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Dec 21, 2005

Sports exhibition opens at Museum of Belize

Story PictureIf you need a break from the traffic gridlock and frenzy of holiday shopping, or have a few days off next week and want something to do, the Museum of Belize has mounted a special new exhibition on Belizean sports. The show, on the upper level, is sure to bring back fond memories for older folks and raise curious questions from young ones. News Five was there for the opening today.

Owen ?Sonny? Meighan
?I have heard of many athletes before my time, good performers. And now I have been able to see photographs of them some of them I have not seen for a long time, I met this morning again, and this is something great.?

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting
Owen Meighan, or just ?Sonny? as he is affectionately called, is regarded as one of Belize?s premier sports personalities. Today, Meighan is among countless other well-known athletes featured in the first sports display of its kind. The exhibit is hosted by the Museum of Belize and the National Institute of Culture and History.

Robert Hulse, J.P., Historian, Museum of Belize
?The objective is to allow the young people to see what the older sportsmen?experience the achievements of the older sportsmen of the past.?

Sonny is one of those sportsmen who certainly excelled in various disciplines. He has not only won close to twenty master tennis tournaments, but he also dominated the Men?s Junior National Singles and the National Men?s Open Singles.

Owen ?Sonny? Meighan
?I am glad that the people involved did something like this. I remember when they were asking me for photographs I made sure I found the ones that I look young in. I tried to find some in every sport I played and I think I did.?

The sports included tennis, track and field, baseball, softball, volleyball, and basketball.

Another athlete who definitely was a prominent player on the court is Clinton “Pulu? Lightburn. Today he spends much of his time coaching a much younger population.

Clinton ?Pulu? Lightburn
?As a matter of fact I have a foundation where I am raising funds to help developmental programmes with kids and the national team, because in my experience as an athlete I have found that that is where we have the most problems. We don?t normally have problems supporting the leagues of the different sports; it?s the developmental programmes and the national team. So that?s what I?m focussing on right now.?

Lightburn says he is grateful to be among the athletes chosen for the sports display which he says brought back some very fond memories.

Clinton ?Pulu? Lightburn
?I had no idea this was what it was going to be like and when I came up the stairs I was very excited because I saw a lot of pictures on the walls that brought back a lot of memories, memories from decades ago. The irony of it is that right next to the picture of me, the next picture I saw was a team picture of a cricket team and there was my father standing in the middle of it. And I?ve heard my father played five different sports and made the national team in all five, and was the captain of all five and I?m looking at a picture of him standing right in the middle, like the cricket team that went to Jamaica, the football team, there is about five pictures on the wall that he?s on there, so that really made me excited.?

?Besides that, seeing the pictures of people like Otto Tench, Pito Goff, Roy Canton, Sonny Meighan, Billy Musa, these brought back a lot of memories because I can remember the days when I was eight, nine and at that time Belize was a small country and everything was kinda confined, we didn?t have television and the sporting events of that weekend was like everything wrapped up into one. It was like sixty channels, so looking at this it brought back the memories because we used to live for these moments when I was a kid, especially a fan.?

You too can join in the experience. The display will run for three months at the Museum of Belize.

The exhibit is a continuation of the people’s display which was launched last year.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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