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Tears of joy streamed down the faces of many Bahamians on Saturday evening as they watched the spectacular show staged, for the opening of the country's first state-of-the-art sports facility, in amazement. Thousands poured into the new Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium on Saturday, wanting to be a part of the historic event.
For many years now, athletes past and present were lobbying for an arena which would set them apart from their regional counterparts, like their performances in various sporting disciplines, and the construction of the stadium is said to be the edge that will be needed to further propel the country forward.
While the fireworks lit up the sky, and Bahamians stood proud, the country's best athletes including the trail blazers and those still carrying the torch, shouted out with glee, "finally". Olympic icon Pauline Davis-Thompson viewed it as "a vindication for all of the sporting persons", who came before her and those standing and still competing now. She said: "The Bahamas should stand proud and tall, as we understand that there were people who came before us and sacrificed many things to make this dream come true. The Bahamas is now recognized as one of the sporting powers in the world, but more importantly, the people of The Bahamas recognized us for what we have been doing. The Government of The Bahamas has recognized what we have been doing by rewarding us with such a beautiful arena."
The four-hour ceremony featured Bahamian athletes, musicians, dancers and icons. The event, broadcasted live, gave Bahamians from around the country an opportunity to share in the moment. International leaders, including representatives from the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) and the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), regional sporting heads and giants, were on hand to watch the ceremony, which was done at an approximate cost of $600,000 to the government.
The national facility, named after Thomas Augustus Robinson, is a gift to The Bahamas from the People's Republic of China. It seats 15,000 and will be the home of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) and the Bahamas Football Association (BFA). Robinson was the sole competitor for The Bahamas on the world stage for many years. He competed in four Olympic Games, starting in 1956. Two years later, he won gold at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games, in Cardiff, Wales. The gold medal performance was accomplished in the 220 yards. Robinson also won a silver in the 100 yard dash.
When the British Empire and Commonwealth Games were hosted in 1962 and 1964, he claimed a silver in the 100 yard dash. At the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, held in 1962, Robinson won a gold medal in the 100 yard dash.
It was these achievements among others, in which, the grand celebration was held. Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said: "Tonight, we celebrate. We celebrate the embodiment of our Bahamian spirit and our Bahamian pride in Thomas Augustus Robinson in whose name and honor we dedicate this new national stadium. Tommy, you make us all proud to be a Bahamian. You are a sprinter by training. Yet you are also a marathon man as demonstrated by your considerable contributions to national development, and in helping to bring to fruition, the dream of this day. Tommy, you have fought the good fight. You are finishing the race with the very style and grace you exhibited in representing your country in four Olympiads. You have kept the faith.
"Tonight, we also celebrate Bahamian athletes, past and present. Tonight we celebrate a new day for athletics in fields of endeavor and competition such as baseball, basketball, soccer, American football, swimming, diving, tennis, cycling and other sports. We are delighted that this new athletic and cultural center will host major regional and international events like jazz and reggae festivals as well as other musical and special events. Fellow Bahamians at home and those joining in this celebration from overseas, tonight we celebrate the very essence of who we are as a people. We celebrate our Bahamian identity and nationhood."
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard said the construction of the national stadium "creates real opportunities for The Bahamas to extend an invitation to the world to practice, compete and enjoy the best of the islands of The Bahamas." He believes that key to sustaining growth, is the state-of-the-art facility.
The preparation process for the official opening did not go without hiccups which resulted in many becoming critics of the current government. Many believed that the price tag for the opening was too high, especially since millions will be spent on the overall re-development of the Queen Elizabeth Sports Complex.
"The government is spending over $50 million in and around this site starting with the commissioning of a comprehensive master plan of the 400-plus acres around this stadium," revealed Maynard. "The IBS group, a Bahamian Civil Engineering group, whose principals are Nick Dean and Kevin Sweeting, completed the design of a multiuse sports and recreation compound in record time. We are now well into the execution of phase one of this master plan which has created a lot of what you would have seen on your way here, and a lot of what you cannot see that makes this stadium functional."
Maynard is promising that work will begin on the new state-of-the-art internationally certified Hot Rod complex by the end of next month.
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 ...
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 ...
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 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 ...
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 ...
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.
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."
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 ...
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 ...
Two more Bahamians are set to receive the ultimate recognition by one of the most powerful organizations in the region.
The Central American and Caribbean Athletic Confederation (CACAC), which encompasses 35 countries, will induct Bahamians Eldece Clarke-Lewis and Doyle Burrows into its Hall of Fame next month. Those inductions, which will be carried out by CACAC President Victor Lopez, are scheduled for Sunday, March 4 at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort.
