n Photo supplied
Best of our youth: Some of Bermuda’s Junior Elite Athletes for 2011. Several of the young stars were overseas representing the island and could not attend the ceremony.
* Photo supplied. Best of our youth: Some of Bermuda’s Junior Elite Athletes for 2011. Several of the young stars were overseas representing the island and could not attend the ceremony.
n Photo supplied
Best of our youth: Some of Bermuda’s Junior Elite Athletes for 2011. Several of the young stars were overseas representing the island and could not attend the ceremony.
* Photo supplied. Best of our youth: Some of Bermuda’s Junior Elite Athletes for 2011. Several of the young stars were overseas representing the island and could not attend the ceremony.

They are some of the best and brightest of Bermuda’s youth and they have been recognized as the island’s Junior Elite Athletes for 2011.

The 13 athletes from 13 different sports will receive $57,166.54 to help them develop their promising skills.

Some of the names are familiar to the general public already like cricketer Damali Bell, swimmer Emma Franklin, tennis star Chris Rego or ranked track athlete Shaquille Dill.

But others are just beginning their ascent on the sporting scene and are likely to carve out their own path in the coming years.

The award ceremony was held at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess with Sports Minister Glenn Blakeney personally congratulating the winners. 

Nico Barclay

Sport: Triathlon

Age: 14

School: Warwick Academy

Award: $2,357.59

Barclay started participating in triathlon when he was eight-years-old.

He has also competed in many local running events including the pro Shop Jr. Road race and the Telford Electric Magic Mile.

He honed his water skills with the Sharks Swimming Club.

He later joined the TriHedz Triathlon Club and had the opportunity to work with overseas coaches Steve Trew and Sharon Osgood.

To assist with his development, Barclay will attend the USAT Skills Camp West and will also use his funding to purchase equipment.


Damali Bell

Sport: Cricket

Age: 19

School: Berkeley Institute

Award: $5,326.95

Bell was named the Under-17 All-star MVP in 2008 and in 2010 was selected to compete in the BCB Elite Cricket Series. He represented Bermuda at the ICC U-19 Americas Regional Championship last year and is a member of the senior national team competing in Dubai this week. Bowling specialist coach Andrew Pick said Bell has raw talent and if developed, has the potential to play cricket professionally. Coach David Moore said: “He is a hard working individual who shows commitment and dedication in practice and during games.” His award money will be used for him to train 12 weeks at the Kent Cricket Academy.


Jennifer Chisnall

Sport: Field hockey

Age: 18

Award: $2,254

Chisnell plays hockey for Swallows and was the op goal scorer in the U-15 division for the 2006-7 season. She is a member of Bermuda’s High Performance U-21 Junior Team, which participated at the Pan Am Junior Games in Mexico in 2008. Chisnell was voted the most improved junior player in the senior league in 2009.

She has also been a member of the U-17 team at the Pan Am games in 2010 and the senior women’s team at the CAC Games in 2010.

Her award will go towards attending the Southgate Hockey Centre Summer Residential Camp in London, Ontario.


Shaquille Dill

Sport: Track

Age: 17

School: Computer Care

Award: $4,015

Dill won a silver medal at the 2010 Carifta Games and a gold medal at the CAC Junior Championship in the 800 metres.

He is ranked in the top 20 in the 800 metres for youth athletes in the CAC region.

For 2011, he has qualified in three events for Carifta and is also qualified for the 2011 Pan Am Junior Championship.

He will also be attempting to qualify for the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championship, the 2013 CAC Championship, the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2016 Olympics.

He will be using his funds to attend the 2011 New Balance Nationals and the 2011 New England Outdoor Championship.


Emma Franklin

Sport: Swimming

Age: 16

School: Saltus

Award: $5,582

Franklin won medals in both the Carifta Games and Caribbean Island Swimming Championships in 2010,

She holds the Bermuda record in the 13-14 girls 50 metre backstroke and was a part of the 13-14 girls IM Relay team that established a new Bermuda record.

She won Government’s Bermuda Junior Female Athlete of the year in 2011.

Her future goals include competing in the 2015 Pan Pacific Championship and the FINA World Championships.

Her funding will help Franklin attend the Dave Johnson Training Camp in Canada.


