Real News – The United Progressive Party (UPP) is calling for more meaningful recognition for Team Antigua Island Girls from the Government of Antigua and Barbuda.
Last week’s Notes say that, at its July 26 meeting, the Cabinet decided the trio of female sailors would be given national awards in this year’s Independence honours.
Accordingly, it intends to submit their names to the Honours Committee. In the meanwhile, members of the Executive applauded the three women for their strength and determination.
On behalf of the UPP, public relations officer Damani Tabor also commends the women for their latest exploits.
However, at this point, he says, national honours are not going to “cut it,” and he urges the Government to get more creative and comprehensive in how it rewards the victorious and patriotic team.
Tabor says the Browne Administration has missed several opportunities to position Team Antigua Island Girls as national athletes, and reveals that the trio was not even travelling on official passports.
He notes that the Administration has been quick to appoint others – such as Mary J. Blige and Angela Bassett – as ambassadors, but it neglects our own.
However, leveraging these talented women internationally, by appointing them ambassadors, can only reap benefits for the country, he says.
The UPP PRO adds that the Administration pays only lip service to the promotion of sports tourism, and, again, opportunities are being overlooked.
He suggests that the Government acquire the boat that the Team used for its two ocean rows and set it up as an artifact that, ultimately, could become a tourist attraction.
Further, having undertaken their latest rowing challenge to raise funds for a home for troubled girls who run afoul of the law, Tabor says the trio will require economic support.
They have already racked up significant expenses to fund their ventures privately, the UPP officer says, and the Browne Administration should be looking to award them a lump sum to help defray these costs and to encourage them in future endeavors.
“These are the types of comprehensive ways in which the Government should be looking at giving the Island Girls more credence and support, insofar as they have uplifted Antigua and Barbuda,” Tabor declares.
Team Antigua Island Girls completed the Taliska Whiskey Atlantic Challenge in January 2019.
And, on July 23, this year, it completed what was dubbed the “World’s Toughest Row,” the Pacific Challenge, in just over 41 days, after leaving California, in June, for the finish line in Hawaii.
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