Atlantis Crown Invitational Will Bring Thousands over Five Years
Even though there are nearly 900 athletes participating this year’s Atlantis Crown Invitational, organizers say thousands more will join the event as it grows over the next five years.
According to officials, the invitational started with 250 people.
The athletes come from Canada, Trinidad & Tobago, Panama, the United States and The Bahamas.
Honorary guests were three-time Olympian, Svetlana Boginskaya; 2012 Olympian Sam Mikulak; Region 5 Elite Ambassador Team of Nia Dennis, Gabby Perea, Shilese Jones and Amelia Hundley.
Organizer of Atlantis Crown Invitational Cindy Scharns said the competition has grown 100 per cent.
“The competition is going to grow. The numbers now is 870 and we anticipate that 1,100 next year and I think that I am being conservative. I would say we’ve been averaging 200 athletes a year and I think we will average a couple thousand a year. I goes with the partnership that is helping us grow with Atlantis and so we are excited about that,” she said.
Ms. Scharns the competition has brought more families than ever before.
“When I set up a meet, I always anticipate at least two people coming for each athlete. But in this case, we have families that are coming here. They are not only bringing grandma and grandpa but they are bringing uncles and aunts. So they repeats are coming and so we are looking at 4,000 – 5,000 on top of the 870 athletes,” she said.
“Once they get here, they are going downtown and exploring and we are encouraging them to take the ferry to Exuma. We are encouraging them to get out and explore what the beautiful islands have to offer and they are coming back. So the meet is doing its job.
Two athletes have already participated in the Pan American Games
Bahamas Gymnastics Federation President Trevor Ramsey spoke about the success of the programme for Bahamians.
Gymnasts Kiana Dean and Simone Hall, 18 and 21 represented The Bahamas in the Pan American Games.
“Both of the athletes trained in the US for a year before that competition. It started with us travelling to the Pan American championships and Cindy was instrumental in helping the kids to gain confidence,” he said.
“The meet has been very exciting every single year. The kids are really excited about participating and we are really excited and really helped to grow the sport and helping kids to see where they can grow in the sport and we are all very excited about these things.”
Senior Director of National Planning and Special Projects Carla Stuart said she was pleased to see the competition grow.
“Staging this event on an annual basis is no small task, we are very much aware of that but you continue to do it and you do it exceptionally well,” she said.
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