The sporting year in Belize started out with the running of the 20th Annual Krem Radio New Year’s Day Cycling Classic which was held on January 1st, 2010. This annual event started from the Corozal Free Zone to the junctions of Mahogany Street and Central American Boulevard and attracted some 75 riders in the Elite category.


At the end of 3:39:37, it was yet another foreigner Guatemalan Carlos Hernandez of Team Zayra Tico Del Sureste that captured first place. Mexican Carlos Manuel Hernandez of Team Depredadores finished second, third place went to Costa Rican Marcos-Arias of Benny’s Megabytes, fourth place went to Mexican Cesar Vaquera of Team Depredadores while Guatemalan Miguel Perez of Zamir Cycling Team finished fifth to round off the top finishers.

On Sunday February 14, the 15th Annual Digicell Valentine’s Day Classic was held from in front of the San Ignacio Hotel to the Benque Border and then onto Leslie’s Imports. In this event, 63 riders participated in the Elite category, and at the end it was Marlon Castillo of Team Zamir that captured first place in a time of 3:28:24. Castillo’s teammate Giovanni Choto finished second, while Mexican Gilberto Santiago-Martinez of Sugar City Boys finished third.

The other segments of this event started from Central Farm and also concluded at Leslie’s Imports.

In the junior category, Mexican Juan Jose Samos Cuellar captured first place in a time of 2:46:04, Deezan Spence of “Clear the Land” finished second in a time of 2:46:04, third place went to Daniel Choto of Cayo High Road, fourth place went to Mexican Melvin Tillett of C –Ray, and fifth place went to Joel Borland.

In the female edition, it was Shalini Zabaneh of Team Sagitun who captured first place in a time of 3:13:27, second place went to Gina Lovell of Team Lovell, and third place went to Jane Usher of Team Police.

The Belize Cycling Association sponsored its 29th Annual Belmopan Cycling Classic on Sunday March 7, 2010. The Elite race started at 8:00 am from in front of the Constitution Park here in Belize City and then travelled to Belmopan City around the Ring Road, and unto Leslie’s Imports at Mile 2 for the finish. The Elite category attracted some 59 riders who started the 99.4 miles event with 46 riders completing the course.

At the end of the event, it was Peter Choto of Zamir Cycling Team who captured 1st place in a time of 4:20:15 seconds. Giovanni Leslie of Santino’s Belize finished 2nd in a time of 4:20:21, Jose Choto of Western Spirit finished 3rd.

The 11th Annual Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic was held on Sunday March 28, 2010 from the entrance of the Succotz Ferry to Leslie’s Imports at Mile 2 on the Western Highway. This event attracted some 42 riders from seven teams in the 70 miles event which lasted for 3:43:31. At the conclusion of the journey, it was Deezan Spence from Clear the Land Cycling Team who captured first place. Spence has now added his name to the list of winners in this prestigious event.

The 82nd Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic was held on Saturday April 3, 2010.

This historic event attracted some 95 riders which included a field of 19 international riders. The 139.7 miles event officially got underway at 6:00 am from in front of Leslie’s Imports to San Ignacio Town around Columbus Park and then back to Belize City where the race concluded at the Memorial Park on Marine Parade.

Of the 95 riders that started the historic ride only 46 completed the course. However, after 6:09:22 it was Guatemalan Miguel Perez of Suga City Stars who was the first rider to cross the finish line to capture this year’s coveted Cross Country title. He was then followed by Venezuelan Wilmen Bravo of Zamir Cycling Team who finished 2nd, followed by American John Delong who rides for Subaru/Gary Fisher Team that took 3rd place, followed by Marlon Castillo of Zamir Cycling Team that finished 4th while 5th place went to Gregory Lovell of Santino’s Belize to round off the top five finishers in this year’s event.

Belizean Athletes participated in the IX Central American Games in Panama City, Republic of Panama, and cyclist Shalini Zabaneh captured the first medal (silver) for Belize at the games. Zabaneh placed second behind the Costa Rican rider while the Guatemalan rider placed third.

