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By RENALDO DORSETT
ONE of the most high profile sporting federations in the country is set to usher in a new era this weekend when they stage elections for a new executive board.
The Bahamas Basketball Federation is expected to welcome a new group of elected officers when they host elections at the Kendal Isaacs Gym on October 29.
Vying for the top post of president will be candidates Charlie "Softly" Robins, Edgar Pickstock and Randy Cunningham.
Robins, nationally renowned as a player in his prime and as a coach and administrator, said his platform will have a central focus on expanding the game of basketball to a wider demographic, including a yout ...
The formation of the regional Anti-Doping Committee, for bodybuilding and fitness, is timely said president of the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BBFF) Danny Sumner. He said that more and more is now being done regarding the cleanliness of the sport.
The new board was set up at the 39th hosting of the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships that were staged in El Salvador from September 23-26. Dr. Cyprian Strachan was elected to the executive board where he will represent The Bahamas. His nomination was backed by Sumner, who thanked him for accepting the prestigious honor.
"This is a big thing for bodybuilding," said Sumner. "The Bahamas always has representatives on the various boards at the regional level, so having Dr. Strachan be a part of this and representing the country and the sport is good. He is very familiar with sports rules and regulations. Dr. Strachan has served as medical doctor for numerous track and field teams, as well as other sports.
"I personally want to welcome him, on behalf of the federation. I am sure that he will do his best to assist in cleaning up the sport and making sure our athletes follow the guidelines. Nowadays, there are a lot of products out there to enhance your performance. I try to keep our athletes away from that, but with him on board I am sure we will continue to be clean."
Dr. Strachan will be one of many medical advisors on the CAC committee. He was unavailable for comment yesterday, but in an earlier interview, he stated: "I am grateful, pleased and humble to be able to assist the sporting community in whatever capacity or way that I can. I was approached about three months ago, just before they hosted the nationals, with the idea. There are numerous persons who have assisted and who have gone before me, so just being able to give my services is satisfying. I love sports and have a passion for it. This is the best way we can level the playing field for everyone, so I think it is a good idea. There are also certain health aspects that people need to concern themselves with. I believe if they know all the side effects that are involved then they will be discouraged."
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
WITH the Bahamas rising to another level with Freedom Farm winning the Cal Ripkin/Babe Ruth Little League title last year, the Bahamas Baseball Federation has been granted the sanction to host the XII LLB Junior Regional Tournament.
With Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham as the patron, the 13-14 age group tournament is slated to be held at the Abaco Central and Cooper's Town Fields in Abaco July 15-24.
Grand Bahamian Edward 'Eddie' Claude, district representative/director of the Little League Baseball Bahamas District One and fourth vice president of the federation, returned from the annual general meeting in Santo ...
By RENALDO DORSETT
ALTHOUGH its local season ended weeks ago, the Bahamas Softball Federation (BSF) is still busy as it prepares to field the first of several national teams to represent the country in the near future.
The BSF has named its 18-member junior women's national team which will compete in the 2010 International Softball Federation Youth World Cup.
The international event, featuring a myriad of countries, is all set for December 29 to January 8, 2011. The tournament will feature each team participating in at least six games during pool play with medals awarded from each team from first to fourth place.
The tournament seeks to ser ...
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard talks about the Sports Authority being autonomous.
It ought to be. Is it really though?
In this space two Saturdays ago, readers were informed that the long-awaited Sports Authority was finally in place and functioning. It is headed by Chairman Leroy Archer who has no direct sports background to speak of, and top-line sports administrator Anton Sealey, who is the deputy.
I pointed out that the role would be challenging for Archer because now he has to go through a learning process in sports. This is absolutely necessary if he is ever going to do justice to the position of chairman. There is, however, a greater challenge for Archer, Sealey and company.
Under the present Act that was established with the Sports Authority Bill of 2010, will there be real autonomy? In part, the schedule of the National Sports Authority of The Bahamas begs that question.
Readers and particularly those who are directly connected with the national sporting landscape are urged to properly examine the Act. I've looked at the Act and knowing how our system works, there is reason to seriously doubt whether Archer, Sealey and the rest of the Sports Authority will ever be able to do the business at hand without interference or outside influence.
The act says the Sports Authority "shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal with power to purchase, take, hold and dispose of land and other property of whatever kind, to enter into contracts, to sue and be sued in the said name and to do all things necessary for the purposes of this act."
However, the minister (of sports) may by order, amend the schedule. Yes, by Official Order, the minister could indeed shift the power base of the Sports Authority. Is this autonomy?
The Sports Authority has the power to appoint its staff including a general manager, a deputy general manager and "other officers whose responsibilities will include finance, administration, operations, facility maintenance, safety, marketing, public relations, sanitation and environmental services, plus a director of security who shall be charged with the maintenance of the security of the center".
This can only be done however "after consultation with the minister".
The Act also provides that the Sports Authority, without prejudice "may construct, alter and maintain buildings at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre; grant leases, or other concessions in respect of land or buildings in the possession of the Authority in such terms and conditions and subject to the payment of rent or other consideration as the Authority may think it; may enter into agreements with sporting federations for the benefit of a particular sport."
The Act enables the Sports Authority to impose charges, fees for the use of the stadium and the sports center and its facilities, but "subject to the approval of the minister, by order published in the Gazette".
Is this real autonomy? Then, get this.
Under the heading "Minister may give Directions" the Act clearly states that the "Minister may give to the Authority directions of a general or of a specific nature as to the policy to be followed by the Authority in the performance of its functions as appear to the minister to be requisite in the public interest and the Authority shall give effect to such directions."