Kajuna Lema

Sport: Netball

Age: 15

School: Berkeley Institute

Award: $2,024

She started playing netball four years ago with the Netts. Norbert Simons, director of Sports, said: “Since that time she has continued to develop her athletic skills in netball. She is described as a never-say-die athlete that gives her all to the team.” In 2010 she was selected as the Bermuda Netball Association’s Rookie of the Year. She also won the Hustle Award for her notorious ability to intercept passes. She was a member of the U-16 team that competed in Barbados last year. Lema plans to represent Bermuda with the U-21 team that will compete in Scotland in 2013.

Her money will go to help pay her costs for the 2011 Jean Pierre Netball Tournament.


Khari Place

Sport: Golf

Age: 13

School: Mount Saint Agnes

Award: $3,703

Place was second in the Ross Blackie Talbot Summer Junior Golf Tournament and second in the Aon Benefield Fecchio Cup in 2009.

Last year he was first in the Ross Blackie Talbot Junior Golf Tournament, which was played over four different courses.

Place plans on playing golf at the college level, and possibly professionally. His long term goal is to become a lawyer.

The Junior Elite Athlete money will be used for Place to attend the International Summer School of Golf in Scotland.


Chris Rego

Sport: Tennis

Age: 13

School: IES BOCA Prep

Award: $4,850

He won the U-14 and U-16 age divisions at the 2010 Cromwell Manders Junior Open. He won the U-16 and U-18 age divisions at the 2010 Langton Junior Open and the U-14 and U-18 age divisions doubles titles at the 2010 Snack Pack Junior Open.

He is the number one ranked junior male player in the Caribbean and Central American region.

He hopes to represent Bermuda at the ITF Junior Tournaments, the Island Games, the Davis Cup and the Olympics.

His money will go towards ITF coaching and training sessions and paying for training fees.


Owen Siese

Sport: Sailing

Age: 16

School: Warwick Academy

Award: $5,700

Siese was seventh at the North American Championship in 2010. He was also first in the Bermuda National Championships in 2010.

The sailor also placed sixth out of 26 boats at the World Youth Olympics in Singapore last year.

His goals include finishing in the top half of the fleet at the ISAF Youth World Sailing Championship in the Laser Radial Class and competing at the Pan Am Games (2015) and the Olympics (2016).

Siese will use the government funds to attend with his coach La Rochelle in France to pay for training and coaching.


Rai Simons

Sport: Football

Age: 15

School: CedarBridge Academy

Award: $3,300

A member of the Bermuda Football Association’s National Academy since 2009, Simons represented Bermuda at the Clyde Best Tournament and the Dallas Cup.

He has been actively involved in the Super Y League in the U.S. with the Reading Rage Soccer Club and has been selected to train in the Super Y Olympic Development programme.

Simons plans on playing football on scholarship at a Division One college in the U.S. and play professionally in the U.S. or Europe.

He will use the funds to attend a trial at West Ham United.


Jaeda Smith

Sport: Equestrian

Age: 15

School: Saltus

Award: $4,875

Smith began training in her sport at the age of nine and has won a number of Bermuda Equestrian Federation events over the past five years. In the 2007-8 season she won the DeCosta Construction Trophy, the Raymond White Memorial Trophy and was selected the U-12 champion. During the 2008-09 season she was second in the pony jumping championship. Last year she was selected by the BEF to represent Bermuda at the Caribbean Equestrian Junior Jumping Championship in Trinidad. She plans on attending a university which has an equestrian competition. Her funds will be used to attend the Teddi Ismond training facility in Virginia for three weeks.


Nazhir Smith

Sport: Squash

Age: 15

School: Warwick Academy

Award: $3,855

Smith is still a relative newcomer to his sport but has picked it up quickly in the two years since he started playing. While at Elliott Primary School, he took part in the junior squash programme.

He finished in the top 10 at the Caribbean Junior Championships.

Last year Smith reached the quarter-finals in the U-17 age division and won the consolation finals of the PC Bike National Junior Championships.

He has plans to compete in the 2011 Caribbean Junior Championship in Guyana and the Canadian Junior Open.

His funds will be used to attend both of those events.


Juron Tucker

Sport: Basketball

Age: 16

School: Warwick Academy

Award: $4,662

Tucker has been playing in the senior men’s league for the past three years. He is a member of the U-19 national team and was selected as the MVP during his final varsity basketball game.

Norbert Simons, Director of Sports, said Tucker “is an outstanding young man who has shown great leadership character on and off the basketball court.

He hopes to land a Division One college basketball scholarship and make the senior national men’s team.

He also plans on studying sports medicine.

He will use the funds to attend the IMG Academy Summer Camp for three weeks.