The Belize Cycling Association in collaboration with SOL Belize Ltd sponsored its 21st Annual Female Cross Country Classic on Sunday May 16, 2010.
The race started at 8:30 am from in front of Columbus Park in San Ignacio Town and concluded at the Memorial Park in Belize City. Some 11 riders participated in the 71.1 mile event. At the end of 4:26:21, it was Shalini Zabaneh of Team Sagitun who rode away with the coveted title. During the ride, she also captured the title of Queen of the Hills.

Belize made history during the XIX Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, where for the very first time in the history of the Commonwealth Games that we were able to have two cyclists completed the highly technical and complex Road Race. The Road Race was 12 laps of a 14 km course for a total distance of 168 km. At the start of the race at 1:00 pm in a scorching Indian sun, some 133 cyclists representing 33 countries of the British Commonwealth of Nations and all with vary levels of experience head out from the Free Church Sansad Marg complex for this epic journey.

The entire 168 km race lasted some 3:49:48, in which Australian Allan Davis captured the coveted event. The second rider to cross the finish line was Hayden Roulston from New Zealand, and then followed by David Millar from Scotland. For Belize, Gregory Lovell finished 26 in a time of 3:55:12 some 5:24 behind the champion Allan Davis. Lovell’s teammate and first time participant in an international meet Edgar Nissan Arana finished 46 in a time of 4:06:14 some 16:26 minutes behind the winner.

From the Americas, only the Canadians finished better than Gregory Lovell in the Road Race, while Dan Craven finished 12th in a time of 3:54:08 and his teammate Erik Hoffman finished 16th from Namibia, and South Africa’s Johann Rabie finished 17th placed higher than Lovell. As a country, Belize placed 12th in the overall standing out of the 33 countries that participated in the road race.

The Belize Cycling Association in collaboration with the Ministry of Health sponsored the 14th Annual Alpheus Williams’ Aids Day Cycling Classic on Sunday December 5, 2010. The Elite Open race started at 9:00 am from in front of the Belmopan Comprehensive School and then concluded in front of Leslie’s Imports at Mile 2 on the Western Highway. The 48.6 miles event attracted some 102 riders with 76 of them completing the course. Some 25 riders abandoned the race. The riders rode at an average speed of 28.047 miles per hour.

At the end of 1:43:58, it was Gregory Lovell of Zamir Cycling Team of Orange Walk Town to cross the finish line first to repeat at the back-to-back-to-back champion. Immediately following Lovell, was Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes, followed by Kyne Gentle of Western Spirit, then followed by Leroy Casasola of Santino’s Belize and Juan Flores-Umana of Cayo High Road Cycling Team to round off the top five finishers. In the Youth category, the first rider to cross the finish line was Juan Flores-Umana of Cayo High Road Cycling in a time of 1:43:58. Deezan Spence of Twin Towns Cycling finished 2nd in a time of 1:44:39,while Emir Aiden Juan of Cayo High Road finished 3rd.

In the Junior category, it was Daniel Choto of Cayo High Road Cycling that finished 1st, Kyle Kelvin Gentle also of Cayo High Road Cycling finished 2nd, with Melvin Tillett of Santino’s Belize finished 3rd. Meanwhile, the Female and Masters Categories 4 and 5 riders started from La Democracia Village on the Western Highway and concluded at Mile 2 on the Western Highway in front of Leslie’s Imports. This 30 miles event attracted some 24 riders with only two not completing the course.

The first master rider to cross the finish line was Barney Brown of F.T. Williams who completed the ride in a time of 1:09:03. Santino Castillo of Santino’s Belize Cycling finished 2nd, while Albert Conorquie Sr. of Typhoon Cycling finished 3rd. In the female category, Kirah Eiley of Team Moya Cycling was the first rider to cross the finish line in this category in a time of 1:25:47. Anthea Sutherland of Truckers Posse finished 2nd, and Shalini Zabaneh of Sagitun finished 3rd.

SOFTBALL:

The Belize Softball Federation released the names of the players who were selected to represent Belize at the IX Central American Games that were staged in Panama City, Republic of Panama, from April 8-15, 2010. The players who were selected to the National Women’s Team included Barbara Cadle, Greta Davis, Joline Davis, Tania Davis, Shadalee Ho, Elaine Humes, Lanisha Jones, Lisa Jones, Ruth Lamb, Martha Rhys, Francine Salazar, Janelle Smith, Sherette Vernon, Marsha Will and Karlee Bradley. The coaching staff consisted of Head Coach Gregory Moguel, coaches Edith Lizama and Floyd Flowers.