'Golden Girl' Clarke-Lewis and Burrows will be the seventh and eighth Bahamians to enter the doors of the CACAC Hall of Fame. Five Bahamians were inducted during the organization's third Hall of Fame banquet in 2008, namely Bernard 'BJ' Nottage, Livingston Bostwick, Frank Rutherford, Troy Kemp and Pauline Davis-Thompson. Two years later, they were joined by Keith Parker. Each year, the executives of the confederation decide which persons are worthy of the honor, and this year, Clarke-Lewis and Burrows are among the selected few. It's a belated birthday present for both, as Burrows celebrated the milestone on February 9, and Clarke-Lewis gave thanks for another year on February 13.
"I am humbled to have been selected for such a prestigious recognition," said Clarke-Lewis. "When one is given the privilege to represent this country in track and field, like I have had, it is considered a blessing. I wish to thank the organizers, the BAAA (Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations) and the officials of the CACAC as well as the government and people of The Bahamas for this honor. This is one of the best awards that I would have received. It reminds me of all the sacrifices that I made over the years. CACAC is where I got my start, so it is always good to be recognized from the beginning, so to me, it is one of the best and finest awards that I would have received."
Burrows, who has been involved in the sport on so many levels for 53 years, said that he is grateful and pleasantly surprised.
"To me this ranks among the top awards that I would have received because in this instance, it is your peers recognizing you. When your peers from the entire region honor you, it is one of the top things that could happen, especially when you didn't expect it," said Burrows. "I didn't do it for what I could get out of it. Workers don't get rewards. It is a passion of mine and that is the reason why I got involved. I would just like to thank the BAAA for submitting my name, and I wish to ask all my friends and colleagues in Junkanoo and track and field to come out and support this event."
The first CACAC Hall of Fame banquet was held in Jamaica and Cuba in 2003. It is always held in the country of the honoree or honorees. To be eligible for the honor, athletes have to win a medal at either the World Championships or the Olympics during their careers, and would have had to participate in either the Senior CACAC Championships or the CACAC Games. There is also a five-year window after their retirement from the sport that they must go through before they are eligible for the honor. As a contributor, the individual has to make a significant contribution to the sport of athletics in the region.
Lifelong friend of Clarke-Lewis, Pauline Davis-Thompson, said that she is proud of her fellow 'Golden Girl' who she has competed with on so many national teams.
"I'm very proud of her and the woman that she has become. She's a role model and a mentor for so many of our young people today and she continues to give back in a very tangible way," said Davis-Thompson. "She has done some amazing things for this country and is well deserving of this honor.
"As for Mr. Burrows, he has always been very professional and has given so much to our country. He has done a lot to develop young people and we need many more people like him to come out and give back to our country. We have to be nation builders and Mr. Burrows is an example of that. I'm proud to have known him. He is like a father figure to all of us and a dear friend also, and I just want to take this opportunity to say thank you for all that you have done. You have volunteered your time and you are so deserving of this honor."
Tickets for the event cost $60, and proceeds will go toward the expenses for the Bahamas team which will travel to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. The tickets can be accessed at the BAAA office at the current Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium, the Prescription Parlour Pharmacy on East Street South, A.G. Electric on Jerome Avenue and at the Colony Club.
"The BAAA is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year and this is one of the events included as a part of the celebrations," said BAAA Public Relations Officer Alpheus 'Hawk' Finlayson. "This will be an excellent opportunity for Bahamians to thank Clarke and Burrows for their outstanding contributions to national and regional track and field over the years."
Clarke-Lewis was a member of The Bahamas' 4x100 meters (m) women's relay team which won the silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and the gold medal at the 1999 World Championships and the 2000 Olympic Games. She first took part in the CARIFTA Track and Field Championships in 1980, and has participated in numerous CAC competitions since. She has a personal best of 10.96 seconds in the 100m, achieved on April 29, 2000, which was a world leading performance at that time.
As for Burrows, he served as treasurer of the BAAA from 1968-1976. He was team manager of numerous World Championships and Olympic track and field teams. Burrows was a member of the Pioneer's Sporting Club and first represented the club in the BAAA in 1960. He is well respected as a facilities expert.
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 ...
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 ...
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 email@example.com.
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) ...
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)
Two years ago, a sporting milestone was achieved in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. With the Grand Bahama American Football program as the catalyst, an under-19 team represented the nation at an International Federation of American Football (IFAF) regional tournament in Panama.
The association with the IFAF was a significant step and paved the way for the sport to get the kind of world prominence it had not gotten before. American LaLisa Anthony spearheaded the American Football program in Grand Bahama and still holds the position of president of the Bahamas American Football Federation (BAFF).
