Last Sunday evening, April 29, Team Guyana received a resounding welcome at the Oxygen Nation Cocktail Lounge at 1343 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn, where members were congratulated during a reception, on winning four gold, and four bronze medals, at the recent Penn Relays in Philadelphia.
Cassi Small — the anchor leg, of the 4x4 relay race team that won gold, lauded teammates for excelling at the meet and said, “you could do anything you put your mind to.”
“We trained hard and finished the race in just four minutes,” said the athlete who along with teammates Princess Browne, Joanna Archer, Binka Joseph, Malika Abrams and Thenica Thompson, attend Campbellville High School in Georgetown.
A section of the male team from Forth Wellington High School and Guyana Technical Institute, won bronze. They are Samuel Lynch, Akeem Stewart, Daniel Nicholson, Stayon Wilson, Okemi Porter, Brian Roman, Joseph Rahaman, Titus Webster, Loneil Marks, Rue Chester, Dave Torrington, Kevin Abbensetts, Stephen Smith, Revon Williams Teron Lucas and Jemaine Simmons.
This fourth year of competition, organized by Tonya Barry and Mark Webster, former Guyanese athletes has yielded much success said Barry, who praised the athletes for being the only team from the region, besides Jamaica, to win medals.
She noted that the students did exceptionally well, with the help of coaches Keisa Burnett, Stanford Fraser, Kariean Aaron and Christopher Gaskin.
The team also took home the prestigious Relay Carnival plaque, competing in track and field, and other events, at the Penn Relays, whose goal is to provide the best track and field competition each spring for the greatest number of participants at all levels.
During the evening’s celebration, the students were presented with Certificates from Senator Kevin Parker, on behalf of Miss CARICOM Foundation. They also received athletic shoes, from Mr. Kyte, Mrs. Nadia and Mr. Safran, and financial donations from guests. Friends of Miss CARICOM Foundation donated food and clothes.
Guyanese-American philanthropist, Edgar Henry partner with Charles Cush of Oxygen Nation Cocktail Lounge, said it was always a pleasure to give back to the community.
The retired president of the Flatbush Improvement District and sports enthusiast, praised the athletes for their exceptional performance, and said he jumped at the opportunity to host the seniors, where people would welcome them.
“They have to look to the future, and blossom from the Penn Relays to the Olympic games, and continue to do tremendously well, this is a start,” he said.
“The students have the vision and the talent, we have to nurture them,” said Henry, a member of the Guyana Cultural Association, and a cricket sponsor.
Former top athlete, Victor Benjamin, who represented Guyana from 1970 to 1992 a top ranking medalist, told the students to always aim to win with good timings.
He recalled that Guyana held high records in the 60s, noting that athletes could return Guyana to its glory days of top performance, if the government allocates funds for sports. He also called on the community to play its part.
The team returned to Guyana on Monday, April 30, compliments of Fly Jamaica Airways.