Meanwhile, the National Male Team players were: Jason Belisle, Carlyon Flores, Milton Flores, Bryan Grant, Derrick Jones, Marconi Leal, Keith Madrill, Leroy Martinez, Michael Middleton, Jerome Neal, Patrick Rowland, Richard Stephenson, Troy Williams and Dion Richards. The coaching staff was headed by Head Coach Nelberth Flowers and coaches Eric Neal and Leslie Rogers. On May 28, 2010, the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel played host to the official Induction Ceremony of Philippa Griffith-Bailey to the International Softball Federation’s Hall of Fame.

Griffith-Bailey was elected to the ISF Hall of Fame during the 24th World Softball Congress held on the island of Margarita, Venezuela, in October of 2009. She was elected to the Administrator’s category. The evening’s programme was filled with leading softball personalities from the 1960’s and 1970’s delivering tributes on behalf of Griffith-Bailey. One such tribute was delivered by Mrs. Verolyn Bailey-Richards, the first Belizean player that hit a home run in international competition. Tributes were also delivered by Pat Bennett former Commissioner/President of Belize Softball Federation and the former Minister of Youth, Sports, Information and Broadcasting Hon. Elvin Penner.

The keynote address was delivered by Mr. Edward “Ned” Pitts, President of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, while the official induction was conducted by Mr. Don Porter, President of the International Softball Federation.

The XX National Women’s Softball Championship was played from August 27 to 29, at Rogers Stadium the home of softball in Belize and the results are now recorded in the archives of Belize, where for the very first time, the Roaring Creek “Grace Kennedy” Softball Team emerged as the national champion. The Grace Kennedy Team has appeared in 15 of the 20 championships sponsored by the Belize Softball Federation and finished third on four previous occasions, but this one really belonged to them. Playing from the loser’s bracket, the budding champion was up to the task and was indeed rewarded with the national title.

The Championship officially started on Friday August 27 with two games, and the Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of the Public Service, Governance Improvement, Elections and Boundaries, and Sports, officially opened the Championship Games on Saturday, August 28, 2010. On Sunday August 29, in game 11 of the championship, the final game on the schedule, the outcome of the championship was decided in five innings, when Roaring Creek “Grace Kennedy” blanked the defending champion Mirage “Lady Rebels” by the score of 7-0. Roaring Creek’s Grace Kennedy starter and winner Lesandra Guy gave up two hits to the bats of the Lady Rebels squad in pitching her team to its very first national title.

At the end of the championship, Mr. Edward Ned Pitts, President of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, presented the Phil Sim Memorial Trophy to the National Softball Champion of Belize Roaring Creek “Grace Kennedy”, as well as the championship medals and individual awards to the respective winners. The Youth for the Future Belize Softball Federation junior girls’ softball competition came to an end on Saturday November 13, 2010, at Rogers Stadium.

In the Grand Final game played, the outcome of the championship was determined from the 2nd inning when Digicell ‘Avengers’ scored seven quick runs to take a commanding lead over the competition’s favourite Flowers ‘Crushers’. Digicell ‘Avengers’ added three more runs in the 3rd inning and three more in the 4th inning for the 13-1 victory.

At the end of the Grand Final game, Philippa Griffith-Bailey, ISF Hall of Fame member who donated the trophies for the junior competition, presented them to Digicell ‘Avengers’ and Flowers ‘Crushers’.

The 3rd Annual Charles Solis Memorial Championship was played on Sunday, November 28, 2010, at Rogers Stadium and the results have now been recorded in the annals of the sports history in the country. The championship was opened by Mr. Owen ‘Sonny’ Meighan, Public Relations Officer of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, and honorary life member of the Belize Softball Federation.

In the championship game, National Softball Champion of Belize Roaring Creek’s Grace Kennedy, who is having its best year on record, picked up where it left off from at the National Women’s Championship, when it defeated much improved Flowers Bank ‘Easy Does It’ by the score of 11 to 4 in five innings to capture its first ever Charles Solis Memorial Title.

