Anguilla at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games
On Sunday, 20 July 2014, at around 9am, a group of 11 persons travelled from Anguilla to Glasgow, Scotland, to participate in the XX Commonwealth Games. Travelling from the USA on the same day were also 3 athletes and on the 21 July 2014 another athlete from England joined the team.
The team was comprised of 6 athletic athletes: Dee-Ann Kentish Rogers, Shinelle Proctor, Rechelle Meade, Kieron Rogers, Akeame Mussington and Shanoi Richardson, and 5 cyclist: Danny Laud, Benjamin Phillip, Kris Pradel, Justin Hodge and Sherwin Osborne.
The journey was long and exhausting, but on arrival on Monday, 21 July 2014, the warm welcome that awaited us made it all worthwhile. The Glasgow officials really did their job well and quickly ushered us through immigration and customs. On exiting the customs we were met by the press who were eager for a quick comment from one of the athletes. The team was then transported to the Games Village to be shown their home for the next 2 weeks and to catch up on some much needed sleep.
On Tuesday, 22 July 2014, Team Anguilla’s Welcoming Ceremony took place. The team was entertained with song and dance by a young performing arts group. At this ceremony our Chef de Mission (Cardigan Connor), presented a Glasgow official with a gift of an oil painting of 3 sailboats, and Kris Pradel (one of our cyclist), presented a model sailboat of Miss Anguilla that was handmade by him.
The Opening Ceremony was held on Wednesday, 23 July 2014, at around 9pm. This was a spectacular sight when all the teams gathered together in the village dressed in formal wear, and walked to the stadium; exchanging pins all the way with athletes from different countries and also giving pins to the public standing outside the fencing. Walking into the stadium when your country’s name was called was an exhilarating experience. The cheering from the crowds; blending with the music, singing and dancing by the entertainers was truly uplifting. Each country had its moment of glory and made the most of it.
Anguilla’s first event was on Sunday, 27 July, when Kieron Rogers and Shanoi Richardson participated in the 100m heats, with Kieron finishing in 5 place in his heat. Both young men gave their all but were no match for the other competitors.
Akeame Mussington took part in the 400m race on Monday, 28 July, and once again competition was outstanding but he also gave his all.
Tuesday, 29 July, was the beginning of the Heptathlon event and Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers competed for Anguilla in the 100m Hurdles and High Jump in the morning, and in the evening she competed in the Shot Put and in the 200m where she finished in 3 place. On Wednesday, 30 July, Dee-Ann completed the remaining Heptathlon events (7 in total) and Shinelle Proctor took part in the High Jump, and Rechelle Meade in the Long Jump. Everyone competed to the best of their ability and we hope, had fun at the same time.
Three of our cyclist took part in the Time Trials on Thursday, 31 July: Danny Laud, Kris Pradel and Sherwin Osborne and on the final day of the Games, Sunday, 3 August – our 5 cyclist participated in the Road Race: Benjamin Phillip, Justin Hodge, Danny Laud, Kris Pradel and Sherwin Osborne. That day the weather was very unkind. It rained heavily for most of the day and was bitterly cold; my heart went out to the cyclist, but we know they did their best.
We were privileged to witness some great achievements e.g. on the field (athletics) Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria setting a new Commonwealth Games record in the 100m, in the ring (Boxing) Nicola Adams of England fighting so hard to win gold, on the court (Netball) Jamaica beating England to win the bronze medal and Australia winning gold over New Zealand.
Prince Edward and Sophie, The Earl and Countess of Wessex actually sat with some of our delegation at one point, and during the conversation Sophie mentioned that she just attended a boxing match, and although it wasn’t her favourite sport, half way through the match she said “I was slamming my hand bag down and voicing my opinion,” which made us all laugh uncontrollably.
Another unforgettable moment for some of our delegation was when they met and shook hands with Your Royal Highnesses William and Kate, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. Little Omar Hodge who attended the Games with his mother promised he would never wash his hand again after Kate shook it, and 3 of our sponsors were also present for this occasion, Paul and Annemarie Boicovitis and Mervyn Christian with his wife Michelle who were all thrilled to have met and shaken hands with the young royals.
Glasgow delivered a fantastic Games. The officials and the public went way above helpfulness. Everyone was so kind and considerate which added to the atmosphere in a positive way. It was truly a delight to witness such behaviour in so many, and even though Anguilla did not win any medals, we were honoured to be part of the occasion and look forward to the 2018 Games in the Gold Coast, Australia.