Minister’s Remarks at the Opening Ceremony of Digicel’s 2017 Junior Caribbean Squash Championships

It’s been a very hot week around here. I know because 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 our young people have for Squash, and the intensity with which you play this game.

Representatives form each team taking part in this year's Digicel's Junior Squash Championships
Representatives from each team taking part in this year’s Digicel’s Junior Caribbean Squash Championships

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 – personal growth – and I applaud all of you for the intensity you bring to your sport and to the management of it.
I started to wonder yesterday about the whole concept of the “home-court advantage”, and it seems as if it’s under threat. Listen to this piece from a news article today in the Jamaica Observer:
“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 Bermudan. What I heard (in my reading ear) 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.

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