By anguillian May 9, 2014 09:10



Scores of young and adult sporting enthusiasts, as well as a number of vendors, converged on the Stoney Ground Road on Sunday, May 4. The occasion was the first annual Watkins Hodge Community Memorial Race which, by all appearances, is to be among the well-supported calendar events in Anguilla.

The event, outside the adjoining premises of Caracasbaai Supermarket and the Collins O Hodge Complex, was organised by the Anguilla Community Alliance, a recently-formed organisation involving committee members from the Stoney Ground, Little Dix and The Quarter areas. The Alliance has as its leaders Mr Dallen Connor, President, and Mr Sherman Williams, Vice President, both of whom, along with their associates, are passionate about honouring various persons in and outside the areas for their outstanding contributions to the community and the island in general.

The relay races, which encompassed the Stoney Ground Road, the Queen Elizabeth Avenue, the Albert Lake Drive and back, involved a number of participants in various age categories. The competing runners were in the age groups of 8-12, targeting Primary School students; 13-18, involving students of the Comprehensive School; 19-24 and 25 years and over, representing a number of clubs.

Speaking on behalf of his team, during the events, Sherman Williams expressed delight with the response by sponsors, participants and the general public. “The function got off to a magnificent start,” he stated. “We are indeed happy for the support of the community – not only in Stoney Ground, Little Dix and The Quarter – but all other participating communities and those persons cheering the teams. Dallen and I are indeed honoured and humbled that we have the support of family, friends and other peer groups.

“The sponsorships were very good, and we commend our sponsors. It was tremendous and we thank all the businesses and individuals who came on board and assisted in making the memorial race a success. It was an event not just for the activities, but to honour past members of the community, including Mr Watkins Hodge, the banner name for the Anguilla Community Alliance’s annual event.”

A list of over one hundred persons who died over the years in the Stoney Ground, Little Dix and The Quarter areas was read by Mr Alkins Rogers whose parents were also included in that list along with Watkins Hodge and others. Mr Rogers, a former Director of Sports, now Chairman of the Social Security Board, complimented the organisers of the event for their thoughtful and patriotic effort. He was pleased that the event was named in honour of the late Watkins Hodge whom he described as “a stalwart of the community”.

Mr Evans McNiel Rogers also spoke about Mr Hodge’s contribution to the community, and Anguilla on a whole, in the operation of his business and his encouragement and example to young people. “I was very impressed by his contribution and kindness, and we will ensure that this annual event grows from strength to strength,” the Elected Representative commented. He was supported by Ms Veda Harrigan, a retired educator of Little Dix. “I think it is well-fitting to have such a race to commemorate the life and work of the late Watko, and his contribution not only to this community, but the whole of the island,” she said.
Mr Sutcliffe Hodge, an election candidate in the district, said in part: “I think it is a great idea. This immediate community has always been known to be very sports-oriented, and to recognise one of our sports supporters for many years, Mr Watkins Hodge, is a great thing. I hope that we will continue to have this event on an annual basis with a view to keeping our community, and our young people, in particular, focused. We are pleased that, to date, not much of the violence that we hear happening across the island can be attributed to this community. That is commendable and speaks well of how the youngsters here were groomed over the many years.”
The event, which commenced just before noon, continued until close to sunset and climaxed with the distribution of trophies by Mrs Jasmine Hodge-Thomas, daughter of the late Watkins Hodge who delivered a poem in his memory. She is the Principal of the Orealia Kelly Primary School and was pleased that a number of the students there had participated in the memorial race.

The results of the race were as follows – 8-12 category: 1st Morris Vanterpool School; 2nd Valley Primary School; 3rd: Orealia Kelly Primary School. 12-18 years category –1st: Diamonds Athletic Club; 2nd: Lions Club; and 3rd: Rainbow Rockets. 19-24 category –1st: Diamond Athletic Club; (Others did not finish). 25-plus category –1st: Lions Club; 2nd: Advance Community Sports Club; and 3rd: Diamonds Athletic Club.

The relay races were described as having been very exciting and competitive and contributed to a most successful 2014 Watkins Hodge Memorial Race.

By anguillian May 9, 2014 09:10


Latest Poll

Do you like the new layout of the Anguillian ?