The Church of God International Team Bahamas this year received the most trophies, honourable mentions, and superior ratings in its history of participating in the international Teen Talent competition.
A contingent from three islands - New Providence, Eleuthera and Bimini - recently travelled to Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, for the event. The group was led by the National Youth and Discipleship Director of the Church of God Rev Brian Rolle and Teen Talent coordinator Minister Joy Rolle. More than 70 Bahamians were among those representing and cheering for the team.
This year, Team Bahamas had 27 entries in the categories of Art, Creative Writing, Multimedia, Drama and Music. Out of the 27 entries, 17 were male participants. This is also the first time they entered the Multimedia category.
The group went up against eight other countries/regions: Antigua, Belgium, Eastern Canada, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Latin America, South Africa and Taiwan, as well as 35 US states.
Team Bahamas also participated in the Battle of the States which consisted of outdoor and indoor games such as 3-on-3 basketball, volleyball, dodgeball, tug-o-war, recess relay, an eating contest and obstacle course.
They awards for The Bahamas are as follows:
• Bryan Rolle - Percussion Indefinite Pitch (drums); Chippingham Church of God
• Alexander Carey - Solo Pantomime Cornerstone; Church of God
• Andrew Rolle - Electric Keyboard United; Church of God, Bimini
• Lucy Simeon - Solo Pantomime; New Good Church of God
• Devaughn Mackey - Oil/Acrylic Painting; Southland Cathedral Church of God
• Faith Mission Group Pantomime; Faith Mission Church of God
• Bimini Boys - Small Instrumental Ensemble; United Church of God Bimini Runner Ups
• Antonio Dean - Electric Keyboard; Lighthouse Church of God, Harbour Island
• Deiahjae Forbes - Solo Expressive/Interpretive Movement; Chippingham Church of God
• Team Bahamas - 3-on-3 Basketball; Battle of the States
• Antwuan Dean - Vocal Solo Male; Lighthouse Church of God, Harbour Island. He received a one-year scholarship to Lee University worth $18,700. He also won in the categories of Photography and Short Film Video.
• Kemel Mitchell - Bible Teaching; Youth Cathedral of Praise Church of God
"Not only does this competition bring our youth closer together to each other, but we saw them engaging and networking with youth from other countries and states," said Rev Rolle. "In addition, having the opportunity to reside in the dorms for a week and having the 'Lee University experience', several of the youth voiced their desire to attend college. In particular, a ninth-grade student said that she will be more focused in school because it is her goal one day to attend university.
"We moved as a unit and we were united as one!"
Teen Talent was started in 1961 and is considered one of the most exciting and rewarding programmes sponsored by the Church of God International Department of Youth and Discipleship. Thousands of participants work hard and spend long hours practicing and preparing for the annual competition. The programme aims to help teenagers in recognising and developing their abilities and directing them towards reaching their fullest potential for Christ.