At the end of the championship, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy’s Leandra Guy was named the Most Valuable Player. Guy won all three games for her team and she struck out 17 batters in the process. The 2010 Belize City Interoffice Softball Competition came to an end on Friday December 10 at Rogers Stadium when the defending champion the Belize City Council behind the pitching of Brian ‘Yellowman’ Audinett defeated the Police by the score of 10 to 7 to repeat as the Interoffice Softball Champions.


BASKETBALL:

The Belize Basketball Federation announced the launch of the Men’s National Team preparation programme for the upcoming Centrobasket 2010 tournament. The tournament, which was held in the Dominican Republic from July 5th to 12th, was the penultimate qualifier for the 2012 Olympics. The BBF also announced that NBA legend and former All-Star Mr. Marques Johnson was appointed the Head Coach.

The following players were called to attend workout sessions: Keith Acosta, Lennox Bowman, Charlie Burgess, Kurt Burgess, Alex Carcamo, Lennox Cayetano, Noel Felix, Marlon Garnett, Elsworth Itza, Jorett Jones, Keenan Jourdan, Darwin Leslie, Travis Lennan, Farron Louriano, Leroy Louriano, Gene Myvett, Milton Palacio, Kenton Paulino, Winston Pratt, Greg Rudon, Kirk Smith, Richard Troyer, Sonny Watson, Stephen Williams, and Matthew Young.
The 2010 Dangriga Basketball Association Summer Bounce Championships came to an end on Saturday August 14 at the Y-Knot Island in Dangriga Town, with the championship games in both the junior and senior competitions.

In the junior championship game, Hopkins defeated Ghans Avenue by the score of 48 to 43. In the senior championship game, Belize Bank Benguche defeated Valley Express by the score of 97 to 82 to repeat as back-to-back champions. The 2010 Central American Scholar Games (CODICADER) took place in Managua, Nicaragua. Belize’s student-athletes participated in basketball, volleyball, athletics, football (male) and softball (female).

Belize was represented in male basketball by Sacred Heart College of San Ignacio Town. In the championship game, Costa Rica defeated Sacred Heart College (Belize) by the score of 64 to 62. As a result of losing to Costa Rica, Sacred Heart College finished with the silver medal in these games.

ATHLETICS:

The Track team left the country on April 15 for the IX Central American Games in Panama, and a day later on April 16, Tricia Flores won the first gold medal for Belize in these games in the Long Jump competition where she also established a new games record of 5.97m. Flores’ teammate Kaina Martinez picked up the silver medal in Long Jump at a distance of 5.45m.

Later that same day, Kaina Martinez captured the second gold medal for Belize. This time it was in the 100m event and she finished first in a time of 12.05 sec. On Saturday April 17, Kaina Martinez captured her second gold medal in the games, but this time in the 200m in a time of 24.89 sec. Later that same afternoon, Jonathan Williams captured the silver medal in the 110m hurdles, and on Monday April 16, he captured the gold medal in the 400m hurdles.

Belize participated in the XXI Central American Athletics Championship held in Guatemala City, Guatemala from September 17 to 18, 2010. The Belizean contingent comprised of Kaina Martinez, Tricia Flores, Kay De Vaughn, Charnelle Enriquez, Jaryl Mariano, Chavis Lopez and Denroy Nembhard. On September 17, Kaina Martinez won double gold medals for Belize during the Central American Championship. Her first gold medal was in the 100m event in which her time was 12:55. Martinez’s teammate Tricia Flores finished second in the event in a time of 12:72.

Later that same day, Kaina picked up her second gold medal of the day and of the championship when she captured first place in the 200m event in a time of 25:54. In this event, Tricia Flores finished seventh in a time of 26:22. Belize also participated in the 4 x 100m relay and captured the bronze medal when the relay team which consisted of Tricia Flores, Kaina Martinez, Charnelle Enriquez and Kay De Vaughn finished the event in a time of 50:75.

In the field events, Kay De Vaughn picked up a silver medal in the High Jump Competition in a height of 1.60m. In the Long Jump competition, Tricia Flores established a new record in her third and final jump at 5.97m. This gave Tricia her first gold medal at the championship and her third overall.
In the Triple Jump competition, Kay De Vaughn finished fifth in this event. The male athletes were not as successful and were therefore not able to advance out of the preliminaries.

