As the island continues its 50th anniversary celebrations of political Independence, some of the island’s top sports personalities transported the symbolic Broken Trident from Independence Square to The Glebe in St George yesterday.
The two-hour event, which started at 3 p.m., saw the emblem changing hands over 30 times along the 13.7-kilometre race, as the sporting representatives ran along the route that took in Bay Street, around the Garrison Savannah, Culloden Road, Government Hill, Haggatt Hall and Salters in St George.
Following a brief opening ceremony in Independence Square, which attracted a modest crowd, the athletes made their way along the stretch, under favourable weather conditions,
as a few residents lined the streets to cheer them on and experience the historic occasion.
During the ceremony, event organizer Senator Maxine McClean reminded the gathering of the significance of the run as she thanked supporters.
“This run is symbolic,” she said. “It will allow us to highlight several areas of importance in the personal, professional and political life of our first Prime Minister, landmarks, contributions and examples of excellence, which this small nation has been able to exhibit over the past 50 years.”
Following the run along the route, the atheletes were joined by Government representatives,
a number of schoolchildren, vendors and other patriotic Barbadians in a concert on the lawns outside the St George Parish Church in The Glebe.
Some participants of the event welcomed it, saying it was a breath of fresh air.
Secretary general of the Barbados Olympic Association, Erskine Simmons, told Barbados TODAY he was pleased that the sportsmen and sportswomen were a part of the celebrations, adding that he could not have asked for anything better as the island celebrated its achievements over the past 50 years.
“I think it went very well. We were invited to partake with the committee on this 50th anniversary of celebrations. We are very pleased to be a part of it and I want to thank all the national federations, past athletes, past Olympians, past medallists for Barbados, CARIFTA athletes, and those who came out to support the event. I think it went very well,” said Simmons.
David Taylor, a paralympic swimmer for Barbados, transported the symbolic Trident along a stretch of the highway in Haggatt Hall, St Michael.
On behalf of his team, he told Barbados TODAY the event was “good. It was cool”.
Meanwhile Joseph Clarke, 55, expressed disappointment that the athletes were not presented with water along the route. But said that apart from that he had fun.
“Even if it is one mile or two miles, you need water along the course. But apart from that it was okay,” said Clarke, who described himself
as a freelance runner.
Aiden Taylor, 58, who is associated with the Special Olympics team, said it was an honour for him to run alongside “the young people of Barbados” as they transported the Trident.
Former Olympian Marcia Trotman, who participated in the run from Independence Square to Bay Street, said it was an honour for her to be a part of it, as she expressed thanks to God for being alive to be able to witness the celebrations.
First vice president of the Barbados Swimming Association, Cheryl Forde, said she too was glad to be a part of the run, but expressed shock at the low turn-out.
“It is a significant occasion and it is good that we have so many sports represented here today . . . . I was a little surprised at the turn-out. I thought there would have been more people, more families coming out, especially with young children to see what the Olympic spirit is all about.
“I am not sure why they are not here. I guess they are a lot more activities going on,” said Forde. (DB/MM)