By anguillian July 13, 2015 09:16



Hon. Chief Minister Victor Banks

Hon. Chief Minister Victor Banks

A highlight of the meeting of the Anguilla House of Assembly on Tuesday was a statement by Chief Minister, Victor Banks, in which he led members in paying homage to young Anguillian achievers including athletes Zharnel Hughes and Shara Proctor.

Addressing the Speaker, the Chief Minister said: “I would like to take the opportunity to make a statement which I think is in keeping with what we want to achieve – and something which was mentioned by both the First and Second Nominated Members in their presentations.”

Mr. Banks went on: “I want to commend Zharnel Hughes and Shara Proctor for their success in the British National Championships over the past weekend. It demonstrates that even though we come from a small place of fifteen thousand people, with scarce resources physical, human and financial, we are able to produce young people – athletes – who are capable of holding their own in all parts of the world. Zharnel Hughes ranked second to Bolt a few weeks ago and now he is the British National Champion for the 200-metre race. Of course Shara Proctor has been there for a very long time in the long jump.

“We are proud that we have been able to contribute towards the progress of the British team – not only in the championships but throughout the world because they will now be involved in the Olympics. Little Anguilla has been able to do that with its scarce resources. It points to two things, Mr. Speaker. First of all, that there is an opportunity for us to improve on the quality of our resources because we have seen, firsthand, that with more effort we can do even greater things. This is also an opportunity for the British Government to pay attention to the fact that Overseas Territories have an important part to play in the way that they perform in all spheres of activity, and we are very proud of that.

“It also highlights the fact that young people are not all placed in one category…There are a lot of positive things about young people that we can look forward to… It also points out that there is no need for excuses. If you want to achieve something, and do not have the appropriate resources, improvise and try to do things that can assist you in getting there.”

The Chief Minister added: “I want to use this opportunity to pay special attention and commendation to those two young people who have made us proud and also remember those who have gone before…and those coming after them. It is a range of areas where our young people are excelling in athletics, and also in music, and we need to celebrate them.”
Mr. Cardigan Connor, Parliamentary Secretary, Sports, said the facilities that supported Anguilla’s athletes at home were substandard on the world’s stage, but our athletes had nevertheless succeeded – despite that “Athletes like Zharnel Hughes and Shara Proctor send a message to the youth that if you have a dream in your heart, you too can achieve it. In fact, when the challenges are greater, and you think the odds are against you, it actually makes you a better champion. However, that is no excuse for us not to have better facilities, better coaching, better physiotherapy and all the works that are required for an international standard.”

Mr. Connor added: “I think what our athletes have done – those two athletes in particular, and the ones before – has said to the rest of the world: ‘it doesn’t matter where you were born, or what conditions you are under, if something is within you, and you want to achieve it, you certainly will.”’

Leader of the Opposition, Ms. Palmavon Webster, placed on record her full support for the Chief Minister’s statement. She called on Government to make a national commitment not only to celebrate the successes of current young and talented Anguillians, but to carve out a plan to support upcoming achievers as well.

She continued: “I know the Government has already given quite a lot of attention to youth affairs, and I really want to say that this is one area that I feel warmly towards the Government…I would like us to have a plan to make sure that rather than two or three, we have twenty athletes to celebrate in short order.”

By anguillian July 13, 2015 09:16


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