However, Stanford Duhaney is now the football maestro in the island. He heads the Bahamas Youth Football (BYF) organization as the commissioner and is in charge also of Flag Football in Grand Bahama. Anthony is no longer based in Freeport so it falls also to Duhaney to be the prime mover locally for the BAFF.
The man has a plate that is quite full and should be given the maximum support. As in other sports disciplines, the raw talent is certainly in Grand Bahama for American Football. Some of the momentum has been lost but the enthusiasm is still strong for American Football in Grand Bahama.
Flag football has proven to be an extremely exciting dimension to the sports picture. A major BAFF affair is planned for early in 2012. The BYF new season is due to start, on October 29, and Duhaney is set to go.
"Yes, I'm encouraged. We had a bit of a general lull when some of our support fell off, but I'm convinced that we are back on track. I can say that Youth Football in the island is still surviving and I really look forward to a vibrant season. There are six teams made up from some 200 athletes who are in the program and the future really looks bright. You know the kids today have the physical size. They are excited and want to play. We have the connection to provide the equipment for them. The season is going to be exciting.
"I see signs of the support coming back and this is good. There is great potential for advancement in American Football in Grand Bahama. We have the numbers. The interest is certainly there among the young lads and once we get the support, the sky is the limit for us. There is one thing we have to do. We have to make sure that we become sound in fundamentals and technical. I can't emphasize more just how important it is for the kids to be properly taught the game," said Duhaney.
There are indeed so many skill items that need to be addressed, digested and passed on to the youngsters for them to be able to compete favorably against their peers in the region and the wider world jurisdiction of the IFAF. It is a big undertaking for Duhaney. Grand Bahama should rally around him. The noble venture of developing the youth of our nation ought to be appreciated by all.
(This series will continue tomorrow. To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com)
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 ...
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 ...
I interacted with a goodly number of persons on Saturday past, before and during the official opening of the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. Pertaining to what went on at the various stages of the celebration that honored famed track sprinter and sports ambassador Tommy Robinson, I heard no negative comments.
A general feeling of pride was evident. It was a joyful scene as Bahamians in great numbers greeted each other and visiting guests. Indeed for one special moment in time, Bahamians like they haven't done in a very long time, collectively, participated in a totally refreshing atmosphere.
Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes, Ambassador Hu Shan of the People's Republic of China, International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) executive Chuck Blazer and Bahamian international recording star Johnny Kemp added to the really nice flavor of the activities on the milestone occasion. Some significant contributors to national sports development in this country were not there in person, but on the two big screens, tribute was paid to them.
Was it a learning experiencing? Yes, it was.
The honoree did not speak. That was odd. I have never been present at or heard of an event in which the chief person being honored did not speak or have someone give remarks on his/her behalf. Robinson seemed quite capable enough when he was introduced. He came out near the platform and waved with energy for a few moments to the crowd. He was cheered lustily.
Was he given the option to speak or not is the big question. If he was not, then that's a story for another time. Then, there was the list of persons who got special notification. That list should have been inclusive of some others.
There were a few hiccups in the coordinating of the seating for the sporting executives. What was noteworthy and very much appreciated though, was that a lot of effort went into sorting that situation out. A dedicated group of volunteers were on hand and they created a comfort zone.
All-in-all the ceremony gets a "good" rating from me. It flowed. The fanfare was exceptional. Cleophas Adderley, Ronald Simms and others handled a tall organizing task handily. The police and defence force bands were magnificent. The one-lap march of the representatives of sporting bodies was a fitting segment that showcased the key players in the sports development process of our nation.
The entertainment by local artists who performed secular and gospel music, the dance and junkanoo routines, historic video clips and huge posters of the life and times of Robinson amounted to a combined touch of class. I have to point out also that the politicians skipped the rhetoric. Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard was solid and on point as he spoke to the quality of Bahamian sports.
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham was gracious and stately. He gave credit to the Perry Christie government that started the new national stadium process with the People's Republic of China. He had warm praises for Robinson.
It was an elegant showing on the part of PM Ingraham. High level political campaigning is going on in the country presently as the day of the general election nears. Ingraham's presentation on Saturday was one that even his most ardent detractors would be hard-pressed to criticize legitimately.
The presence of Blazer was important. The game of soccer might end up being the greatest marketing item for the Sports Authority, given its popularity around the world. As the guest of Bahamas Football Association (BFA) President Anton Sealey, Blazer cemented the high priority status of soccer for the national stadium. He is a FIFA executive committee member and also the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) secretary general.
Blazer coming in for the opening could be a good indication that it is soccer that will christen the stadium with a big-time sports event in the not too distant future.
