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Just a couple weeks ago, The Bahamas' senior men's national volleyball team were on the cusp of qualifying for the prestigious FIVB (International Federation of Volleyball) Men's World Championship, which would have been a historic first for the country, but they didn't qualify. The women haven't been on the same level as the men for quite some time.
The Bahamas' women finished sixth at the last Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Championships, while the men were victorious. Not only that, but the men advanced all the way to the final round of the world championships qualifying process, finishing first in the first round, second in the second and third in the third, while the Bahamian women failed to get out of the first round in their group.
What is causing the huge disparity? Bahamas Volleyball Federation (BVF) President Joe Smith believes that sponsorship plays a significant part, and it is incumbent upon them to get more financial support behind the women's program in the country, like it is done for the men.
"Sponsorship is very important," said Smith. "The bottom line is that our women are not going to get better by just playing local teams here at home. We have to be able to get them more exposure and more experience, but we are well on the way. We are seeing a rebranding of the women's program now. I think that this is the year for them to excel.
"When you look at the program, a lot of youth is integrated into the team, ages 21-22.
"With the men, most of the guys who are excelling now, joined the program at a very young age, and they just grew together. I can see the ladies advancing to the third round of qualifiers (world championships) in the very near future. We have a good crop of athletes who can do it. It's just up to us to get some financial support behind them and allow them to get some international exposure. We are working on that."
The senior men and women's CAZOVA Championships are set for this summer, July 15-28, in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.
Both Bahamian squads would have to win in order to qualify for the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) Championships, set for next year. The Bahamas' men are the defending CAZOVA Champions, and finished seventh at the last NORCECA Championships. The women still have a lot of work to do, just to get to that level.
"I think that we are on the way. We just have to go out there and continue to recruit talented athletes," said New Providence Volleyball Association (NPVA) President DeVince Smith.
"We want to give the ladies the same opportunities that the men had in terms of international exposure, where they will be faced against some of the best players in our region. To play against your own can only take you so far. The guys got together, made the sacrifice, and went international to play international teams. That built their confidence. Once we do the same with the female program, you will see the same thing happening with them in the future."
The Bahamas' men's national team is one of the favorites going into the CAZOVA Championships this year. BVF President Smith feels that this is the year for the women to make a statement. The implementation of youth and agility into the program could be a major component for the women going forward. The addition of collegiate players such as Je'Nae Saunders, Avoni Seymour and Terae Sweeting into the national picture is expected to bolster the women's volleyball program here in the country.
"When you look at the men, they began to excel when a number of them went off to college. We see that happening now with the women, and we can see a difference in their play," said women's veteran player and coach Margaret 'Muggy' Albury. "I think that we are definitely on the right track in terms of getting the women more established. The collegiate players will only add to the women's national program in the country, so the future looks very bright."
The CAZOVA Championships are about a month away, and it will be interesting to see how The Bahamas fare against the rest of the region, particularly the women.
Nassau, Bahamas - Cycling enthusiasts rolled into
Caves Village Shopping Centre for the BOB Family Fun Ride held Saturday,
January 28. The non-competitive Family Fun Ride, held in conjunction with the 9th
Annual Tour of the Bahamas, invited cycling enthusiasts to participate in a 10-mile
ride beginning at Caves Point, heading east to Saunders Beach and back.
Amateur cycling enthusiasts rode along
with pros, including the Coco's Racing Team out of Florida...
They may be deaf, but the beauty they see around them isn't lost on the 35 students at the Red Cross Centre for the Deaf, who are creating beautiful handicraft and ornate straw work.
And the beauty of what they are producing is not lost on seventh-grade student Vanae Smith. Through an interpretor, she signed that she was glad she learned to sew and make mats, napkin rings and coasters. While she is uncertain whether she wants to pursue a career in craft specifically, she intends to continue practicing and learning more about craft work.
For 12-year-old Jonoah Saunders, learning to do straw work was fun. He said he hoped to learn new techniques so that he could teach others to learn one day.
After weeks of creating craft, Vanae, Jonoah and their peers were able to put their Bahamian-inspired creations using tamarind, hibiscus and dilly on display at a recent exhibition at the Ministry of Education.
