By RENALDO DORSETT
THE high school sporting schedule continues this weekend as with the introduction of a new initiative.
The first National Interschool Equestrian Championships is all set for April 29 at the Camperdown Equestrian Centre.
The event will be hosted 9am to 1pm and admission is free to the general public. Participating schools include Queen’s College, St Augustine’s, St Andrew’s, Lyford Cay, Windsor and Tambearly.
The National Sports Secretariat, which is jointly headed by the Ministers of Education, Science and Technology and Youth, Sports and Culture, made a commitment to broaden their base and include more National Sports Championships this year for High School Sports.
When the event was first announced in September 2016, President of Equestrian Bahamas, Cathy Ramsingh-Pierre, said the event will offer another avenue for young participants to showcase their skills as the sport continues to grow in popularity locally.
“It is one of the oldest Olympic sports, the only sport contested at the Olympic level equally by women and men head to head and it is growing in popularity in this country. Equestrian Bahamas currently has over 48 junior members registered and competing,” she said.
Originally encompassing a series of interschool competitions beginning in December, and culminating in a National Championship event, the competition format was changed for this school year to a single interschool championship event.
“The competition will be closely modelled on the format of the US-based Interscholastic Equestrian Association, designed to facilitate grass-roots participation in equestrian sport at the middle and high school levels,” she said. “Saturday’s event signals an exciting and ground-breaking opportunity to enhance the quality and diversity of interschool athletics in the Bahamas. In addition, equestrian sport offers Bahamian athletes not only competitive but also scholarship opportunities at the collegiate level. This initiative is intended as the first step in building towards these opportunities.”
The competition will be judged by Ms Dayle Eldredge, a top-rated judge under United States Equestrian Federation rules, with years of experience in judging IEA, IHEA and USEF competitions.