and then head over to the island of Eleuthera.
These launches are part of the company's goal to have a national rollout of the network by late August.
BTC launched 4G in Nassau in December 2011, coinciding with the opening of its flagship store in the Mall at Marathon.
Two parties were held for the Abaco community in celebration of the 4G launch. On Saturday night an event was held at Snappa's Bar and Grill in Marsh Harbour, featuring Bahamian artists KB and Veronica Bishop. On Friday night, a pre-party was held in the DNR Sports Pub in Marsh Harbour, which featured Dylan McKenzie.
The Campari Lady Nathalie is back... literally!
According to boat owner Eleazor 'Barber J' Johnson, the popular B-Class sloop has re-united with Burns House and the Campari brand, and will enjoy its support and sponsorship for the rest of the year. The sloop has been known as the Campari Lady Nathalie for much of the past two decades, but that partnership was terminated in 2008, and the two entities went their separate ways. With Johnson's Silver Jubilee St. Valentine's Day Massacre set for next year, he said that a better time couldn't have been picked for the two sides to come together again.
"I feel wonderful. It's great to have them back on board but really and truly, our relationship was never stained," said Johnson. "We always stayed in contact and there was always the possibility of them coming back and supporting the Lady Nathalie. Knowing that the 25th Annual St. Valentine's Day Massacre is right around the corner, it's good to know that they are back supporting me. Nathalie is a champion boat and Campari is a champion brand. She is simply legendary, and it's only right that two champions would come together and promote sailing in the country. I see great things happening in the future for the Campari Lady Nathalie," he added.
The Lady Nathalie was sponsored by the Campari brand from 1990-2008. During that time, Johnson's prized B-Class possession has won numerous sailing titles in the country. It has won in Abaco, Acklins, Andros, Bimini, Cat Island, Grand Bahama, North Eleuthera, and of course here in New Providence. However, the sloop has never won the National Family Island Regatta in Georgetown, Exuma nor in Salt Pond, Long Island. The Lady Nathalie finished third overall in picturesque Elizabeth's Harbour in Georgetown this year, and the Long Island regatta is set for this Labour Day Holiday weekend. However, the Lady Nathalie won't be participating in Salt Pond this weekend.
"I never won in Georgetown nor Long Island but the Lady Nathalie is always up there," said Johnson. "I've beaten all the top B-Class sloops except for Buzzy Rolle. He has a fast boat and Nathalie is also fast so it is really just a matter of time, and now with Campari and the Lady Nathalie back together, great things are lying ahead," he added.
So far, Johnson's Lady Nathalie is having a great year. In addition to finishing third overall in Georgetown, the Lady Nathalie won all three series races of the All-for-Regatta with Clyde Rolle at the tiller, and then won the 'Catch Me If You Can' race at the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Johnson is expecting a good summer for his sloop, and for it to finish the year strong, thereby ensuring that Burns House and the Campari brand stay on board for next year as well.
It appears as if Opposition Leader Perry G. Christie is unmoved by the sudden resignation of Craig Butler from the Progressive Liberal Party. Christie stated that people are always leaving the PLP. He also stated, however, that people are always joining his party. Mr. Christie also added that he wishes Mr. Butler all the best in his future endeavors.
Christie said this much about Craig Butler during a PLP rally that was held at their headquarters Gambier House on June 1st. Mr. Butler is the grandson of Sir Milo Butler, the first Bahamian governor general. He was also the treasurer of the PLP. It appears that Mr. Butler's family connection was not enough to help him get the nomination for the PLP.
Mr. Butler has on numerous occasions expressed an interest in running as a candidate for the PLP. In fact, just last year after the resignation of Elizabeth MP Malcolm Adderley from the House of Assembly, Mr. Butler, along with Ryan Pinder, both vied to get the PLP nomination for that constituency. The nomination was given to Mr. Pinder.
He was favored by Mr. Christie to run in the 2010 bye-election in Elizabeth. However, Mr. Christie, before he had made his final decision on who would run in Elizabeth, sounded as if Mr. Butler had a fighting chance to gain the nomination.