The students were able to create their art and craft with a grant of $10,000 from the Ministry of Education. The money allowed for the purchase of industrial machines which allowed the students to enhance their pre-existing craft and straw work more efficiently and professionally.
"We are so proud of our students" said Red Cross Centre for the Deaf Vice-principal Sonja Rolle. "They have impressed us time and time again with their diligence to learn new things and create what they saw in their mind. From the smallest child to the oldest ones, everyone had a part to play in making the straw work and craft come together. We can't wait to see what can come of this, because the sky is really the limit for these children despite what others may think."
Sandra Sweeting, a senior mistress who trained the students in the craft and straw work, said there are plans to create a sheltered workshop where students can continue to do their creative work and sell them. This she said would be a way to help enrolled and graduated students who are skilled in the area to have a form of employment that is fun and beneficial.
"These crafts are more than just for fun. They are important because they will provide an avenue for students to be self-employed. They will be able to be more proficient in this area and not feel pressured to just fit in. This is something many of them are good at and it is a good thing to encourage them. Not everyone thinks they are capable but we are proving that they are very able through this means," said Sweeting.
The recent showcase it is hoped would be the first of many, as the students continue to advance their skills and do more creative works. Other skills they hope to be able do is learning to color straw and using different styles of plaiting to enhance their work.
The senior mistress hopes the hard work the students are showing will encourage others to keep trying hard and spark their own entrepreneurial skills.
"I hope people see the creativity that goes into the work and recognize their own abilities. This is a real lesson to be learned," said Sweeting.
People interested in seeing the work and supporting the student's continued arts and crafts program can visit the school on Gregory Street near The College of The Bahamas dorms, where their work will be on display.
Entrepreneurship, financial literacy, work readiness and citizenship can be difficult skills for adults to attain, but that's not stopping officials of the Junior Achievement (JA) Bahamas program from instilling these principles into the country's youngsters.
The program's executive director and chief of operations John Darville revealed to Guardian Business that approximately $12,000 is being pumped into the implementation of these new programs at the elementary and junior high school levels.
For the past 32 years, Darville said the JA program has been a pioneer in youth training in areas of business that have impacted the lives of thousands of Bahamians.
He said these latest programs are all in an effort to equip young Bahamians with skills that will significantly impact their individual contributions as responsible citizens of the world.
"The programs are seven-week, module-based, interactive programs that will be executed by volunteers and teachers, and designed for 25 to 32 students," Darville said. "With the assistance of the JA alumni community, the government's Volunteer Bahamas program and the instant commitment of teachers at participating schools, we have been able to secure the participation of skilled and responsible Bahamians to execute these initiatives."
Darville said there are currently 400 students registered at the elementary level.
Participating schools include Thelma Gibson Primary, St. Thomas More Primary School, St. Bede's Catholic School, Yellow Elder Primary, Mable Walker Primary, Gerald Cash Primary, Garvin Tynes Primary, St. Anne's School, Columbus Primary, Trinity Christian Schools, Woodcock Primary, Our Lady's Catholic Primary School and Xavier's Lower School.
Now, at the junior high school level, the program's director Raymond Winder said it envisioned that achievers would participate in two modules that will focus on the basics of economics for success, and business ethics.
Winder feels there are principles that could be applied in personal life and the development of a professional career.
"The JA Business Ethics program will be the most important of the sessions to be offered at the junior school level. We have deemed this to be our flagship program for Bahamian youth ages 12 to 14. Currently there are 1,189 students registered in the program," according to Winder.
JA Business Ethics is designed to foster ethical decision making in students as they prepare to enter the workforce. Students learn to recognize, analyze and apply basic terminology, theories and concepts common to the study of ethics.
Schools participating in this program include T.A. Thompson Junior High, L.W. Young Junior High, C.H Reeves Junior High, S.C. McPherson Junior High, D.W. Davis Junior High, H.O. Nash Junior High, Kingsway Academy, Christian Heritage School, Zion Christian School, St. John's College, Queen's College, Anatol Rodgers High School, Charles W. Saunders Baptist School and Jordan Prince William Baptist School.
The program is expected to reach an estimated 7,000 participants with the commitment of all junior high schools in New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco and Long Island.
