Mingoes optimistic for the year
The University of The Bahamas (UB) Mingoes showcased their teams on Sunday past in the auditorium in the Harry C. Moore Library at UB.
The men’s and women’s Judo team, the women’s volleyball team and the men and women’s track and field team addressed the media.
This is the second year the program has been a part of UB. Coaching the team is national judo team coach D’Arcy Rahming. The team is comprised of two women and four men.
For the new year’s goals, Rahming said: “It is to get everyone used to the university environment which is different than a club level environment. I also hope to have everyone in the flow of things and to improve and go from there.”
Rahming said his team does Olympic judo so it is easily transferred to international competition and ultimately the Olympics.
The Judo team has athletes that are participating in the upcoming World Championships Juniors and Teams to be held here next month from October 17 to October 21. Two males and one female are on the team. These athletes live and train together while attending the university.
He is very proud of his athletes who made the team and said it speaks to how hard they train.
“We’re very proud of them. Obviously, it means that these guys are training at a very high level and they are the best we have ever trained as a country,” Rahming said.
Desmondo Bootle, one of the judo athletes, said he has two goals for the year.
“I have two goals that I have set for myself this season. I would like to medal at the upcoming World Championships. My second goal is connected to my first goal in that once I would have medaled this would qualify me for the 2020 Olympics,” Bootle said.
The team members are used to international competitions as they have traveled for international competitions prior to coming to UB.
A few years ago, the Mingoes women’s volleyball team won just one set all season. Renaldo Knowles, head coach of the team, wants the team to keep progressing and knows that the team has come a long way over the years.
“The goals for this year are just to keep progressing the way we have been over the last few years. From no wins to few wins to now adding some new people, getting some more talent and just seeing where what we learnt over the last few years will take us in the upcoming season. The team needs to improve in a lot of things such as aggression, technique, skills and playing together as a team,” Knowles said.
He continued to say that recruiting talent in The Bahamas is very tough because there is no feeder system.
“It’s very difficult to recruit new talent because there is no feeder system volleyball in The Bahamas. So we have to go into the high schools or into the night leagues and find people that haven’t been to school yet or coming out of high school. It happens that we have to teach people volleyball rather than fine tune the skills that they already have.”
The team is mixed with new and veteran players.
Alivia Culmer, team captain, said she hopes the team has chemistry for the season.
“I really want us to continue to be as one, on and off the court. I want to continue to motivate the ladies after every play, during practices and during our matches. It’s going to be my job to keep their spirits up,” Culmer said.
The track and field team boasted a record holder last year in the person of Ken Mullings. He is the men’s national record holder in the indoor heptathlon.
Mullings said, “My goals for the upcoming season are not just to make more senior teams or to just get physically stronger or faster. I am trying to work more on the mental side of track. I have learned from the season gone that you really need more mental strength in the decathlon.”
Ednal Rolle, assistant coach of the team, said he wants the team to progress and it was a good year for the team.
“My goal for the team is to progress from where we were for the last two years. Surprisingly we have done really well in a short period of time. We have some record holders, persons who went to track meets internationally and won individual events. So, we definitely need to do better,” Rolle said.
They did not add any athletes because they want to spend more time on the ones they have now.
All the teams are optimistic for the new season and have shown improvements from the previous season.