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Mar 7, 2023

The 26th Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge

Goodnight and welcome to a special edition of Sports Monday, I am Paul Lopez. It was a three-day weekend packed with sporting activities across the country.The banks along the Belize River were inundated with fans of the Twenty-Sixth Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge. The annual canoe race saw a total of fifty-seven teams lined up under the Hawkesworth Bridge in San Ignacio Town, as the race was ready to get underway. At the sound of the horn, the one hundred and eighty mile, four-day, canoe challenge began. Only seconds away from the starting line, one canoe toppled over, tossing three of its paddlers into the river. Koop Sheet Metal took the first station prize at the low-lying bridge. At the end of day one, Slim and Trim was in the lead, followed by Lucas Oil Westrac, and Koop Sheet Metal in third place.


On day two of the race, paddlers took off from Banana Bank to take on the grueling journey to Double Head Cabbage. Team PACT found the strength on the second day to finish first place, ahead of Slim and Trim who was followed by Koop Sheet Metal. And of course, the energy from fans and support crews was elevated going into day three, as the journey was nearing its end. Just seconds away from the finish line in Burrell Boom Village, PACT and Slim and Trim would battle it out in a photo finish that would see the paddlers for PACT overcome Slim and Trim by one second, and Team Lucas Oil by three seconds, with Koop Sheet Metal trailing.


Day four of the race, the final day, was the decision maker. It was already determined in the minds of onlookers that the paddlers from one of the top four teams from day three would take the first prize overall.  But, who would it be? And, they are off! Some two hours and forty-four minutes later, Slim and Trim and Koop Sheet Metal were the first two teams to make it to the finish line. It was another photo finish at the Belcan Bridge between these two teams. Defending champions, team PACT was the third to arrive on the final day. We heard from the young paddlers who represented Team Slim and Trim.


Javier Guardado

Javier Guardado, Team Captain, Slim and Trim

“I feel proud of myself and my team mates that we managed to come in first at the Belikin La Ruta Maya and to win the first day and the last day. From months before that was the plan to win the first day and the last day, because we know that in the kennel ih hard for the other teams and the first day it was shallow. So, like we took advantage you would say.”


And from the banks of the Belize River to the Belize City Civic Center on Friday night where the Orange Walk Running Rebels showed the Belize City Defenders why they are not a team to be slept on. Prior to the start of the season, there were talks about whether Brian White should hang up his basketball jersey and go into early retirement. But, within the thirty-two minutes that he played against the Belize City Defenders, White showed why he is still one of the most formidable power forwards in the league. He scored a season high of twenty points, ended the game with fourteen rebounds and shot a field goal average of sixty-six point seven percent. The Orange Walk Running Rebels took home the W by scoring ninety-one points to eighty-five for the Belize City Defenders.


In Dangriga, the Dream Ballers hosted the Benny’s Belize Hurricanes in a match that ended in eight-five to seventy-six points in favor of Griga Dream Ballers. Down south, it was the battle of the big cats, as the Belmopan Taigaz took on the Punta Gorda Panthers inside the PG Sporting Complex. Belmopan took home the victory with one hundred and six points to ninety-one points. As it currently stands, Benny’s Belize Hurricanes its leading the 2023 season, followed by the Belize City Defenders in second place, and Griga Dream Ballers in third place.


And folks, you have heard it in our newscast already, but as a reminder, the Under Nineteen Volleyball Men’s Team is set to play later this week in the Continental Volleyball Championships in Guatemala. The stage is set and our men’s team has been preparing for what is its highest level of competition to date. In case you missed it, here is what Albert Humes, the coach of the Belize National Volleyball Team told us about the upcoming games.


Albert Humes

Albert Humes, Coach, Belize National Men’s Volleyball Team

“Right now, as we’re getting closer, we are trying to do more game situations because we don’t have the amount of practice matches to go abroad, we have to among the senior guys, we train the team to try to prepare for the other teams. But we are getting there.”


And, that is all we have for you in this week’s coverage of Sports Monday. Until next time, have a great week!

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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