Devynne Charlton billboard unveiled in Stapledon

MINISTER of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg joins community leaders and family of Devynne Charlton for the unveiling.

MINISTER of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg joins community leaders and family of Devynne Charlton for the unveiling.

As of Thursday, April 6, 2023


#Senior Sports Reporter

#DEVYNNE Charlton, who is an inspiration to her younger sister, is hoping that more Bahamians will aspire to follow in her footsteps as her images and accomplishments were splashed on a billboard in her community.

#The Stapledon Neighbourhood Watch Committee unveiled the billboard which displayed her accolades in the women’s 100 metres hurdles that include one-time World Indoor Championship and Commonwealth Games silver medallist, an Olympic Games and World Championship finalist, two-time national record holder and one-time World Athletics Indoor World Tour champion.

#Flanked by her parents David and Laura Charlton and her younger sister Anthaya, who came home from Kentucky to view the Oaktree Medical Center’s 50th CARIFTA Games this weekend, Charlton said she was honoured by the billboard that is erected at the corner of Tonique Williams-Darling Highway and Christie Avenue.

#Also in attendance for the event was Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg, Masai Russell, a hurdles/sprints team-mate of Charlton in Kentucky and members of the Stapledon Neighbourhood Watch Committee and some of the sponsors.


Devynne Charlton flanked by her sister Anathaya and parents David and Laura Charlton in front of unveiled sign in Stapledon Gardens where they reside.

#“I hope this can be something that can show other young kids in Stapledon what they can do,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what community you come from as long as you work towards your goal, you can get up there.” It was the second such billboard posted in Stapleton Gardens as Charlton joined World and Olympic Games women’s 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who was the first highlighted for her achievements.

#“I don’t know if people knew what neighborhood I grew up in honestly. I think it will do something seeing that I grew up in the same place just as them,” she noted. “Just the impact that I’ve had on sports, I feel a lot more kids taking part in the hurdles.”

#Having made her mark on the international scene as one of the top ten competitors in the hurdles on the global stage, Charlton said it’s an event that more athletes should pursue in their effort to get to the same position as she has risen.

#This was the first time since 2013 when she participated in the CARIFTA Games that Charlton has been in attendance, so with the event taking place this weekend at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, she’s delighted to be here to lend her suppor.t

#“With this bring the 50th edition and also our 50th anniversary of Independence, I think this is going to be a special time for us and I just wanted to be home to be a part of it,” Charlton said.

#Once she returns to Kentucky on Sunday, she will prepare for her outdoor season opener next week in Florida to get the ball rolling for the champaign towards the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary in August.

#Without putting any restrictions on herself, Charlton said the goal is to get on the podium and win a medal on the biggest global stage of the sport.

#As for her younger sister, Anthaya, who is fast becoming one of the top collegians in just her freshman year at Kentucky, Charlton said she may have the fastest time on paper in the 100m, but they have not gone head-to-head to determine who is definitely the best.

#Anthaya Charlton, who also competes in the 100 and 100m hurdlers as well as the long jump, said while her time as established her as the best, she’s just delighted to her older sister as her biggest supporter in training in Kentucky.

#“Now we need two signs. I need my own. I want my billboard on the street too,” said Anthaya Just On Tuesday, Charlton was named the Freshman Athlete of the Week after she clocked a personal best of 11.13 to move to No.2 in the NCAA, and was third in the long jump with 21-feet, 4 3/4-inches at the Texas Relays over the weekend

#“I am now the fastest in the 100m between the two of us. but I will let her keep the hurdles. I don’t want to take the two spots away from her right now.”

#After quitting track last year, Anthaya Charlton said she’s just thrilled to be back and back in a big way as she’s excelled beyond the level she attained last year.

#“I think it’s going to be a really good season for me,” said Charlton, who just completed her CARIFTA eligibility last year, but encouraged the 80 members of this year’s team to go out and enjoy themselves and represent the Bahamas on our home territory.

#Russell, who was named the Women’s Runner of the Week at the Texas Relays, said coming from Washington DC, to be able to view the palm trees and other natural resources in the Bahamas,. was breathtaking.

#She noted, however, that nothing topped watching the billboard unveiled for her close friend Devynne Charlton.

#“I think this just gives all of us the inspiration to go out and accomplishment all that she has achieved,” Russell said. “It’s crazy and exciting to have two sisters like this training and competing with you.”

#Additionally, Russell said she’s even more eager to watch the competition during the games before they return to Kentucky to continue their training and competition.

#Bowleg congratulated Stapledon for taking the initiative to recognize and show appreciation for one of their own.

#“Devynne is one of those athletes who have tried hard and has grown over the years and has made all of us very proud,” Bowleg said.

#“I hope that I will still be the Minister on the sideline when she wins her first Olympic medal because I have supported her from the time she went through her battle with injuries and was able to bounce back. She knows what she wants and as a former coach when you found athletes like that, you just need to give them all the support they need. That is what I’ve tried to do for her.”

#Bowleg welcomed the Charlton girls and their friends from Kentucky and indicated that he hopes they will all enjoy themselves during the CARIFTA Games.

#Laura Charlton, speaking on behalf of her husband, said it’s a great feeling to see that where she was born and breed, she’s now being recognized for her accomplishment.

#“This should also serve as an encouragement for other youngsters in the community to let them know that they too can achieve the same thing that she has,” Laura Charlton said. “We are very thankful to the community for taking the opportunity to recognize her in this fashion.”

#Stapledon Community Watch president Jouette Smith said when they do things in Stapledon, they do it big or they don’t do it at all. He noted that they did it one for Miller-Uibo and since January, they were making plans for this second unveiling that took place.

#“On this billboard is over 30 sponsors from across the length and breadth of the Bahamans. That there is no easy task,” he said. “All of them have pledged in one way or the other to assist this community in any initiative or all of our initiatives that we may have.”

#Smith added that he promised Laura Charlton that Devynne would be the second person to be unveiled on the billboard and he’s pleased to do it for an athlete who have represented the Bahamas very well on the global stage.

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