Let's think about this for a moment. You could very well have people steeped in sports understanding like Sealey, Original Golden Girl Eldece Clarke and Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) President/Amateur Boxing Federation of The Bahamas President Wellington Miller, being given directions by Minister Maynard, whose own sports background is very limited.
By no means do I intend to slight the minister. It is important though, to put these underlying factors out there. The Sports Authority is intended to be a very serious body, the most significant one in the country, as our sports industry continues to blossom. Hopefully the system will not turn it into a farce with sports ministers, permanent secretaries and others interfering or holding the Authority hostage from time to time.
To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com.
An official date has been set for the second round of the regional beach volleyball tournament, leaving the country's four-man squad with less than two months to train.
The team of Muller Petit, Renaldo Knowles, Byron Ferguson and Prince Wilson, waited a year for the executives of the North, Central American and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) to release the dates for the Sub Zonal Olympic Beach Volleyball Tournament. They were hoping to get word earlier in the year so that they can better prepare themselves for the sizzling sands event, which is a qualifier for the 2012 Olympic Games. The December 4-5 hosting was confirmed by 1st vice president in the Bahamas Volleyball Federation (BVF) Joseph Smith over the weekend. It was welcoming news for Head Coach DeVince Smith, who noted that the team members are now in season and should be in tip-top shape for the event which will be held in the Cayman Islands.
"We've been waiting on them to release the dates of the tournament for a while now," said Smith. "We are happy that a date and venue has been confirmed. The guys are eager and ready to play. I am not sure if the players have heard the great news as yet, but I am sure that when they do they will be ecstatic."
Petit and Knowles represented The Bahamas as Team 'A' and Ferguson and Wilson was Team 'B', in the preliminary round. Even though the teams are divided into two, the points accumulated are tallied as one.
The Bahamas, which was ranked fifth in men's play, defeated the fourth seeded Barbados squad of Elwyn Oxley, Winston Gittens, Hughly Sealy and Jamaal Nedd, to move onto the finals. Oxley and Gittens were Team 'A' while Sealy and Nedd represented Team 'B' for Barbados. In the finals of the preliminary round, The Bahamas met up with Trinidad and Tobago, the host, defeating them for top honors.
Smith said: "I believe that the players are going to be very strong because the New Providence Volleyball Association (NPVA) is currently going on. I think that they will be able to make the adjustments very quickly from the hard court to the sands. They did it last year and the results were positive. As far as training is concerned, I don't have an official date as yet. I intend to meet up with the players first, have a meeting to discuss and decide on a training schedule."
The female squad of Laval Sands and Tia Wilson did not qualify for the second round. As a team, they finished fifth.
The official dates brings hope to the junior national female team, who are still awaiting word for the regional tournament, in their age division. No host or date has been set as yet. The team was supposed to travel to compete this summer but their segment of the regional tournament was postponed. The junior male squad competed and placed fifth. That championship was held in Jamaica.
WITH the aim of remaining on the "cutting edge" of new developments in their profession, members of Nurses Association of the Commonwealth Bahamas (NACB) participated in the two-day international Nurses Leadership workshop this week.
More than 100 nurses attended the workshop, which started on Thursday and is being hosted by the NACB as part of its 63rd annual conference and in conjunction with the Commonwealth Nurses Federation (CNF), of which the Bahamas is a member.
Founded in 1973, the Commonwealth Nurses Federation comprises national nursing and midwifery associations in Commonwealth countries such as the Bahamas.
The CNF's objectives are to influence health policy throughout t ...
Baseball in The Bahamas has withstood several tumultuous decades. The controversy over just which organization is truly the parent body for the sport has still not been settled to the satisfaction of some.
Of course the fact that the Bahamas Baseball Association is recognized by the International Baseball Federation, gives the BBA automatic status as the authorized group, the one qualified to sanction national teams to play in regional and world competitions.
Nevertheless, the Bahamas Baseball Federation has been much more productive and within that organization, in existence for just some eight years now, is the Freedom Farms League.
While the BBF because of its dedication, backed by the tremendou ...
Understandably, Bahamian sporting icon Pauline Davis-Thompson is sending out a desperate plea to have her precious medals returned. An entire nation is hopeful. But, the unfortunate incident last Friday also raises the question: What can be done, in terms of replacement medals if those national treasures are never returned?
According to Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations' President Mike Sands, it is a situation in which they are not prepared to stand idly by.
"I can certainly understand the sentimental attachment, so my sympathy goes out to her, and I just want her to know that the BAAA will support her in any way that we can," said Sands yesterday. "At this time, I don't know if there is any recourse for replacement but certainly, giving a reasonable amount of time to see if they would be returned, we would make a request to the IAAF to see if the medals could be replaced. They are not some things that you can go in the store and buy.
"I know that in games and events of that magnitude, when the medals are made, extras are always made for obvious reasons so I could only assume that there will be a possibility that the respective international bodies will look at it favorably. I'm not sure how they would review the request but I am hoping that it would be favorable, if it comes to that, given the manner in which the medals were taken."
Last Friday, Davis-Thompson's home, on the western part of New Providence, was ransacked. Burglars took her 1996 Olympic relay silver medal from the Atlanta Games, her relay gold from the 1999 Seville World Championships, her Order of Merit award from the Bahamian Government, her Officer of British Empire (OBE) award, her medal for acceptance into the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Hall of Fame, along with a number of electronic devices including flat screen TVs.
