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Opening Ceremony of the 2007-08 YMCA Soccer League
By Robbin Whachell
Nov 28, 2007 - 4:50:14 PM

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Boys and girls aged 4 - 14 years waited patiently during the opening ceremony at the YMCA playing field on Saturday, November 24th. (Photo: Robbin Whachell)

A brand new soccer season is underway at the YMCA on Grand Bahama Island. On Saturday, November 24th an official opening ceremony took place on a beautiful sunny morning out on the YMCA playing fields in front of a building that is finally almost fully back in order after the devastating damage from the hurricanes of 2004.

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The future of soccer at the YMCA. The Pee Wees make their way to the ceremony area led by coach Elcott Johnson. (Photo: Robbin Whachell)

While the children sat patiently in their new league t-shirts, an opening prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. George L. Cumberbatch (Chaplin on Y.M.C.A. Board of Directors) and the National Anthem was sung by Miss Grand Bahama (Nathalie Brown). Mistress of Ceremony and YMCA Executive Director, Mrs. Karon Pinder-Johnson welcomed the many special guests, coaches, parents and players.

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Kwasi Thompson, Deputy House Speaker at the opening ceremony of the YMCA Soccer League for 2007-08. Behind from left to right is Michelle Russell, Pee Wee coach, Dr. Kevin Bethel, soccer dad and sponsor, and Mrs. Karon Pinder-Johnson, YMCA Executive Director, and future soccer star below ready for action. (Photo: Robbin Whachell)

Brief remarks were made by Narissa Lockhart, a representative from Ministry of Youth & Sport. The Guest Speaker was Anton Sealey, President of Bahamas Football Association from New Providence who spoke on the importance of leagues such as the YMCA's which feeds the other programmes in the country, and can be a first step in any young person's life that could in turn take them to a national level of play.
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Dignitaries and guests at the Opening Ceremony of the YMCA Soccer League on Saturday, November 24th. From left to right: Miss Grand Bahama Natalie Brown with friend; behind Narissa Lockhart of Ministry of Youth & Sport; Kwasi Thompson, Deputy House Speaker; behind Pleasant Bridgewater, former MP of Marco City; Zhivargo Laing, Minister of State for Finance; behind Anita Doherty,City of Freeport Councilor; Anton Sealy, President, Bahamas Football Association (BFA); behind Lionel Haven, Secretary BFA; and Stanley Darville, Vice President BFA. (Photo: Robbin Whachell)

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Coach Francis Bain Sr. is presented with an honourary award for outstanding service to the YMCA and its soccer programme. Also honoured were Brad Bethel, Robbin Whachell, and Sylvie Carey. Making the presentation is Terry Wildgoose, YMCA Programme Director while Mrs. Karon Pinder-Johnson, YMCA Executive Director looks on. (Photo: Robbin Whachell)

Mr. Wildgoose, Y.M.C.A. Program Director gave honour to the coaches and players who make the league what it is, and closing remarks came from Mr. Joseph Darville, the Y.M.C.A. Program Vice Chairperson who spoke on the importance of minding our children during these troubles times, and how sport can indeed keep our children off the streets and in an activity that postively stimulates their minds and bodies.

Four persons were honoured for their dedication to the YMCA and its soccer programme, those persons being Mr. Francis Bain, Sr., Bradley Bethel, Sylvie Carie, and Robbin Whachell.

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Visiting from Nassau, Lionel Haven, Secretary to the Bahamas Football Association stands with Terry Wildgoose, YMCA Programme Director and soccer coach, and the President of the BFA and guest speaker, Anton Sealy, also from Nassau. (Photo: Robbin Whachell)

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The official opening kick-off for the 2007-08 YMCA Soccer League, made by guest speaker Anton Sealy, President of the Bahamas Football Association. (Photo: Robbin Whachell)

The ceremony ended with the official kick-off by Anton Sealy of the BFA. Refreshments and tours were offered to guests at the end, while the children eagerly took to the field to begin their soccer routines. The YMCA Soccer Programme runs each Saturday from 10 am to Noon, and is for boys and girls ages 4 - 14 years. Call 242-352-7074 to find out if any spaces are still available. For more information click HERE. Check The Bahamas Weekly's This Week in Sport on Grand Bahama for upcoming scores.

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The YMCA on Soccer League opening day. Mr. Bruce Silvera was thanked for his construction company's undying commitment to assist the YMCA with the rebuilding and restoration. (Photo: Robbin Whachell)

About the YMCA: The YMCA on Grand Bahama Island is the only YMCA in The Bahamas. The success of the YMCA is indisputable. One only need look around the communities of Grand Bahama Island to see the success stories. Many of our business owners and executives, doctors, lawyers, engineers and Members of Parliament are products of the YMCA. Indeed the YMCA has been a significant factor in the development of the people who are building The Bahamas today. To learn more about the YMCA view our website at: www.ymcabahamas.com

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The YMCA after the hurricanes of 2004.



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