To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 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)
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 ...
Ethan Quant finished first in the men's physique division at the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BBFF) Nationals in Grand Bahama this summer, and is now looking to make a splash at the 42nd Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships in St. Martin.
Quant will be leaving at the end of the month for the championships that run October 2-4.
The 33-year-old began his fitness journey in 2012, and has managed to completely transform his body.
"Two years ago, I was at my first bodybuilding show in Freeport. I was 292 pounds and I decided that I wanted to compete in the same show the next year. I didn't know how I was going to do it, but I was so impressed with the physiques that I said, 'that's what I want to look like'. And that's when I started training," said Quant.
Bodybuilding is a sport that requires patience and hours of dedication on a daily basis. The amount of discipline it takes to mold a competition-ready physique can easily discourage a person not willing to sacrifice for the body they want.
"I remember in March of 2013, with nationals just around the corner, I decided I was done with it. I was tired of eating all of this rabbit food and working out two to three hours per day and not getting any results, until I did a side by side comparison of my pictures from the previous months and saw changes that I couldn't really see in the mirror. After I saw how much my body had changed, I said to myself that I have to keep going," said Quant.
"I had to remember the goal, and that goal was to get on stage. I had a good support system and a great training partner. You try to do as much as you can on your own, but sometimes, even the smallest seed of doubt can grow, and you need that positive reinforcement from those people around you."
Prior to winning at this year's nationals, Quant finished second at the 2013 nationals. He currently holds the title of "Mr. Bahamas", which means a panel of qualified judges considered his physique to be the best in the country.
Though he has had local success, Quant stated that he has intensified his workouts to prepare for the championships.
"My training is similar to what I have been doing in the past, but we have turned it up a notch. My diet is a lot cleaner, because even at this level sometimes you feel like you can afford a slip up, but when you go to St. Martin that's the best in the region you'll be up against, and you can't underestimate what they're doing. They're coming in dry and lean, and I have to show the best in The Bahamas can go against the best in the world," he said.
"I'm training between five to six hours per day now and that's seven days per week. I'm eating eight meals each day and I probably go through about 50 pounds of meat per week, but when you're beating your body up you need to feed it. It does get expensive, but I believe the investment will pay off. I imagine that feeling of going to St. Martin and winning that gold and getting my pro card."
The BBFF will be sending a 20-member team to St. Martin, and though it is not a large team, Quant feels they will have a good showing at the championships.
"All of the overall winners from nationals are on the team and we are shaping up to be a force to be reckoned with. A lot of the other island states are bringing in huge numbers and that's because they have so many resources. I don't doubt that the federation would carry a 50-man team if they could, but it's the best quality team that we have carried in a while and everyone wants gold," he said.
Some of the other members of the team include Jimmy Norius, Bernard Davis, Charles Reckley, Teran Rolle, Kenny Mackey, Joey Rolle, Amy Sands, Naomi Fatale and Charnice Bain.
Two weeks ago, the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium was flooded with National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball fans from the United States that came to watch their teams play in the Bahamas Basketball Federation's (BBF) "Summer of Thunder" tournament.
This year's tournament had a record number of 29 teams participate and received national television coverage from two major networks in the U.S., but despite the success of the event, organizer of the tournament, Sean Bastian, feels that there is much more work to do.
"We are hoping that ESPN will sign a full-time agreement to do all of the games and not just the big ones. This tournament has a lot of potential to bring visitors to these shores, and I feel that the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and the Ministry of Tourism need to sit down with the federation or myself and see how they can assist. When you look at the 14 teams and what they left economically with the hotels, ground transportation and food, they left about a million dollars here. All this happened in just three weeks, but my goal for the tournament is to have it for three months," said Bastian.
"I also want to take this thing to the Family Islands, so that the young kids there will have a chance to have the same experience. There were a lot of old ball players that came up to me during the 'Summer of Thunder' saying that they wished they had something like this in their time. It's a chance to go up against and rub shoulders with future NBA players and a chance to give our players exposure."
Although several teams have already confirmed their attendance for next year, Bastian has several concerns that could hurt the future of the tournament.
"My main concerns are with the facilities. Kendal Isaacs has bleacher seating, which is not comfortable to watch a game. Secondly, you can't sell a bleacher, but you can sell a seat. There were some other things as well, but in all we just need a new facility. I would really like to connect with one of the ministries and see what we can do," said Bastian.
"I already have new ideas for the tournament but I definitely need the sponsor to ensure that it is done the right way."
The tournament was first introduced in 2009 and only featured one foreign team. Each year since there has been an increase in the amount of teams participating.