Editorial Staff
7 months ago

Editorial Staff
7 months ago

Grand Welcome for Pacific Rowers, as Government Commits to Home for Girls

The government has given its commitment to the construction of a home for girls in conflict with the law; the aim of the Team Antigua Island Girls record-breaking row across the Pacific.

The pledge was made during a special ceremony at the V.C Bird International Airport to welcome the trio; Christal Clashing, Kevinia Francis, and Samara Emmanuel.

“The government of Antigua and Barbuda acknowledges and appreciates your commitment and resilience. While I am the Minister of Social Transformation, I have to give will to your wishes, there will be a home identified for our young girls,” she said

The women were greeted with an official welcome on their return to Antigua and Barbuda today having successfully braved the elements and grueling conditions in a quest to row the vast Pacific Ocean and complete the World’s Toughest Row.

The girls spend forty-one days at sea for the inaugural 2023 Pacific Challenge, which has not only demonstrated the power of women’s strength and resilience but also raised funds for building a home for vulnerable girls in need.

Marshall also told the girls that they are truly committed to making a difference in Antigua and Barbuda by ensuring there is a home for girls in need

“You have truly emancipated us not just as Antiguans and Barbudans but as females in this sporting arena. You have broken three records, the Atlantic and the Pacific, and the commitment you have shown…The government of Antigua and Barbuda acknowledges and appreciates your commitment and resilience…” she said

Prime Minister Gaston Browne said it is no coincidence that the girls are being celebrated on Emancipation Day

“Courage and resilience are in the DNA of the Antiguan and Barbudan people. More recently you would have seen it in the dominance of Sir Vivian Richards…Today I want to call upon all Antiguans and Barbudans to use the achievement of Team Antigua Island Girls to increase their ambition and understand no task is too daunting to attempt…”

He said the success of the girls should empower Antiguans and Barbudans to conquer every aspect of their lives.

“I want to see Antiguans and Barbudans dominating global sports…let us not limit our ambition but use this example to expand our national ambition, aspirations for greatness, to expand our purpose in life and understand that we are not just living for ourselves…that is exactly what Team Island Girls has done…” he said

The girls, according to Browne will be honored this independence while discussions are underway to make them tourism ambassadors

A pledge of $20K was also made by Prime Minister Browne on behalf of his family

Meanwhile, Sports Minister Daryll Mathew said these women have done something the average person would not have considered

“I think it’s a clear demonstration that the resilience and courage that they have displayed must be an encouragement for every one of us in our lives…For you to have embarked on a journey like this twice, you have forced us to ask ourselves why not…”, Mathew said

He said the accomplishments of the girls must be used as inspiration in the lives of residents

The girls rowed approximately 2,800 nautical miles across the Pacific, in ‘the world’s toughest row’, their journey began in Monterey Bay, California, and culminated in Kauai, Hawaii on July 23, 2023.

Meanwhile, a motorcade organized by the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority makes its way into St. John’s starting at 4:30 p.m. taking the Team Antigua Island Girls down Old Parham Road – Independence Avenue – Vivian Richards Street – Market Street – Long Street and onto Factory Road – ending at the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s Headquarters at the John E. St. Luce building.

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