Posted: Sunday, April 2, 2023. 1:08 pm CST.
By Breaking Belize News Staff: The Santander Sugar Group canoe team recently excelled in the 26th annual Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge, snagging the first-place trophy in the family category, and proving to themselves, their fans, and other competitors that anything is possible.
The team which consists of Jermain Sutherland, and brothers Jonathan and Gerson Giron was also able to earn bragging rights of finishing off among the top 10 teams at 8th place out of 57 participants. To honor their exemplary performance the company recently held an award ceremony to show their appreciation for the team’s hard work.
Management System’s Manager Stefania Rodriguez indicated, ‘’Santander is very proud to have them on our team. We recognize and value the effort that they put in and wanted to echo the sentiment of the team that anything is possible once you put your mind to it.’’
Speaking on behalf of his team members Jermain Sutherland commented, ‘’It was kind of hard to believe due to our lack of training and lack of experience because we were the newcomers. While this is my third year participating in the race, it was the first time for my two other team members. But despite all this, we were able to capture that first-place trophy and prove to ourselves that great things can happen when you remain focused.’’
And remaining focused during the 175-mile journey across the Belize River was what Sutherland and his team had to do to be able to keep their three-minute lead over at least 10 other teams that were competing in the same category. Sutherland said that keeping that lead over the other teams for the entire four days of the race was their goal and strategy for winning. This of course was another feat for the team due to their lack of training leading up to the race due to their tight work schedule.
‘’Our entire journey was exciting and emotional at the same time because we did not expect first place because our competitors had 8 months of training while we only had 3 months. Our training was also different from theirs because we rotate between day and night shifts. So that’s what made our story interesting because of the type of training that we had to put in which included a lot of sacrifice, effort, and dedication on our part. But despite all this, we were still able to achieve the impossible. ’’
Sutherland, who currently works as a boiler operator has been a part of the Santander family for the past six years, where he initially started as a factory helper before moving on to work at the reverse osmosis water plant. His colleague Jonathan Giron also started 7 years ago as a factory helper and has made his way up to a factory supervisor while his brother recently joined the company.
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