The programs are set to begin on January 30.
Funeral Service for the Late Dr. Sandra C. Sherman, 68 years of #11 Sunset Drive, The Grove, West Bay Street and formerly of Washington, D.C. will be held on Saturday May 5th, 11:00 a.m. at Faith Temple Ministries International, Prince Charles Drive. Bishop Philemon Wilson assisted by Pastor Andrew Burrows and other Ministers of the Gospel will officiate. Interment will follow in Lakeview Memorial Gardens, John F. Kennedy Drive.
Left to cherish her loving memories are her husband: Dr. George H. Sherman; her Children: Kevin & Kimberly Sherman; her Grandchildren: Tiana & Kiyah Sherman; Daughter-in-law: Alicia Sherman; her Sisters in law: Elizabeth Carter, Missouri Sherman- Peter, Esther Sherman-McKenzie, & Rosemary Sherman; her Brothers in law: Eugene Sherman, Ezel Sherman; numerous nieces and nephews including: Ronald Carter, Brenda Manley, Senaka Peter, Sebastian Peter, Marsha Sherman-Bain & Mark Miller; Cousins: Wiley Thompson, Clark Thompson, Joseph Mosby, Lynwood Mosby, Beatrice Richerson, Orange Allen, Norman Haskins Jr., Gwendolyn Mosby, Gloria Nash, Maxine Carter, Gladys Payne, Brenda Johnson-Best, Ashley Johnson-Long. Friends & Family: Mrs. Susanna Russell and Family, Brenda & Raymond Rolle & Family, Dionne Rolle & Family, Mrs. Barbara Curtis and Family, Delores Cooper & Family, Selena Donaldson & Family , Alma Ferguson & Family, Dr. Earnest & Barbara Kinchen, Bernard & Jane Miller and Family, Dr. Rudy and Jerry Dorsett & Family, Lionel & Naomi Symonmett and Family, Katie & Roy Warren & Family, Angela Achara & Family, Dr. M. Rashad & Family, Paulette Haven and Family, Mrs. Muriel Eneas, Dr. Agreta & James Eneas & Family, Dr. Cleveland Eneas Jr. & Family, Diane Fox & Family, Joyce and Ajene Curtis, Paula Bain & Family, Iona Andrews & Family, Marsha Echols & Ambrose Okulu, Mr. James Shearer, Pastor Thomas & Joyce Sands & Family, Pastor Jay & Euphemia Simms &
Family, Pastor Rick & Gaye Dean & Family, Fr. Ettiene Bowleg & Family, Drs. Larry & Carol Carroll, Teaza Wallace, Pastor Neil Hamilton, Keith & Renee Saunders, Dr. & Mrs. Homer Bloomfield, Ulrick & Tamela McIntosh & Family.
Friends may pay their last respects at Bethel Brothers Morticians, Nassau Street on Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday at the Church from 10:00 a.m. until service time.
Cycling enthusiasts rolled into Caves Village Shopping Centre for the Bank of The Bahamas (BOB) Family Fun Ride held Saturday, January 28. The non-competitive Family Fun Ride, held in conjunction with the 9th Annual Tour of The Bahamas, invited cycling enthusiasts to participate in a 10-mile ride beginning at Caves Point, heading east to Saunders Beach and back.
Amateur cycling enthusiasts rode along with pros, including the Coco's Racing Team out of Florida.
"BOB, Bank of The Bahamas, is proud to sponsor events that promote healthy lifestyles for Bahamian families," stated Michael Basden, BOB marketing manager. "The Family Fun Ride provided a rare and exciting opportunity for local cycling enthusiasts to ride side-by-side with professional cyclists."
BOB executives and cycling enthusiasts who rode the circuit included Paul McWeeney, managing director; Vaughn Delaney, deputy managing director; Ian Thompson, retail sales manager and Jeffrey Burnside, messenger.
Bahamian Olympic hopeful 17-year-old Jay Major, who finished third in Category 3 of the 42-mile Tour of The Bahamas circuit road race, also participated. All the cyclists completed the 10-mile circuit in less than 90 minutes. More than 100 riders participated in the competitive Tour of The Bahamas that attracted more spectators than ever before. The time trials and road races started at the Clifton Heritage Park, on Saturday and Sunday.