The relay gold from Seville isn't 100 percent pure gold and carries little, if any, monetary value. All Olympic medals are at least 60 millimeters (mm) in diameter and three mm thick, but they too carry little monetary value. Olympic gold medals, in particular, are required to be made from at least 92.5 percent silver, and must be plated with a minimum of six grams of gold. The last series of Olympic medals to be made of solid gold were awarded at the 1912 Olympic Games in Sweden.
"My heart goes out to Pauline on the loss of her medals because those are some things that carry value only to Pauline. I'm hoping that what I'm hearing from this 'Cash for Gold' business is not a stimulus to cause that to happen, but if for some reason, the perpetrators take the medals to the 'Cash for Gold' people, we would hope and expect that those persons would be running legitimate businesses, and have the fortitude to reject them and even go as far as to call the police," said Sands.
An emotional Davis-Thompson said that she, herself, will see what she can do to get the medals replaced, and to see if there are any costs attached in doing so. Davis-Thompson was re-elected to the International Association of Athletic Federations' (IAAF) Council last month, the governing body of the track and field world championships. That body along with the host city is responsible for the make-up and issuance of the respective World Championships medals.
"I think that, given her position, Pauline is able to sit at the table with her colleagues and express her own personal feelings on how the medals were taken, and I'm sure that would carry some weight, but as a member federation, we in the BAAA certainly expect to take the lead and put in an official request," said Sands.
As far as the Olympic silver medal is concerned, Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) Secretary General Romell 'Fish' Knowles said that he expects it to be a difficult process, given the 15-year window since the passing of the Atlanta Olympics, but they too would appeal to the respective international governing body for a replacement.
"First of all, it was most unfortunate. When you have an athlete who have dedicated so much time toward training and then to go on and win a medal, that medal is certainly a reward for all the hard work that is put in. When it's just taken from you, there has to be a certain degree of disappointment. It's sad that someone would just take a medal that someone else spent a lifetime trying to earn. Obviously, it's no value to them so we just hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and some way, somehow, those medals are returned," said Knowles.
"We will definitely appeal to the IOC (International Olympic Committee) on Pauline's behalf of making another medal, if possible. We will have to petition to the Atlanta organizing committee from those games as well. Hopefully the medals would be returned by then, but if it comes down to that, we will definitely do what we can to have a replacement medal issued. It certainly would be a challenge, because we are talking about '96, but it wouldn't be impossible given the popularity that Pauline has and the level of success that she attained as a five-time Olympian. I'm sure that Atlanta will do all that it can to assist us."
According to reports, the police have no leads in the matter at this particular time. Davis-Thompson said yesterday: "It hurts. It really hurts. I think that the entire Bahamas knows that I have worked very hard, and they feel my pain. I just want to thank the Bahamian people because they are reaching out to me, and for the most part, they know what it is to work hard for something and have it taken away. They themselves are hurting, and I'm just grateful for the support."
Bahamian veteran quarter-miler Chris 'The Fireman' Brown said he would be devastated if he had suffered the same fate. He won Olympic relay silver at the 2008 Beijing Games, and is still awaiting a relay bronze from Sydney in 2000 due to doping by others. At the World Championships level, he is the current World Indoor Champion in the men's 400 meters (m) and has won quite a few individual and relay medals, indoors and outdoors.
"In a situation like this, we just need to pray that the persons who stole her medals bring them back and she can be at peace. Those things cannot be bought in the store - there's a lot of hard work and dedication put into it," said Brown. "I don't know if the person or persons who took the medals are looking for some type of reward but it's very disturbing. You know, as athletes we want to always showcase our medals when we have visitors and guests, but now something like this would probably cause all of us to be a bit more cautious. Nowhere is safe anymore. We as athletes might have to find a different approach and probably secure them in safety boxes or in a safe.
"My heart goes out to Pauline. When I received the information, I was devastated because if it had happened to me I wouldn't know where to turn or where to look. Something like this shows us as athletes that it can happen to any of us. You know, it's mind boggling to know that someone would have no heart and stoop to this level. Pauline is an icon in this country and well loved by everyone."
Davis-Thompson's individual gold medal in the women's 200m from the Sydney Olympics was presented to Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham in the House of Assembly last year, to put on display for the Bahamian people. She originally finished second behind disgraced American Marion Jones, but Jones was stripped of her five Olympic medals from those Sydney Games for taking performance-enhancing drugs and her role in the BALCO (Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative) steroid scandal. Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard said that Davis-Thompson's Olympic gold medal in the 200m will be showcased in the new Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, as the former 'Golden Girl' wishes.
By RENALDO DORSETT
BASEBALL in the Bahamas has experienced a resurgence in recent years with milestones at both the local developmental and international level. Now the local governing body seeks assistance for their elite athletes in the sport.
With the ascension of Antoan Richardson to the Major Leagues, the Bahamas Baseball Federation has engaged in dialogue to add baseball players to the list of athletes receiving subvention from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.
BBF president Craig Kemp said the BBF would make formal declaration to the Ministry in the near future to offer financial assistance to the federation's elite athletes.
Executives in the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) have crossed all the T's and dotted every I, for the upcoming Pan American Games. All the entries have been submitted by the executive board, now leaving it up to the Bahamian athletes to go into Mexico and compete.
Olympic softball player, American Cyrstl ‘The Big Bruiser’ Bustos, went ‘back-to-the-basics’ with young female softball players in New Providence yesterday, teaching the group how important fundamentals are in any sport.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist, along with several other coaches and international players, were a part of a one-day clinic hosted by the Bahamas Softball Federation (BSF), at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex.
