‘A new beginning’ for students of Huntley Christie High School

WHEN the renovations are done at the Huntley Christie High School in Nicholls Town, North Andros, the students and physical education teachers feel it will definitely have a greater impact on their sporting programme.

Last week when a list of dignitaries came to town, the 365-member school population got the news that through a grant of $200,000 from the Pan American Sports Organisation, the Carl Oliver Track and Field Stadium will finally get the much needed renovations with a new Mondo surface.

Shanika Riley, now in her fifth year back home teaching, said this was something that they have been pushing for a long time. She said when coach John Ingraham guided their track programme, he pushed to get the repairs done, but she just wished that he was still here to witness the transformation.

Ingraham has since been posted to Grand Bahama, but Riley is hoping to continue the legacy that he left behind.

“The kids are excited. They are ready to go. This is going to be a new beginning for them so I am sure that we will continue to produce some of the best athletes in the Bahamas with this new track,” she said.

“We’re looking forward to a fast track, so their times will definitely get better. The Seminoles are going to do very well. My main goal is to see the new surface and the repairs to the gymnasium. We are the number one Family Island now, but we want to make sure that we stay that way.”

Basketball player Tiffany Hanna, now in her second year as a physical education teacher at the school, said they deserve the new facility because of the hard work that the student athletes have put in over the years.

“They are excited. They feel that this is something that is long overdue,” she said. “Since I came here, I’ve seen the hard work and dedication and determination of the students, so this will be good for them.”

Hanna said although they lost Ingraham, they still have a solid base to work with. Frideline Augustine, better known as Sara, is a 13-year-old ninth grader who has been competing on the track for the past nine years. Like the others, she’s eager to see the transformation from the tar to the Mondo track surface.

“We want to be able to train better and have better equipment,” said the 400/800 metre specialist. “I feel the new surface will allow us to train better because it’s soft and we will have the proper gym to exercise in.”

And Tremell Miller, another 13-year-old ninth grader, said the surface is hard and she tries her best to avoid getting injured on it when she’s using her sprints. “I’m looking forward to it. I know it’s going to be different,” said the sprinter who made the CAC Youth team two years ago. “I know that I can get better. I want to compete on the national team again.”

Mondo’s representative Michael Tovan said after reviewing the facilities, he’s going back to the United States to complete the layout of the new facility before it’s approved by the Bahamas Olympic Committee and its partners.

Once that is done, he said they will immediately commence work on the new facility that should take about six months to be repaired.

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