Nevertheless, despite what could only be described as a major disappointment in being rejected by the PLP in Elizabeth, Mr. Butler remained a loyal PLP supporter. Mr. Butler then turned his attention to the Kennedy constituency.
That constituency is represented by FNM MP Kenyatta Gibson. Gibson had defected from the PLP in 2008. I understand that Mr. Butler had been canvassing the Kennedy area, with the hope of galvanizing support from PLP supporters.
Many of the PLP supporters in Kennedy were interested in Mr. Butler and his message. It appears as if Mr. Butler really believed that he would be given the PLP nomination for Kennedy. According to some political observers, it appears as if Butler was given this impression by the leaders of that party. This would explain why he was so disillusioned with the PLP and resigned after he was once again rejected by the party.
According to the press, one Dion Smith has been given the nomination to run for the PLP in Kennedy. It is obvious to myself that Mr. Butler was really disappointed at being overlooked again by the PLP. According to the press, Butler was denied a nomination because of his past drug addiction.
Butler has admitted that he once struggled with drug addition. Yet he is quick to add, however, that he has truly reformed. Christie, however, appears not to be impressed with Mr. Butler. Perhaps the opposition leader feels that Butler's past indiscretions would turn off too many voters from the PLP.
Mr. Christie obviously wants to present to the Bahamian electorate a slate of candidates that are squeaky clean. Therefore, it is understandable why Mr Christie is unwilling to accept Butler's nomination. But with that being said, why has Mr. Christie refused to heed the warning of Raynard Rigby, Philip Galanis and George Smith?
These three prominent PLPs had warned Christie not to accept the nominations of Obie Wilchcombe (West End and Bimini), V. Alfred Gray (MICAL), Shane Gibson (Golden Gates), Leslie Miller, Picewell Forbes (South Andros), Anthony Moss (Exuma) and Vincent Peet (North Andros), for the upcoming general election. Most of these gentlemen listed above have also had their share of issues. In fact, several of them, including Keod Smith, Kenyatta Gibson and Sidney Stubbs, had caused the PLP to lose the 2007 general election.
Mr. Christie obviously intends to run these men in the general election. He had written a letter to a prominent tabloid newspaper stating the reason why he had rejected the suggestions of Rigby and co.
Question: If the leader of the opposition is hell-bent on running these candidates, who have also made their share of mistakes, why is Mr. Christie unwilling to do the same for Craig Butler?
If Mr. Christie is willing to overlook the alleged indiscretions of these men, why not do the same for Butler? After all, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. If he is determined to reject Mr. Butler's nomination because of his past, then he should do the same thing to his MPs, who were mentioned in that famous letter that was leaked to the press!
Further, the incident with Craig Butler is similar to an incident that had occurred almost ten years ago in Marco City. The Rev. Frederick MacAlpine was a PLP supporter who himself was given the impression that he would be given the PLP nomination for Marco City to run in the 2002 general election. I live in Marco City. I remember the Rev. MacAlpine sending us letters and holding functions in Marco City. I thought that he would be running in Marco City for the PLP. However, Miss Pleasant Bridgewater was given the nomination instead.
The Rev. MacAlpine felt slighted by Mr. Christie and the PLP. Therefore, he, like Butler, eventually left the party. It appears as if Mr. Christie and his party have a penchant for leading people on.
These men had obviously spent a lot of money and time in these constituencies, only to be told at the eleventh hour that they won't be receiving any nomination from the PLP. If this is what was done to Mr. Butler, then Christie and the other leaders of the PLP should at least apologize to him for wasting his time.
Why tell a man that he has a good chance of securing a nomination, when you have already made up in your mind to run someone else? This is one reason why I find it difficult to support Mr. Christie.
Mr. Christie needs to understand that you just can't treat people like impersonal objects. People are to be treated with dignity and respect. I believe that Christie dealt Craig Butler a very bad hand in this case!
Twenty proud security personnel representing 17 airports in 13 Family Islands received Train the Trainer certification at the closing ceremony of the five-day “Excellence in Screening Techniques Course,” held January 21-25 at the SuperClubs Breezes Resort.