James Cordice (left), pioneer and coordinator of SVG participation in Penn Relays with Belize’s Stann Creek Ecumenical
College contingent. Photo by Nelson A. King
after his school competed in the games
late last month.
“As a coach, that’s one you want and
one that you can live with,” he added.
“We are progressing. We are getting
In addition to the boys’ team, Francisco
said a girls’ team competed in the
games this year.
Last year, the inaugural year for any
Belizean high school competing in the
carnival, only a boys’ team from Stan
Creek Ecumenical College participated
in the three-day meet, during the last
week in April, starting on Thursday and
ending on Saturday, with the marquee
On the Thursday, Francisco said the
highlight was “to see the girls completing
their race (4x100m) without dropping
“Meeting them at the end shows that
not only myself and other supporters
were happy for them, their emotions
showed exactly what success means in
accomplishing your purpose, as they
hugged and cried together,” he said.
“Right there and then, I told them, ‘job
well done’ and continue walking with
your heads up.”
The next day, the head coach said the
school “went all the way in with confidence,
hope and faith.
“We knew we would make noise,” he
said. “The 4×100m males had us jumping,
dancing, shouting with all kind of
mixed emotions. To hear the announcer
calling your school name gave us something
to be super proud of and about.
“Placing fourth — with the challenges
of not having an actual track, coming
from a tropical climate country having
to run in such weather conditions and
still finished in the top five — does a lot
for the kids, our school, our community
and even our country to a certain
extent,” he added.
Francisco said the Saturday “was the
day of toughness and resiliency, one
of the hardest events and our hardest
challenge, the 4×400m.
“The start was our biggest downfall,
but to see them (athletes) fighting
through the other remaining legs did
more than what was expected of them,”
he said. “They competed and finished
strong at 8th place.
“Taking the good out of the bad,
we knew right there and then that we
have three (athletes) good enough to
compete out of the four runners to
better prepare for next year,” he added.
“So (there is) a level of hope, and I was
pleased with the results knowing they
did their best.”
Dr. Jacklyn Cayetano, principal of
Stann Creek Ecumenical College, who,
along with Vice Principal, Ray Lawrence
and a chaperone, accompanied
the teams, said the school was happy to
compete in the Penn Relays, for the first
time, last year.
“We participated this year, because
we appreciate the opportunity afforded
to us and we knew we could have done
better this time around, having the
experience from last year,” she told Caribbean
She credited James Cordice, the Philadelphia
based pioneer and coordinator
of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ participation
in the Penn Relays, for pushing
Stann Creek Ecumenical College in
its history-making role.
“He is our host once we are in the
US,” Dr. Cayetano said. “He provides us
with accommodations, transport, food
and tremendous support to our team.
“Mr. Cordice keeps constant contact
with our school through the school
Caribbean L 44 ife, May 31–June 6, 2019 BQ
year, ensuring that we are on track and
getting ready for the upcoming games,”
Cayetano also lauded the school’s
Board of Governors for “approving
finances in the current budget and even
approved more finances when our costs
went way over budget.
“We also need to credit the teachers
in the Sports Committee for our participation.,”
she said. “They help to coach
and prepare the students and even help
in fundraising initiatives. We also need
to credit our local business community
for pitching in to support this very
costly and ambitious venture.”
Cayetano said her school intends to
continue competing in the Penn Relays
“some time to come.
“We believe that it is important to
have our student athletes compete
at this level,” she said. “Participating
affords our students exposure and
increases the chances for scholarship
opportunities for them.
“It also means that our students
have the ability to improve their skills,
and this could even propel them to
even higher levels of competition,” she
For Lawrence, the Penn Relays is
“a once in a lifetime experience for
any athlete, much less for students
from Stann Creek Ecumenical High
School, who overcame significant odds
and broke substantial barriers to make
their mark on behalf of their school and
country in such a prestigious event.”
He said Stann Creek Ecumenical
High School “continues to be the beacon
of hope for young people in the
southern region of Belize, with its focus
on discipline, aesthetics, sports and
the academics as a means of creating
opportunities for young, vulnerable students
of the South.
Continued from Page 43
hand, rose above others in Zone
One by winning only 12 of their 22
BDF also excelled this season by
scoring 75 goals and taking in only
Weymouth Weymouth scored 52
and let in 19.
With the championship trophy
safely in hand, BDF coach, Asquith
Howell, said “it is always good to win
a championship. It is a developmental
programme and over the last three
years we have been runners-up to
Wales and UWI. I think this group
deserves to win a championship in
their final year.”
US$800,000 each while the losing
finalists will collect US$2 million.
The prize money is part an overall
US$10 million payout for the tournament
in which West Indies are twotime
champions, having won the first
two editions in 1975 and 1979.
The West Indies will face Pakistan
in their first match of the World Cup
on May 31 at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
The 2019 World Cup format is similar
to the nine-team edition played
in 1992, where each team plays the
others in the round-robin phase,
with the top four advancing to the
The 64-day tournament will be
played across 11 venues in England
and Wales from May 30 to July 16.
Continued from Page 43
West Indies captain, Jason Holder
plays a shot during the fi rst One
Day International cricket match
between England and West Indies
at Old Trafford in Manchester,
Associated Press / Rui Vieira, File
Continued from Page 43
Belize school makes progress at Penn Relay