|Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 28, 2020 (SKNIS): The 8th Annual Independence Drill Competition held on Friday (September 25, 2020) was different but maintained the excitement that comes along with the popular event on the official Independence calendar of activities.
The event features members of law enforcement and support security agencies performing military drills before a panel of judges. In the end, points are awarded to the best participants to determine the best individual and team winner.
Hundreds of patrons usually jam the Bay Road area adjacent to Ram’s Supermarket to enjoy the showcase and shout for their favourites. This was not the case this year as COVID-19 health and safety protocols forced the event to be staged virtually at the Police Training Complex. There was a handful of spectators however who gathered at the large gates to catch a glimpse of the contest.
Organizer Nigel Williams said that the keen competition between the participants made the event as exciting as ever.
Fifteen persons participated in the Independence Drill Competition. The agencies represented were the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force, St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services, Her Majesty’s Prison, St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force Cadet Corps and the St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority.
The results were: Individual Drill Category, Winner: Cadet Recruit Shynequa Isaac; 1st Place Police Constable Hanish Thomas; and 2nd Place Police Constable Zahur Peters. In the Team Drill Category, Winner Constables Zahur Peters and Hanish Thomas; 1st Place Cadet Recruits Shynequa and Jelani Isaac, and 2nd Place Constables Shane Clarke and Deshaun Jacobs.
Fans watching the stream online were certainly vocal in their support for the respective participants. During the live stream on Facebook, Constable Peters’ mother commented that she and his grandmother were locked in and rooting for him all the way.
“I’m so glad they were watching me,” PC Peters stated. “I didn’t have support here, but I had it in my heart.”
Organizer Williams said that the excitement of the victory of Cadet Recruit 19-year-old Isaac who made history by becoming the first Cadet Recruit to win the contest as well as the female to do so was welcomed. He added that the excitement of the fans, the enthusiasm of the participants and the youth factor, which also included 13-year-old Cadet Recruit Jelani Isaac, bodes well for the sustainability of the product.
“We will get a lot better,” he stated, revealing that the pandemic forced a change in plans to invite law enforcement from other countries to participate in the competition. “Next year, hopefully, we would have gotten rid of COVID-19 and we will have persons from Antigua, Montserrat, Jamaica, and Guyana, as well as Trinidad and Tobago in the competition.”