This is the second year the clinic is being staged in The Bahamas. It is one of several steps taken by the federation to further develop the sport at the youth level. Yesterday’s participants were female players from variou ...
Young female volleyball players continue to train, despite not knowing when they will compete in the Junior Caribbean Volleyball Championships (JCVC).
The biennial volleyball tournament caters to national teams from around the region. It was postponed because no country under the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association's (CAZOVA) umbrella agreed to host the female championships. The junior men's tournament was held in Jamaica, July 21-28. The Bahamas placed sixth overall.
Executives in the governing body for the sport in the country, the Bahamas Volleyball Federation (BVF) encouraged the squad to continue training, stating that a window of opportunity is still there.
"I heard from the CAZOVA president, who told me that hosting is a problem, because of the economic downturn worldwide," said Joseph Smith, first vice president in the federation. "A lot of countries are bowing out.
They just can't sustain it, financially.
"The original host was Jamaica. They turned around and said they couldn't do both, and was opting out of both, but they went to their government and was able to host one. They are still in the process of trying to find a host for the women. But no country has stepped forward as yet, because these tournaments are becoming very expensive. But there is a window, from this date to January."
If the championship is canceled, the BVF plans to send the squad to several tournaments. Smith said it is the plan to keep the girls together, even though they are not affected directly. He said that the junior program is in a rebuilding stage ever since the age was changed.
He added: "Not going doesn't mean that they won't be going anywhere. I am still working with Jason and, hopefully, they can get a tournament in before the end of the year. (It's) at least a yardstick to see where they are at.
"When you are rebuilding, it will take you about two or three years to do so successfully. You don't have that leeway in the juniors like that, because they are constantly changing the age. So every time they drop the age, the junior athletes become inactive when they become 18 years old. That is more detrimental to the sport than traveling. I will say the age change hurt us more because you have to continue to rebuild."
Training sessions for the female team is held at the DW Davis gymnasium, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays. The developmental program is headed by Jason Saunders, who is assisted by Shedrick Forbes and Kurtwood Green Sr.
The year 2010 has been another really spectacular sporting period for this small country. The performances of those within our sporting fraternity cemented the status of this nation as the best of them all, the world over per capita, in sports.
Amazingly, out of the pack, rose the Freedom Farms 12-Under Baseball Team that captured a regional crown in Florida and then went on to register the historic Cal Ripken World Series Championship success in North Carolina.
Freedom Farms World Series champions are thus the choice of Sports Scope as the Top Bahamian Team of 2010.
Full credit must be given to teams from the Bahamas Swimming Federation, the Amateur Boxing Federation Of The Bahamas, the Bahamas La ...
The various associations under the Bahamas Basketball Federation's (BBF) umbrella will now have the responsibilities of hosting sanctioned international basketball tournaments, revealed President Lawrence Hepburn. Relinquishing the responsibilities should allow the federation's executive members to focus more on providing coaches and players with more opportunities, which Hepburn believes will improve the level of local and international play.
The Grand?Bahama Basketball Association (GBBA) will be the first to host a sanctioned tournament. The 8th Annual Junkanoo Jam will be held November 25-29 in Freeport, Grand Bahama. Eight teams from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) ...
Grand Bahama Amateur Boxing Association (GBABA) President Terry Goldsmith was insightful in presenting his perspective of the way forward for boxing in the country, with an emphasis on the amateur program.
The occasion was the conclave held Saturday, February 26, by the Amateur Boxing Federation of The Bahamas (ABFB).
Goldsmith, who is also a vice president of the federation, was strong on the need for proper official documentation at every step of the way now in this new high-profile Olympic style era, and he also emphasized the need for a great increase in tournaments and club meets.
A product of the British system as a standout amateur boxer and subsequently a referee and judge, Goldsmith is well q ...
THE Bahamas Baseball Federation, headed by president Craig 'Salty' Kemp, expressed its deepest sympathy to the family of the late umpire Philip Kemp.
Known as 'Umpire Kempie,' Kemp was a member of the Junior Baseball League of Nassau (JBLN) Umpiring Crew and a member of the umpire crew that officiated at the BBF's National Baseball Championships which was hosted in New Providence.
BBF AGM RESCHEDULED
THE Bahamas Baseball Federation has announced that its annual general meeting and election of officers that was scheduled for Saturday, November 5, has been postponed until Saturday, November 12 in the boardr ...
By SHELDON LONGLEY
NG Sports Editor
It appears that all is cleared up between the'Battle at Atlantis'organizing committee and the Bahamas Basketball Federation(BBF), and for the first time in the history of sports in the country, male and female NCAA Division I basketball games will be played here simultaneously.
According to reports, the Atlantis Resort is going full steam with its one-day exhibition men's encounter on December 18, and the federation which apparently reached a compromise with the resort yesterday afternoon, is going ahead with its plans for a women's tournament featuring college basketball standout Brittney Griner and the Baylor Bears, around ...
The situation in the New Providence Softball Association (NPSA) and by extension, the parent body of the sport, is unsettling to say the least. A recent court decision clouded the postseason picture within the Bahamas Softball Federation (BSF).
A men's championship team was declared in the NPSA but due to the court order, the champs (Dorin United Hit-Men) were denied participation in the BSF national championships.
Without a doubt, the achilles heel in the federation is the NPSA. The commissioner in the NPSA is Tommy Stubbs, an individual rooted in sports, particularly softball and baseball. He is a good fit in the top disciplinary position in the NPSA. But, it's a struggle for him, given ...
