UAC cel­e­brat­ing 50 with a bang

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Athletics -

THE United Ath­letic Club (UAC) is keep­ing the flames of 50 years alive by hon­our­ing some of its stal­warts.

Dur­ing a press conference at the Hall and Griffith Conference Room at Kens­ing­ton Oval on Friday, pres­i­dent Mar­lene Hall re­vealed that though the com­mit­tee had not yet com­piled the list of awardees some peo­ple’s pres­ence had been spe­cial to the sur­vival of the club.

“This is 50, but we have al­ways been hon­our­ing our mem­bers. But we are look­ing at a dif­fer­ent way to do it this time around. We have hon­oured all our past and found­ing mem­bers and per­form­ers over the years.

“We are ask­ing our­selves: what can we do spe­cially? We want to con­tinue to show our ap­pre­ci­a­tion for those per­sons who are still alive,” she said.

Hall added that the 50th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions started since last year and will cul­mi­nate with a gala event at Sea Rocks Dome on Novem­ber 12 which will in­clude the award cer­e­mony.

“We have been cel­e­brat­ing the 50th an­niver­sary as far back as last year and we had sev­eral events in­clud­ing so­cials and a big fun day at the Tex­aco Grounds around the end of April.”

She pointed out that they were pleased to be able to be one the long­est stand­ing clubs on the is­land de­spite their chal­lenges.

“We are proud of the fact that as an or­gan­i­sa­tion we have been able to stand the tide for so many years. It’s not been all smooth sail­ing.

“Like any other or­gan­i­sa­tion, we have had our ups and downs in terms of mem­ber­ships, in terms of par­tic­i­pa­tion, in sport par­tic­u­larly, but we are here to stay”.

It was men­tioned that the club would have

(Pic­ture by Ken­more By­noe.)

hon­oured its founders who brought the club to life in April 1967, like fa­ther of the club and 1960 Olympic bronze medal­list Jim Wedderburn dur­ing a stag­ing of the founders day so­cial at Sky Mall.

Trea­surer Kathy Harper-hall said though all the per­sons who started with the club were no longer with them, they were proud that they were suc­cess­ful in start­ing clubs of their own, men­tion­ing that both the Free­dom Strid­ers and Wibisco Stars were birthed by former mem­bers of UAC.

The gi­ant be­hind the de­vel­op­ment of net­ball on the is­land said the sport had played a sig­nif­i­cant role for 20 of its 50 years and they were pleased to have had the Bar­ba­dos Lum­ber Com­pany on board as a spon­sor for over 30 years.

This sup­port in net­ball has helped the club to help oth­ers, she said.

“We do a lot of work with youth de­vel­op­ment, not just mak­ing them good ath­letes but we fo­cus on at­ti­tude and be­havioural and per­for­mance changes. So al­though they may not be­come stars in sports they be­came stars in their per­sonal lives,” said Harper- Hall.

Former sprinter with the club over the years Leonard Clarke sup­ported her point that the club didn’t fo­cus solely on track and field or other sports but on the de­vel­op­ment of young peo­ple. He men­tioned with the as­sis­tance from HarperHall they were able to re­di­rect the paths of many ath­letes.

Mem­ber Denise Mor­gan said she too was a part of the club which un­cov­ered her true po­ten­tial in sports.

The club is also look­ing to fo­cus on stag­ing events us­ing net­ball as aware­ness for fe­male health as well as a track and field road re­lay around the Gar­ri­son Sa­van­nah. (RG)

“FA­THER” of the United Ath­letic Club, 1960 Olympic bronze medal­list Jim Wedderburn.

UAC pres­i­dent Mar­lene Hall (sec­ond from left) out­lines plans for the 50th an­niver­sary awards cer­e­mony. Oth­ers (from left) are mem­bers, Leonard Clarke, Kathy Harper Hall and Denise Mor­gan.

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