This was seen on National Heroes Day during the annual Elma Grant Road Race Classic 2016, held under the theme ‘Celebrating Community Spirit, Honouring Community Heroes’.
This year, four community heroes were selected and honoured. They were Harcourt Wason, former Olympian; George Lewis, past Foundation School athlete in the 100m and 200m sprint events; Reuben Bailey, now deceased, former national distance runner; and Curwen Greaves, President of the Valery Sports and Social Club.
The Elma Grant Road Race Classic, which is in its third year, is held in honour of Brittons Hill matriarch, Elma Grant. In keeping with the theme, the contributions of two outstanding Brittons Hill jockeys were also acknowledged with fifth and sixth Challenge Trophies.
Godfrey Griffith was given the fifth Challenge trophy. At present, he is the oldest jockey within the Brittons Hill community. Rico Walcott, the most successful Brittons Hill jockey to date, received the sixth Challenge trophy. Many persons might remember Walcott as the young jockey who won the Sandy Lane Gold Cup in 2015, going on to win the Champion Jockey at the Northland Track in Canada that same year.
On hand to assist with the opening of the races was Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Freundel Stuart. This year, many persons within and around the community came out by the dozens to support and participate in the event, which started with a 3km walk and run, giving persons the option to either walk or run. Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy and Senator Verla DePeiza were amongst the eager participants taking part in the 3km walk and run. For some, it was more about walking with friends and enjoying oneself than the competitive aspect often associated with competitions.
Participant and resident, Grace Greenidge, told The Barbados Advocate, “It was a lot of fun. Last year I pulled a muscle, but I did not allow that to stop me from participating this year and missing out on the fun.”
In the 50m, 100m, 200m and the 400m races, the younger ones came out dressed in symbolic yellow tee-shirts as each gave of their best as excited parents lined the streets cheering them on.
Some parents, in hopes of showing their children how fun running can be, entered various races in good spirit as they sprinted across the Villa Road stretch used for the
In the 50m Under-5’s Abilla Clarke gave her opponents a run for their money as she sprinted towards the finish line in first position, leaving Lashonte Toppin-Taylor and Rakala Grant to place second and third respectively, a feat she repeated in the 100m and 200m races.
In the Under-9’s, Daunte John also gave his competitors a run for their money. He dominated the heat taking first position, leaving Azarie Clarke to place second and Jadon Burrowes to place third. He went on to win the 100m and 200m races.
In the Under-13’s Rahiem Walcott was the one to watch. The young athlete dominated his heat with such skills even his opponents in the race were praising his athletic prowess. Walcott also claimed the win in the 200m and 400m race.
At the end of the races, Kylie Chandler and Element Walcott were the MVPs for the event, going home with the MVP trophies along with other prizes.
All in all one can say the Elma Grant Road Race Classic 2016 was a must-see, fun event. A community-building initiative bringing persons within and around the Brittons Hill community closer and together as one, a view Prime Minister Stuart agreed on.
He told The Barbados Advocate, “The event was very well patronised. There seems to be a high level of enthusiasm from the youngest children to the oldest adult. One which is indicative of the high level of esteem Elma Grant is held in, within this community.
“She has been a tower of strength for a large number of people in the community. At the same time, it is an opportunity for the community to come together and enjoy some very clean fun, which it has been today with a high level of satisfaction of the event.”
Jennifer Grant, the Event Co-ordinator, expressed her heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, the National Sports Council, the business community in and around Brittons Hill, Brittons hill residents who assisted in sponsorship and volunteering of their time and skills to make the event a success over the last three years.