In the Prime Minister's address on crime, he invited the populace to increase the level of volunteerism, something he felt would reduce the crime level. People from many sectors in The Bahamas have been and continue to be involved in volunteerism.
You name it - Rotary, Kiwanis, fraternities, the church, Yellowbirds, The Cancer Society, etc. Much has been done and continues to be done by volunteers in The Bahamas. There is however a whole body of volunteerism which has not gone unnoticed. We are speaking about the sporting community which strives on volunteers.
At the closing ceremony of this summer's IAAF World Championships numerous volunteers were at center stage on the field. We often forget how many volunteers are needed to pull off a national, regional, or international competition, much less to carry on a continual program of bringing athletes from the introduction to a sport, to them becoming world champions. Today we salute those unsung heroes who have made a difference in sports in The Bahamas.
The School System
It is said that most things are learned in school. Most athletes have been introduced to sports through their schools. From the track and field perspective we single out Andrea Lockhart of Oakes Field Primary who was instrumental in the start of Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie in track and field. About 55 years ago, Dr. John Carey was instrumental in the athletic start of former Member of Parliament and Olympian Leslie Miller at Eastern Junior School.
Numerous world class athletes can trace their humble beginnings to somebody in the school system that recognized their talent and encouraged them to pursue sports further.
Bahamas Association of Certified Officials (BACO)
Andrea Lockhart became a member of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Officials (BACO) of which Deacon Leviticus Adderley was a driving force. This organization is now headed by Ralf McKinney and assists numerous groups in staging road races throughout The Bahamas, in addition to their regular obligation of officiating at all Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations events as well as numerous other organization's events.
The Club System
There are the numerous clubs throughout the country through which athletes are guided and hone their competitive skills. No athletes who won medals for The Bahamas this year, or any previous year, could do it without the guidance of somebody in a school or club.
In the early years of track and field clubs like St. Bernards, The Southerners, St. George's followed by the Pioneers' Sporting Club, The Ambassadors, and The Bain Town Flyers, to name only a few, made a significant impact on the sporting and cultural life of The Bahamas. Some of the coaches like Henry Crawford, Charlie Wright, and D'ynza Burrows were legendary and contributed to the development of numerous national and international level athletes.
Volunteerism was the 'name of the game' with them. Fast forward to today where there are about 20 track and field clubs in The Bahamas which monitor the progress of our upcoming athletes. Many of them hold their own track and field meets which are heavily subscribed by athletes. Each of these clubs have numerous volunteers who give of their time, and occasionally resources, to ensure the success of the athletes.
Parents are a significant factor in the success of numerous athletes and clubs. Sometimes they act as just transportation to practice and sometimes they are a significant part of the clubs, whether they are coaches or part of the organizational structure. There are numerous parents throughout The Commonwealth of The Bahamas who give yeoman service to the sport.
The Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA)
This is the organization given the mandate by the international body, the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF), to develop and promote Road Running, Cross Country, Mountain Running, and track and field throughout The Bahamas. The BAAA will celebrate its' 60th anniversary on May 6, 2012. The organization's initial membership included president Alfred Francis Adderley, Cyril Richardson, Joseph Garfunkle, Edward Mitchell, Reginald Farrington, Fred Moultrie, Reginald Robertson, Kendal Isaacs, Cecil V. Bethel, Gerald Cash, Randol Fawkes, and Orville Turnquest.
The presidents who succeeded Adderley were Cyril Richardson, Harold Munnings, Paul Adderley, Levi Gibson, Sir Arlington Butler, Reverend Enoch Backford, Winston Cooper, Dr. Bernard Nottage, Alpheus Finlayson, Foster Dorsett, Desmond Bannister, Mike Sands and Curt Hollingsworth (Interim).
From its inception, the organization has been defined by volunteers who have worked untiringly to make it one of the premier sports federations in the country and in the region. As the BAAA moves into its' 60th anniversary and London Olympics year, it is imperative that more volunteers, in addition to the elected members are needed to fulfill its mandate. The volunteers can be to the local clubs or the BAAA.
We have members of BACO who have officiated in regional and area competitions and look forward to an increase in the number of members of BACO and hope that one day soon, one of its members will soon qualify to officiate in the World Championships and Olympic Games. Funding is a critical area so persons who adept at those skills are in high demand. Then there are those who are adept at organization. They are needed in every organization.
The BAAA has had athletes win Olympic and World Championships gold medals and coaches who coached at the highest levels. We have had two Bahamians, Alpheus Finlayson and Pauline Davis-Thompson, who have been elected to the Council of the IAAF, the world's governing body of track and field. In the process, the organization has been influential in the lives of many young persons, in and outside the inner city, who would have been left by the wayside and may have pursued a life of crime otherwise.
Next year will be a significant year for Bahamian track and field. Volunteers are definitely needed for the organization to do what we all know is possible. If you have some extra time or are looking forward to a rewarding experience, please call the BAAA office at 325 4433 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
WITH the ladies championship series completed and the men smack in the middle of their series, the Bahamas Basketball Federation is eagerly looking ahead to the hosting of the National Round Robin Championship series.
Federation president Lawrence Hepburn confirmed that the championships will take place over the Easter holiday weekend at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium.
Confirmed so far to participate in the men's division are Grand Bahama, New Providence, Eleuthera and Abaco. It's not certain whether or not Bimini will be sending a team as they are expected to be in their Homecoming Celebrations.
On the ladies' si ...
