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Easter Monday tradition returns after two years; the 65th Basil Henderson Aquatic Sports Meet


by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) – A traditional Easter staple is back this weekend after a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Basil Henderson Easter Monday Aquatic Sports Meet will take place on Monday, April 18, from 9 a.m.

The 65th Aquatic Sports Meet will see many events, including swimming races.

The coordinator of the meet, Winston “Zack” Nisbett, spoke with WINN briefly about the various races at the meet.

“We have the swim races which comprises of the long-distance swim, the long-distance underwater dive, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly [and] freestyle swims.” 

Each race has five categories; 5-7-years-old, 8-12-years-old, 13-16-years-old, 17-50-years-old and 50+. 

“Along with that, we have the usual ham [fetching] which [is projected] over the sea [on a pole] well greased, that is one of the main attractions. There is also a metal pole planted in the sand in front of the crowd, and at the top of that, we have EC$350 on that pole contributed by the Scenic Railway, and the ham was [sponsored] by RAMs.”

According to the Cultural Preservationist, the meet is much anticipated since it has not been kept for two years.

“The response has been overwhelming. [For] two years, we could not have done anything. But this year, what a transformation, the people… it appears to me as if there were yearning for something of such magnitude.”

The Police, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Services and the Redcross will be there to provide any emergency assistance if needed.

Another event to be held this year is Boxing, and Nisbett is encouraging the youths to participate.

“[Another] attraction we are going to be having this year is [boxing]… We are encouraging the youths to come and register [their] name even on the day… Most of these youths are getting [into] a lot of things that don’t make any sense sometimes… if you have someone that you feel annoys you all the time, then you challenge them. You bring them down; we have gloves, we have pieces to go over your face so that you don’t get damaged and we’ll have a lot of fun just swapping licks inside [the ring]. We have prizes for them as well.”

The aquatic sports meet is hosted by the Basil Henderson 4-H Organisation founded by the stalwart Basil Henderson.

Henderson had a lot of interest in sports and was responsible for beginning village sporting activities; football, netball, cricket and table tennis. 

In his sporting career, Henderson was a footballer and captained the Rivals Football Club and the St. Kitts and the Leeward Islands team. 

In 1951, Henderson organised the first Easter Parade, and the first Aquatic Sports meet in the Bay Front and in 1957, he was responsible for launching the first Carnival.

The 65th Easter Monday Aquatic Sports Meet is sponsored by Courts, Builders Paradise, Uncle T’s and others.

“I’m encouraging the general populace to come on out; we are going to have a big day of fun,” Nisbett ended.



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