Although Belize did not medal in the XIX Commonwealth Games, the athletes were able to established new personal and national records during the games. One such record that was established was by Katy Sealy. Sealy is the first Belizean female to have represented Belize at any major International Games in the Heptathlon Competition. And so it was with destiny that Sealy was to have broken her own record in the 100m Hurdles at the XIX Commonwealth Games when she cleared the hurdles at 16.40 to best her previous record in Puerto Rico, and so it was that a new national record was once again established on foreign soil.

Sealy also improved on her personal best in the High Jump competition when she jumped 1.66 cm; that is 9cm more than in her previous competition and she also established another personal best in the Shot Put competition when she hurled the iron ball for a total distance of 10.11m. Sealy was able to accumulate a total of 2450 points. Unfortunately for Belize and Sealy, she could not finish the Heptathlon Competition because of an injury just before the start of the 200m event.

OLYMPIC AND COMMONWEALTH GAMES

The Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association in collaboration with the International Olympic Committee, the Belize Amateur Athletics Association and Bowen and Bowen Ltd, the local bottlers of Coca-Cola held the Annual Olympic Day Run on Sunday June 20, 2010. The primary school students started from in front of James Brodies on Regent Street into Albert Street around the Isaiah Morter’s monument into Cemetery Lane into Yarborough road and then into Regent Street for the finish.

At the end of the run, all participants received a participation certificate and the winners received their various trophies from Mr. Edward Ned Pitts, President of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association. As part of Olympic Week Celebrations, The International Olympic Committee and the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association on Wednesday June 23, 2010, which is Olympic Day, conferred upon Belizean Rita Flowers, the IOC Trophy for ‘Sport-inspiring young people’ at an award ceremony held at the House of Culture in Belize City.

Ms. Rita Flowers has a track record of personal involvement with young people for the past 30 years and has organized many males and females into youth groups especially in the fields of music and sports. She is a cultural and musical person who instills the ideals and principles of the Olympic Movement; the arts. Rita Flowers is the founder of the popular Majorettes Band.

Meanwhile, the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association also presented Citations to seven coaches from National Federations here in Belize as part of Olympic Week celebrations. The coaches who were honoured included Frederick Evans from Athletics, Joseph McLaren from Body Building, Santiago Castillo from Cycling, Raymond Garbutt from Softball, Raju Meenavalli from Tennis, Jose “Jack” Reyes from Volleyball, and Leon Guild from Karate.

Also the athletes who medaled at the IX Central American Games in Panama also received a certificate of participation and a trophy from the Olympic Committee

The Citations were presented to the coaches by Mr. Owen ‘Sonny’ Meighan, Public Relations Officer of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association.Belize was represented in Mexico City, Mexico, by two young athletes as part of the Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO) reception of the 1st Olympic Flame for the Youth Olympic Games.

Kira Arnold from the Belize Softball Federation and Eduar Burns from the Belize Cycling Association were the two athletes who represented Belize. The athletes departed the country on Saturday July 26 for Mexico City and stayed in Mexico City until July 29.

While in Mexico City, Kira Arnold and Eduar Burns joined other young athletes from the hemisphere in activities that welcomed the Youth Olympic Games Flame to the hemisphere. The Youth Olympic Games were held in August on the island nation of Singapore.

Belize also participated in the XIX Commonwealth Games that were held in New Delhi, India, from October 3-15, 2010. The Belizean Contingent left the country on September 28. The contingent consisted of Kiana Martinez, Kay De Vaughn, Katy Sealy, Shalini Zabaneh, Brandon Cattouse, Byron Pope, Jairo Campos, Edgar Nissan Arana, and Gregory Lovell who represented the country in Cycling and Track and Field. Meanwhile, the officials who attended the games included Perry Gibson, coach and delegate for the Cycling team; Fredrick Evans, coach of the Track and Field team, and Josephine Flowers, delegate of the Track and Field team.

Belize's Flag Bearer to the XIX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony was Kiana Martinez, the double gold medallist from the Central American Championships in Guatemala City.

Team Belize joined 70 other countries and territories from the Commonwealth for the XIX edition of the games.

Belize's contingent to the XIX Commonwealth Games was headed by the Chef de Mission Patrick Henry.

The Guardian