The celebration for the country's newest professional baseball player continues, as the national flag carrier makes provisions for Bahamians to see the 'son of the soil', in action. Bahamasair has put together a special package, for locals, to watch Antoan Richardson and the Atlanta Braves take on the Florida Marlins. The three-game series will be played September 19, 20 and 21, at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida. The package being offered by the national flag carrier, includes airfare, car and hotel, for $279. Hotel taxes and other fees will apply.
The men's national softball team will have an extra week to prepare for the regional softball qualifiers, set to take place in Mexico.
The November 18-27 tournament, which is being used as a qualifier for the World Softball Championships, will now be held November 24-December 4. It was said, by the men's national head coach Godfrey Burnside, that the new date was confirmed last week, by the Pan American Softball Confederation (CONPASA) at the Pan American Games that is currently going on in Guadalajara, Mexico. The venue and number of teams competing remains, the only change was in the date.
Even though Burnside said the date will not affect the team, which continues to train three times a week, there are still some challenges faced.
"We are having some challenges because of the weather and the NPSA (New Providence Softball Association) play-offs,"said Burnside."We will probably be in a better state after the round-robin tournament. That will give us about two or three weeks before we leave to prepare.
"We have a lot of players who are still in a competitive mode. As a matter of fact, several of the players on the national team are vying for the championship's title. There are about five or six different players, playing in the NPSA championships. Most of the guys will be in from the Family Islands, by the start of the round-robin. We expect to have a full team practice a day or two before the round-robin ends. We will have an opportunity to play in the round-robin, but not everyone will participate in it. The national team will play an all-star team during this time.
"We will play about two or three games. So for the most part everything is going well."
The national team was named about two months ago. The well-rounded team includes five pitchers, and an aggressive field of players that can adjust based on the game situation faced. Veteran Edney 'The Heat' Bethel will lead the way from the pitcher's mound. Alcott Forbes, Eugene Pratt, Fred Cornish and Thomas Davis will all have an opportunity to 'bring the heat'. Jamal Johnson and Angelo Dillette will rotate as catchers.
Playing in the infield are Greg Gardiner, Desmond Bannister, Marvin Wood, Ken Wood and Larry Russell Jr. The roster will also include Martin Burrows Jr., Lance Watkins, Sherman Ferguson, Van Johnson and Godfrey Burnside Jr.
The Bahamas will open up the tournament against Guatemala, on November 26. Other countries participating are Canada, Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and Columbia.
The Bahamas Softball Federation (BSF) ^will host their annual National Round-Robin November 3-6, at the Baillou Hills Sporting Field. This year's championships will be held in honor of Sonny Have and Ernestine Butler-Stubbs. Some six male teams will compete for the overall crown and seven on the women's side.
JR TEAM OFF
* THE Bahamas Cycling Federation will have a five-member team in Miami, Florida competing in a two-day meet to help groom them for future international meets.
The team is comprised of Roy Colebrooke Jr., Anthony 'Biggie' Colebrooke, Antinece Simmons, Justin Minns and Petron Lightbourne.
Federation president Roy Colebrooke and New Providence Cycling Association's president Barron 'Turbo' Musgrove will travel as the manager and coach.
BAHAMAS FAILED TO QUALIFY
* THE Bahamas men's national cricket team failed to qualify for the playoffs at the International Cricket Council Division II Tournament that was played in Surinam.
After posting a 2-1 ...
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
HAVING abandoned her quest to secure her professional card through the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation, Dawnita Jones-Fry has decided to pursue it through the World Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation.
This weekend, she will be competing in her second show in the Canada based WBFF when they launch their initial campaign in the United States at the Fitness Atlantic Championships at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut.
Jones-Fry, who leaves town on Thursday for Saturday's competition, said she's eager to get on the stage for her first show for the year and the first for the WBFF that is headed b ...
The upcoming Pan American Games will be a standard of measurement for Bahamian athletics like never before in our history. This will be a great opportunity for Bahamians to evaluate some of our athletes in particular and our elite sports programs in general.
Guadalajara, Mexico will be the host city for the 16th Pan Am Games and there are big question marks for the most successful program, the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations.
Trevor Barry saved the day for this country's image with his high jump bronze medal at the recent International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. We needed to be consistent in winning at least one medal at the IAAF World Championships (Indoor and Outdoor).
He enabled us to maintain an important level of achievement.
The BAAA must now however do some soul searching about the disaster decision that led to this country not advancing in an event, it is widely considered to be second best in the world, the men's 1,600 meters relay. No amount of excuses for the decision will change the big picture.
On one of the greatest track and field stages, veteran BAAA coaches participated in a decision process that allowed three of the slowest (this season thus far) quarter-mile runners to carry the Bahamian baton in the first round. It was a ridiculous choice and one that saw this nation pay dearly.
It's now about the elite track and field athletes regaining confidence in their coaches again. It was clear, given the comments of some of the athletes, that they were not comfortable with the decision. Will this lack of confidence carry over into Guadalajara?
This is the great challenge for the BAAA. This nation needs a big rebound in track and field at the Guadalajara Pan Am Games to set the stage for the London 2012 Olympics. The Bahamas has qualified for the Pan American Games also in boxing, swimming and tennis.
In boxing, Valentino Knowles qualified in the light welterweight (64 kg.) division; Marvin Rolle has drawn a wildcard in tennis; and the swimming team will be led by freestyle sprint specialist Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace.
We hope for the best in tennis. There should be no overwhelming expectations. There should be satisfaction just in being able to qualify. At this stage, that's good for Bahamian tennis. The Bahamas Swimming Federation (BSF), once it sends a team, will perform true to form.
