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International Games
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Minister of Sports Addresses Two Sports in Press Conference

During the Government’s COVID-19 Press Conference, Dr. Ernest Peets the Minister of Youth, Culture, and Sport addressed two Sporting Matters.

I would also like to offer some comments on the recent matter concerning our national swimmers who were not able to gain certification to represent Bermuda at the Olympics.

The way this incident unfolded has been most unfortunate. The situation was politicized and the athletes were caught in the middle. As is common in these situations, there are at least three sides to a story and it saddens me to see the disappointment all around.

Nevertheless, I am confident that the Standards Committee has been consistent in the application of their criteria as voted and decided on in 2017.

I appreciate the disappointment fully; however, it is part of the competition at any level, but in particular at this highest level of international representation.

I know Bermuda can get beyond this and certainly look forward to our athletes’ continued development as we move forward.

Finally, I’d like to close by highlighting the upcoming Cup Match Classic, which is scheduled to take place at the end of July.

Cup Match is a truly special time for us as a community and as a Country.

It’s a time of unity, camaraderie, national pride and of course, the reigniting of friendly rivalries between Somerset and St. George’s fans.

It’s also a time when the richness of our culture and heritage is on full display.

Sadly last year, for the first time in our history, Cup Match could not take place due to the effects of the pandemic.

But this year, thankfully, the two Clubs were able to come together to ensure that our Annual Classic could happen for our Country.

Ultimately, the Ministry of Youth, Culture, and Sport is very pleased with this outcome.

And in less than a month, Bermuda will celebrate one of the most anticipated sporting events and holidays on the local calendar – Cup Match.

We know that it takes significant planning, preparation, and organizing in order to host an event of this magnitude.

For our part, we are working with the organizers to provide the support needed to help make the Annual Classic possible.

This includes providing funding and the necessary approvals to allow our two-day national pastime to take place.

Yesterday, I was pleased to meet with the St. George’s Cricket Club leadership, members of the Bermuda Police Service, and various government departments to discuss how the Government can support St. George’s Cricket Club as it prepares to host Cup Match.

Among the topics discussed were SafeKey requirements, numbers of attendees, venue logistics, COVID-safety protocols, and club facility and field preparations.

Yesterday’s meeting is part of a series of meetings being held with the St. George’s Cricket Club and our government and community partners.

And we are committed to working with President Neil Paynter and the St. George’s Cricket Club to ensure a successful event for all to enjoy.

On behalf of the Ministry, we greatly look forward to recognizing and honoring the historical significance of this important holiday, which includes two days of great cricket being played and the observances of our Emancipation and Mary Prince Day holiday.

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