As Team Antigua Island Girls prepares for its upcoming challenge, which is just under three weeks away, its members are appealing to the public to support their endeavor.
The quartet – Christal Clashing, the adventurer and Ph.D. candidate; Elvira Bell-Bailey, the health-and-wellness coach; Kevinia Francis, the personal trainer; and Samara Emmanuel, the groundbreaking sailor, are set to take part in the inaugural Pacific Challenge, a 2,800 nautical miles row from Monterey, California, to Kauai, Hawaii.
However, before the intrepid Team Antigua Island Girls will begin their sophomore row they are in need of more financial support and are asking the community to pull with them to help raise the required funds.
The team says that from the boat and the safety fixtures to the mandatory gear, food, towing, shipping, airfare and accommodation, training and more, ocean rowing is an expensive undertaking.
They still need to raise approximately $400,000 to get to the starting line, and more for their charity.
Team Antigua Island Girls is raising money to establish a home for girls in conflict with the law. The women say the lack of a correctional facility for girls means that those who transgress the law are sent either to group homes or to the lone penal facility, exacerbating the problems.
The initiative is a partnership with the Family and Social Services Division in the Ministry of Social Transformation.
The team has various levels of sponsorship, from platinum at US $100,000; Diamond US $75,000; Gold US $50,000; Silver US $25,000; Bronze US $10,000; Oars US $12,000 single and US $18,000 pair; Row Essentials US $5,000; and Boosters US $750 to Sponsor-a-Mile XCD $100 and Feed-a-Rower XCD $40 per meal.
The team says it is also accepting donations of any amount.
Captain Francis says they are cognizant that there are initiatives that require the support of corporate Antigua and Barbuda and the wider public, each catering to a specific interest and each important.
Therefore, she is asking for people to come onboard with them as they undertake an adventure that “catapults the country into the spotlight and raises funds for a very worthy cause.”
Francis has highlighted the art competition, sponsor-a-mile, and feed a rower, saying that these sponsorship packages are within the means of many.
She is thanking those sponsors who have already come forward to assist them in their quest, including the Ministry of Tourism, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Budget Marine, Jumby Bay Fund, Cool & Smooth, and Antigua and Barbuda Tourism, which produced a promotional video and has included information on their platforms to help them.
The team is currently completing the mandatory courses and the practice row hours on the boat, Dadli Gyal, before the vessel ships to California in mid-April.