Like track and field though, boxing will be under the microscope in Guadalajara. Knowles, a brilliant boxer, has been right on the bubble for most of his career. From he was a mere 13-years-old, Knowles was demonstrating excellent natural skills. He is at a point now whereby he can handle himself in the ring against the best of the best.
He has won a match at a World Championships (the only Bahamian to do so); he has won a Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games gold medal; he has captured Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Boxing Championships medals and he is ranked within the top 25 in the Americas.
It is my view though that Knowles is an underachiever. I believe he needs to be motivated. The obligation to do so, belongs to his team. The IAAF World Championships in Daegu showed the nation how important it is for quality coaching to be in the mix in order for the best achievements to result.
National Coach Andre Seymour has to pay a lot of attention to getting Knowles mentally charged for every bout. Knowles has the ability to medal in Guadalajara and accordingly qualify for London 2012. Can the coach get the best out of him?
That's the question and one of the reasons, the upcoming Pan American Games will be such a gauge for elite sports in The Bahamas.
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com)
I just don't get it. Our political leaders (all of them) continue to miss the boat when it comes to recognizing the true importance of sports to this country and act accordingly.
It is so obvious that the only way the criminal element in this country will be pushed back is if the national sports program is expanded to gobble up the vast majority of the young boys and girls who go astray because of having no positive sense of direction. The national sports program is a great option for our little boys and girls and the older ones as well.
The Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium was bursting at the seams with people on Saturday past. There was the big question bandied around about whether the stadium would ever be seated to capacity. Well, we got our answer.
Let's be clear about the situation. On Saturday, the overwhelming support was not about politics. The politicians were neutralized on Saturday even though they came out in big numbers. The response from the crowd to the names of Hubert Ingraham and Perry Christie was subdued and similar. No, it was not about them.
Yet, the ongoing comments from that arena prove that the politicizing never stops. The real teaching moment from the event was about sports. Only sports can get all Bahamians, from every persuasion together. Hypocrisy appears to be a constant among our politicians when dealing with sports in particular.
They soak up the opportunities to grandstand on forums created by the awesome collective ability within the Bahamian sports fraternity. They boast and praise the athletes, administrators, coaches and trainers to the highest. Still, against that backdrop, just the financial crumbs from the National Budget table fall off to the national sports program. I invite readers to compare the allocations for health, education and tourism to that of sports. By no means do I wish to dilute the significance and importance of prime health care, high-level educational opportunities and tourism vibrancy to the stable existence of our people. It's been proven over and over again though that the national sports program deserves to be right up there in that top category of budget allocations.
Young boys and girls are dying by way of crime. The lives of others are been snuffed out almost daily, by the young among us. The role models of more and more of our young are not Tommy Robinson, Andre Rodgers, Sir Durward Knowles, Cynthia Moxey-Pratt, Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, Chris Brown, Mark Knowles, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, Devard Darling, Mychal Thompson, Gomeo Brennan, Glen Griffin, Carl Minns or the many others of that ilk.
Today, the role models who too many of our young seek to emulate, are the crime merchants. It is because the system has changed to enable those who promote crime to be in closer contact with our young. The burden on the sporting administrators, coaches, trainers and other mentors is too great because of the numbers that need attention and the meager funds to go around. Many sports mentors spend personal funds, just to provide meaningful opportunities for sporting growth.
I have personal knowledge of this. The biggest reason for my resignation as president of the Amateur Boxing Federation of The Bahamas (ABFB) way back in 1976 was because my children were getting bigger and more expensive. I no longer was able to afford helping to pay some of the costs for those monthly trips to the Florida Golden Gloves, and other friendly competitions against Bermuda and Canada.
Grants for federations and the National Subvention Program were decades beyond the horizon then. Now, thanks to the central administration, grants and subventions are commonplace. The funding for the subvention program is fine. The grants must be adjusted greatly. The core sports group needs $300,000 at least per year and the smaller sports programs around $200,000.
An essential body like the Bahamas Anti-Doping Commission (BADC) should be given $500,000 yearly, because of the huge area mandated by the law. If this happens, crime would not be eliminated but there will be a huge dent in the activities of the criminally inclined. The sporting programs would then be in position to inculcate our wayward youth and those who are apt to be directed to the wrong paths in life.
It was indeed a teaching moment about sports on Saturday, February 25 at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. I wonder just how many learned the lesson taught. I'm sure the man whose name the national stadium bears, got the message. He's been a part of the message for many years. Maybe in his own way now, he will be able, somehow, to educate the politicians about the true value of sports.
Thomas Augustus Robinson no doubt was aware of the teaching moment. Congratulations Tommy for the honor bestowed upon you.
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Bahamas lost another sporting icon yesterday, as Sam Haven, one of the premier soccer players in the country in his time, and a great sportsman in general, passed away.
Haven, 61, lost a lengthy battle with cancer during the early morning hours on Thursday at the Tampa General Hospital, in Tampa, Florida.
As a player, he was one of the country's best, and later transitioned successfully into coaching and administration.
Haven started playing at age 15, and though he had long retired, remained active in the game he loved up until the time of his death. During his competitive career, Haven was a member of the United Football Club, formerly Nick's Body Shop, where he played with other talented players such as Brian Seville, Peter Daniels, Andy Guilluime, Steven Bellot and his younger brother Lionel Haven. His talents took him as far as the national team, where he served as captain for many years, and represented the country well on all levels. He served as a player, captain and coach during his time with the national side.
In his heyday, Haven was regarded as one of the better strikers in the country. With younger brother Lionel coming up behind him, and following in his footsteps, it was often debated as to which Haven was better. Both had their share of headlines, and both represented the country on national teams.
