National honours alone will not cut it; Gov’t should make more meaningful contributions to Team Island Girls, Tabor says

The United Progressive Party (UPP) is calling for more meaningful
recognition for Team Antigua Island Girls from the Government of
Antigua and Barbuda.

Last week’s Notes say that, at its July 26 meeting, the Cabinet
decided the trio of female sailors would be given national awards in
this year’s Independence honours. Accordingly, it intends to submit
their names to the Honours Committee.
In the meanwhile, members of the Executive applauded the three
women for their strength and determination.

On behalf of the UPP, public relations officer Damani Tabor also
commends the women for their latest exploits. However, at this
point, he says, national honours are not going to “cut it,” and he
urges the Government to get more creative and comprehensive in
how it rewards the victorious and patriotic team.

Tabor says the Browne Administration has missed several
opportunities to position Team Antigua Island Girls as national
athletes, and reveals that the trio was not even travelling on official

He notes that the Administration has been quick to appoint others –
such as Mary J. Blige and Angela Bassett – as ambassadors, but it
neglects our own. However, leveraging these talented women
internationally, by appointing them ambassadors, can only reap
benefits for the country, he says. 

The UPP PRO adds that the Administration pays only lip service to
the promotion of sports tourism, and, again, opportunities are being

He suggests that the Government acquire the boat that the Team
used for its two ocean rows and set it up as an artifact that,
ultimately, could become a tourist attraction. 

Further, having undertaken their latest rowing challenge to raise
funds for a home for troubled girls who run afoul of the law, Tabor
says the trio will require economic support.

They have already racked up significant expenses to fund their
ventures privately, the UPP officer says, and the Browne
Administration should be looking to award them a lump sum to help
defray these costs and to encourage them in future endeavors. 

“These are the types of comprehensive ways in which the
Government should be looking at giving the Island Girls more
credence and support, insofar as they have uplifted Antigua and
Barbuda,” Tabor declares.

Team Antigua Island Girls completed the Taliska Whiskey Atlantic
Challenge in January 2019. And, on July 23, this year, it completed
what was dubbed the “World’s Toughest Row,” the Pacific
Challenge, in just over 41 days, after leaving California, in June, for
the finish line in Hawaii.