Opening ceremony DIGICEL’S 2017 JUNION CARIBBEAN SQUASH CHAMPIONSHIP

Georgetown, Wednesday, July 5, 2017

MINISTER’S REMARKS

SALUTATIONS

  • Director of Sport, Christopher Jones
  • Representatives of the sponsors (and I’m happy to see that ExxonMobil is rooting for you too)
  • Organizers of this Caribbean Squash tournament
  • Players, coaches, chaperones
  • Members of the Media, friends, All … 

It’s been a very hot week around here (my office is right next door). I’ve been following the progress of this tournament and I couldn’t help but be impressed with the passion that our young people have for Squash, and the intensity with which you play this game.

You don’t need me to remind you that participation in sports builds good character – whether it’s a game as physical as Squash, or the total brain-game of Chess. You’ve heard it all before. No matter the muscles you use, playing the game has the same effect, and I applaud all of you for the intensity you bring to your sport.

I started to wonder yesterday about this whole concept of “home-court advantage”, and it seems as if it’s under threat. Listen to this piece from a news article today:
“Trinidad and Tobago claims gold at Junior Caribbean Squash tournament … Seth Thong of T&T, not yet 11 years old, was ruthless, not dropping a set …”, and he was playing against one of Guyana’s hotshots, young Mohryan Baksh.

But to tell the truth, I was not really interested in where any of the players come from, whether they’re Caymanian, Guyanese or Vincentian. What I heard was “Fire in the Caribbean soul”, and I was reminded again of a theory I have.

I do firmly believe that even though competition is fierce in our Caribbean region, sports tend to make more friends than rivals. For a number of reasons, our Caribbean spirit tones down the rivalry, and the players play more for glory and bragging rights.

So, I’m glad that I have the honour of personally wishing every player the best of luck in the team matches over the next few days … and I have to say it … May the best Caribbean champion win.

Thank you.

Catherine Hughes

Minister

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