Sam was the pacesetter though.
Later in his career, Haven moved into coaching, and guided the United Football Club to numerous Bahamas Football Association (BFA) national titles. He moved up the ranks to president of the club, and eventually into administration as he became an executive member of the governing body of soccer in the country, the BFA. He eventually took over the reins of the BFA, moving up the ladder to president.
A statement from current BFA President Anton Sealey read: "Today, the Bahamas Football Association mourns the loss of one of its greats.... Sam was a truly gifted footballer with a fierce passion for the game. Highly intelligent, he not only was a gifted footballer, but was arguably one of the country's best all-around athletes, playing a number of different sports and did so at a very high level. As an administrator and mentor, he contributed mightily to the growth and development of the game in the country. We in the BFA are indebted to Sam for his tremendous contributions as a player, coach and executive in football. On behalf of the football family we extend our condolences to the Haven family at this most difficult time."
Sealey was Haven's immediate successor as president of the BFA.
During his tenure as president, Haven was instrumental in the formation of the New Providence Football League (NPFL) and the introduction of women's play into the league. He was a founding member and president of the NPFL.
Needless to say, after the formation of the league, soccer in the country flourished on all levels.
A number of inner city teams and clubs were formed, and more and more youngsters got involved in the game of soccer. Hundreds of youngsters became a part of the BFA's Youth League, commonly known as the Y-League.
International play improved as well, as The Bahamas qualified for the second round of the FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) World Cup qualifying process for the first time in history, and eventually, the under-17 girls qualified for the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) Championships. The trip to CONCACAF for the under-17 girls represented the highest level of qualification for any Bahamian national side ever. Just recently, that accomplishment was matched by the under-15 girls.
Sam Haven will always be remembered as a pioneer in soccer in the country, and one of the all-time greats. As a player, his tenacity and ferociousness was unmatched; and as a coach and administrator, he opened the doors for so many others to excel in the game of soccer. He delved into other sports such as softball, baseball and bowling during his time, and was an avid golfer as well.
At the time of his death, Haven served as Centre Director for the Scotia Private Client Group, a position he held since 2010.
Scores of associates, friends and family members expressed words of sympathy and well wishes on Haven's facebook page yesterday.
The Nassau Guardian Sports Team joins them in extending its heartfelt condolences to his family and friends in their time of great sadness.
Sam Haven, a Bahamian sports icon, will truly be missed.
Franklyn Wilson, chairman of FOCOL Holdings, has thrown his support behind the government selecting a company which will implement a "multi-fuel" approach to electricity generation as part of its efforts to reform the Bahamas Electricity Corporation and reduce power costs.
Wilson was contacted to respond to comments made by Chairman of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) Robert Myers indicating that the chamber views the implementation of natural gas-fueled generation as the "preference" for The Bahamas based on evidence.
Wilson said: "Fuel circumstances change over time, and what might be the fuel of choice at a particular time for an extended period may not be the fuel of choice permanently, so as a general concept I think the way power plants are moving, in terms of its approach to technology and the use of fuels, is for flexibility," he said.
In 2013, Wilson said that FOCOL, along with the Grand Bahama Power Company's major shareholder, Emera, and electrical turbine manufacturer, Wartsila, submitted a joint venture bid to construct a 100 megawatt multi-fuel power plant to relieve BEC of some of its generation responsibilities.
Following the announcement of the BEC RFP process, Wilson confirmed the company would not be participating, but would still continue to offer to any winning bidder in the BEC transmission and distribution management contract a power-purchase agreement (PPA).
Wilson touted the plant's potential to save the country $100 million in energy costs per annum.
Asked last week about the status of this bid for involvement, Wilson said that it is "still there" but he said no active discussions have been underway.
"We understand the government's going through this process, and if they are interested, we're available. Our interest has not changed."
Recently, the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation commissioned a study from Oxford Economics, a U.K.-based consultancy, showing the economic impact of the installation of a new diesel fired power plant, a power plant fueled by liquified natural gas shipping to The Bahamas, and a power plant fueled by LNG piped to The Bahamas through a specially constructed pipeline from Florida.
Over its 25-year life and two-year construction period, the report proposed that the knock-on economic impact of a power plant fueled by diesel would generate an additional $10.1 billion in economic growth for the country; a plant fueled by piped LNG would generate an additional over $25 billion, said the consultants.
Natural gas has fallen in price in recent years, thanks to the success of U.S. efforts to tap into this abundant resource.
Commenting on the results of the report, which the BCCEC was able to generate by partnering with one of the bidders in the BEC reform process, Myers said: "The numbers with whatever form, diesel, or gas - gas being the preference - the reductions in costs to the consumer, the government and the public, are massive. The knock-on implications are even larger; you become more competitive, you've got considerably more disposable income now left at the feet of government and the public, so that will have a positive impact on GDP and it will counter balance, to a great degree, VAT."
In June, Guardian Business reported that the two unions representing BEC workers - The Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU) and the Bahamas Electrical Workers Managerial Union (BEWMU) - came out in favor of the government selecting a provider to take over power generation in the country who would do so through the use of natural gas.
Presidents of the unions, Paul Maynard and Clinton Minnis, suggested that no significant good can come of the BEC reform effort unless the current bunker C fuel is substituted for natural gas.
"We have sent a letter to the prime minister, encouraging him to move this country forward wholly into the 21st century and the first world by going natural gas, so these bills can be cut in half to re-energize this economy," said Maynard.