By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAN was granted $5,000 bail after pleading not guilty in Magistrate's Court to committing nearly $700 worth of fraud while impersonating a Volunteer Bahamas worker.
Jerron Bain, 21, of Saunders Acres was released on the bond by Court 10 Magistrate Guilimina Archer after the prosecution offered no objection.
Bain was arraigned in the Nassau Street Court on three charges of fraud by false pretences, along with possessing and uttering a false document. It was claimed that all the offences were committed between November 8 and December 15, 2011.
It is alleged that on November 8, Bain obtained $300 cash from Reverend T G Morri ...
This past Saturday, Ryan "Big Youth" McKenzie solidified his climb toward ring respectability by stopping Richard Starnino in Verona, New York, within two rounds. The Bahamian Light Heavyweight Champion disposed of Starnino, who at 9-5-2 before the bout, presented McKenzie with his most authentic foe to date.
Starnino was no match for the sturdy McKenzie. The referee stepped in at 2:15 of the second round to end the one-sided affair. McKenzie was declared the 'performer of the night' according to fellow Bahamian Meacher Major who was in attendance.
"I think he is going to be a force to reckon with," said Major quite simply.
No doubt, barring a drop-off in his conditioning, once he connects with handlers who have his interest at heart, McKenzie will definitely be our next big professional boxing campaigner. He is now officially 9-0 and seems to be a solid thinker. He is following the lead of Major, who broke away from local handlers in order to maximize his potential in the ring.
That mind-set is important. The swift decline of Jermain Mackey should serve as a lesson to McKenzie, Major and all of the other local pros. McKenzie is one of those fortunate ring competitors who have the right package. He has the height and is rugged. He can box when he needs to and he slugs quite effectively when the openings present themselves.
There is an interesting development in local professional boxing. Boxers are taking charge of their own careers. Mackey is doing it. He has now teamed up with former middleweight champion Elkeaner Saunders for his return to the ring, and hopefully for the remainder of a career that once looked so very promising.
Mackey still has a few years left in the game. The two years of rest from ring action might actually work in his favor. The decision to move in another management direction was one of the best he has made in his life. He had a lot going for him. If Mackey is just 85 percent of what he was, ahead is a few years of quality performances.
Major has been the thinker of the lot, that group that turned professional in 2004. He has gone on to win regional titles and advance himself in the world ratings. He is also positioning himself for the management circle once he retires. Major is establishing a lot of outside contacts and savvy in the business.
The Major and Mackey camps and the new perspective of McKenzie are refreshing developments in Bahamian professional boxing. The Bahamas Boxing Commission is loving it all, and as always, going to great lengths to assist those in the professional mix. I congratulate McKenzie on a win on foreign turf that ought to be very inspiring to him.
To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com
By INDERIA SAUNDERS
Guardianâ Business Reporter
More businesses should be promoting their offerings outside The Bahamas, said a local fashion show organizer, arguing this is the key to success for those unconventional businesses that help diversify the economy.
It comes as the Islands of the World Fashion Week(IWFW)receives recognition from press all over the world on the heels of its North American tour. It's notice, said organizer Owen Bethel, that may have been tempered if he hadn't taken the show on the road--literally.
"You can create opportunities here,"the president of Mode Iles told Guardianâ Business,"but if you don't go out and pro ...
Funeral Service for Ida Cooper, 92, and a resident of #6 Columbus Drive, Freeport and formerly of Grand Cay, Abaco will be held on Saturday 26th, February, 2011 at11:00 a.m. at Shiloh Baptist Church, Grand Cay, Abaco . Officiating will be Rev. Rudolph K. Roberts. Interment will follow in the Infantview Cemetery, Grand Cay.
Her legacy will live on in the lives of her two sons Roosevelt Curry and Nevel Munnings one daughter Regina Saunders one adopted son Rudolph Pinder one adopted sister Melvina (Mar) Williams 17 grandchildren Laverne Lowe, la-Keisha Burrows, Melvin Jr., Kirk Sr. and Dwayne Sr. Saunders, Nickia Horton, Maryann Pinder, Lafayette Dorsett, Carol Russel ...