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Only two days left in this year’s Nine Mornings activities

Only two days left in this year’s Nine Mornings activities

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Persons wishing to take part in this country’s unique Nine Mornings activities only have two more opportunities this year to do so.

The ninth morning of the annual cultural activity is December 24 and organizers of events in rural communities, such as Stubbs, Carrierre, Layou and Point, as well as Kingstown, are expecting bumper crowds tomorrow and Thursday.{{more}}

Activities in the different communities begin at 4 a.m., and usually begin with a period of devotion conducted by a church from the area. The mornings’ entertainment generally includes performances by dance groups, singers and comedians, as well as fun competitions among members of the audience vying for the opportunity to win prizes donated by business places.

Last Saturday in Kingstown, the large crowd was thrilled by performances in dance and song respectively by the Angelicus Youth Ministry and the Bowman Brothers, while members of the audience won prizes for being the best family, best couple and best orange-eating teenage boy.

The Richards family, made up of Yolande Richards, Michele Horne, Jenny Richards, Kamita Richards and Nyesha Richards, won a case of drinks with their prayer, statement and delightful rendition of “O Holy Night”.

Sharmar Knights, a 13-year-old boy from Green Hill, won himself a prize for being the first of four teenagers to eat an entire orange (except for the skin).

Charles and Stephanie Adams of Murray’s Village won the prize for the best couple, when Charles fell on his knees to propose to her and rented a square during their dance segment.

Tristan Robertson, a sailor of Rose Hall, who hadn’t been at home for Christmas for the last nine years, got a prize for just appearing on stage.

Off stage, it was the cycling and road tennis that drew the attention of most of the teenage boys.

Trevor Bailey, owner of Sailors Cycle Centre, told SEARCHLIGHT in an interview yesterday that within recent years the number of persons taking part in cycling activities during Nine Mornings has been increasing.

“It’s been pretty good almost every morning; this morning was the smallest morning. The last morning we had over 50 riders and I mean way back in the 80’s we used to have 70…riders. It was pretty big in those first few years, but it is bigger this year than last year.”

Additionally he noted that most of the participants were young adults, mainly in the 15-19 year category.

“…man the youth, the under ten we have a pretty big group of under ten. We have about 9-10 guys riding between the four and 10, between 10 and 15, we have about eight guys and mostly it’s the youth. And from 15 up to 19 we have the bigger crowd,” Bailey disclosed.

Bailey stated that while these new bikes are better and outfitted with better accessories, the 80’s still saw more and better participation.

“You have much better bikes on the roads for one and better equipment and more accessories and so. But in the 80’s, to be honest with you, folks used to come out at from all 2 o’clock…now people come out from 4 o’clock…every morning we had 60 to 70 riders, we never really had the numbers like in those days; we’ve been hitting 40 and 50 in the last 10 years.”

The biking specialist noted that while they would like to have more events in the communities, it has become too expensive, especially if they were to venture out in the rural areas.

“…we did something in Barrouallie, we did in Arnos Vale and so, but it is pretty costly to go to the outskirts, especially in the country. Years ago we used to go to different places in the country, but it was too expensive on my part. We can’t move out so again, because we have to get sponsors.

“Every morning we have at least six to seven races and it costs us. Each race would cost us at an average of $45 per race, so it’s pretty costly to move out to other areas. We just have to depend on the different communities for when they put on their activities they include cycling,” he continued.

Participants who enter are eligible to win cash prizes up to $20 and bike accessories on any given day.

“…We do cash prizes like the first prize, cash prize of $20, $15, $10 or we give bicycle accessories. We do both, not cash and accessories per race; this race might be cash, another race might be accessories,” the event organizer explained.

Bailey encourages person to come out and participate in the activities which have no registration fees or process.

“Just come on down; you don’t have to register; there is no registration fees; just come down and we record 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. So just come down with a bike and a helmet on,” he noted.

“As long as we have the life and strength, we continue our biking,” Bailey professed.

Road tennis has also seen good participation, with this activity taking place outside the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines on Granby Street, Kingstown.

The finals in the road tennis took place this morning, followed by another round of competition on Wednesday and Thursday.

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