A day after donating $50,000 to the upcoming CARIFTA Track and Field Championships and its trials this weekend, Island Luck (IL), through its IL Cares Foundation, made another generous donation to youth sports in The Bahamas yesterday.
IL Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Dirk Simmons, at a special presentation ceremony, awarded the Ministry of Education with a $20,000 check to assist with staging both the national basketball and soccer championships.
The basketball championships take place March 22-26 in Grand Bahama, while the soccer championships take place at the Roscoe Davies field in New Providence in April.
“We are again happy to partner with the ministry on this particular event, and we plan to partner for future events,” Simmons said.
“Along with keeping them out of travel, events like this help the youth deal with the pressure and stress of growing up in a fast-paced social and digital environment.
“The discipline and dedication of the student athlete should be an inspiration to us all. Because in many instances, some of these athletes from underprivileged communities, which in turn ends up in educational opportunities that would otherwise not be possible without their participation in sports. So, it is important that we as a society keep the youth active, not only in sports, but also various cultural activities. We believe the youth is the future, and we want to ensure that we are one of the corporate entities involved with building a better Bahamas.”
IL Cares served as one of the chief sponsors for the basketball championships last year and also sponsored the national volleyball championships last month.
“We thank the IL Cares for donating a total of $10,000 each to both the basketball and soccer championships,” said Nationals organizer and Senior Director in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Evon Wisdom.
“On behalf of the organizing committee of the national high school championships, we thank you for your support and we appreciate the concern that IL Cares has for the youth of The Bahamas.”
For the first time ever, an IL Cares Courage award will be handed out to a student in high school that is affected by a health challenge. The award will be presented to a selected student on Friday, during the event’s opening ceremony.
“We really wanted to focus on the youth with this event,” Wisdom said.
“It is my understanding that officials in Grand Bahama have already selected this particular student, and we are looking to honor them for their courage. Hopefully we will be able to help out with some of the issues afflicting them, offering some support. So, we are definitely thankful to our sponsors in that regard, for making this possible.”
The association champions earn automatic bids into the 12-team field which includes seven teams from New Providence and five teams from Grand Bahama.
The St Augustine’s College Big Red Machine and Jordan Prince William Falcons will represent the BAISS while GSSSA representatives include the CC Sweeting Cobras, CI Gibson Rattlers, Anatol Rodgers Timberwolves and Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins. The Teleos Cherubims will be the lone school from the BSA.
Teams out of Grand Bahama will include the Eight Mile Rock BlueJays, Tabernacle Baptist Academy Falcons, Sunland Baptist Academy Stingers, St Georges Jaguars and Jack Hayward Wildcats.
The Family Island division features the top 11 senior boys teams from the Family Island and others with a limited population.
The field includes Agape Christian School and Patrick J Bethel High School out of Abaco, San Salvador Central High School, Cat Island High School, NGM Major High School from Long Island, South Andros High School, Central Eleuthera High, Gateway Academy and Louise McDonald High School out of Bimini and BSA schools out of the capital – Mt Carmel Preparatory Academy and Akhepran International Academy.
The senior girls will feature 10 teams from New Providence, Grand Bahama and Abaco.
New Providence schools will once again include SAC and Jordan Prince William from the BAISS, Teleos Christian from the BSA, Doris Johnson and CV Bethel from the GSSSA, Eight Mile Rock, Tabernacle, Bishop Michael Eldon and St Georges High School out of Grand Bahama and Abaco’s Agape Christian Academy.