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With only one spot available for inclusion into the 2020 Olympic program, the sporting disciplines of baseball and softball have joined forces in an attempt to be re-instated for the biggest sporting competition in the world. They were both voted off the Olympic program, following the 2008 Olympic Games...
The connection between the Bahamas Anti-Doping Commission (BADC) and sports entities around the country is getting cemented. On Saturday, key items on the agenda of the symposium organized by the Amateur Boxing Federation of The Bahamas (ABFB), was the signing of...
In support of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) will reach out to the football community throughout the 2013 Gold Cup tournament in a pledge to ensure they protect themselves and lead healthy and productive lives.
“CONCACAF is keen to partner with the United Nations in the framework of our social responsibility initiatives throughout this edition of Gold Cup,” said CONCACAF President and FIFA Vice President, Jeffrey Webb. “We deem it important to extend our support to UNAIDS’ main objective of expanding HIV prevention messages to the football family towards a healthier society, for football is passion and health...”
First Ever Caribbean Host Nation to Welcome Regional Qualifying Tournament for the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup at the New Beach Soccer Facility in Nassau, May 8-12
MIAMI (Monday, March 11, 2013) - The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), the Bahamas Football Association and Beach Soccer Worldwide announced today that The Bahamas will host the 2013 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship, the qulalifying competition for the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, May 8-12, at the recently opened beach soccer facility in Nassau.
In support of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) will reach out to the football community throughout the 2013 Gold Cup tournament in a pledge to ensure they protect themselves and lead healthy and productive lives.
“CONCACAF is keen to partner with the United Nations in the framework of our social responsibility initiatives throughout this edition of Gold Cup,” said CONCACAF President and FIFA Vice President, Jeffrey Webb. “We deem it important to extend our support to UNAIDS’ main objective of expanding HIV prevention messages to the football family towards a healthier society, for football is passion and health..."
Even though a number of the top swimmers in the country were missing at this year's Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Bahamas Swimming Federation's (BSF) National Championships, the meet was still dubbed a splashing success by federation president Algernon Cargill.
Missing out on the meet were Olympians Vereance Burrows and Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, who had a college commitment. Vanderpool-Wallace's absence was noted but it cleared the lane for a few swimmers who had their eyes set on qualifying for top regional and international meets, to be held this summer. Along with many qualifiers, a handful of national records were broken this past weekend, at the swim meet, which was held at the Betty Kelly-Kenning National Aquatics Center...
The Caribbean Basketball Confederation has announced that it is in receipt of intentions to participate in the 2011 CBC Senior Men and Women Championships in Nassau, Bahamas from some thirteen (13) National
Member Federations. The event is set for July 25th to August 5th in Nassau, Bahamas.
Fighters from Barbados, the U.S. and The Bahamas will battle at Loyola Hall on Gladstone Road on Saturday.
The Bahamas Judo Open starts at 1pm, lasts three hours and costs $10.
D'Arcy Rahming, president of the Bahamas Judo Federation, said the the competitors have been preparing all summer.
CARIBBEAN Basketball Confederation president Usie Richards was quite impressed with what he saw from the Bahamas Basketball Federation in the hosting of the men's championship last week.
The four new Bahamian certified international judges will get their first test, locally, at the annual Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation’s (BBFF) Novice Championships.
Trevor Bethel, Simone Sawyer, Derrick Bullard and Maurice Hall will be among the field of judges at the June 4 championships, set to take place in New Providence. President Danny Sumner confirmed that the quartet recently received their international certification from the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB), after sitting the exam last year at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Bodybuilding Championships. “We are pleased to announce that these four persons were ab ...
The Bahamas Basketball Federation's (BBF) "Summer of Thunder" Tournament provided Bahamian basketball fans with three weeks of competitive action at the Kendal G.L Isaacs National Gymnasium. The exhibition series began on August 2 and concluded on August 25.
This year's version of the tournament was the largest so far, as it featured 14 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I colleges, 11 local teams, two international teams and even one professional basketball club from France.
Each day of the tournament, a college team went up against one of the local squads, which were made up of ex-collegiate, semi-pro and professional players. The match-ups produced some entertaining basketball match-ups and featured quite a few stunning upsets. The biggest upset had to be the locally-based Providence Storm defeating the University of North Carolina (UNC) Tar Heels by one point, 84-83, on a desperation three-point heave.
Some of the other participating collegiate schools included the University of Kentucky, Ohio State University, Ole Miss and Portland State University.
Besides the record number of teams that attended, another milestone for the BBF would have to be that some of the games were televised. Those televised games featured the Kentucky Wildcats, who were on their "Big Blue Bahamas" Tour, playing the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rican national teams and the Champagne Chalons-Reims basketball club out of France.
The Wildcats finished the exhibition series with a 5-1 win/loss record after losing their final game to the Dominican Republic on a last second shot.
The Wildcats' games were featured on ESPNU and the SEC Network, and received commentary from ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas. Also, more than 1,000 Kentucky fans accompanied the team on their trip to The Bahamas.
Organizer of the tournament, Sean Bastian, expressed that this year is just a taste of what the "Summer of Thunder" can become and feels that it has "Battle 4 Atlantis" potential.
"'Success' is the only word I can think of to describe the tournament. I was able to get Atlantis to assist me with the scoreboard, the clock and I even almost had their floor. This year, we had ESPN come on-board, we brought three international teams over and hosted the Wildcats' "Big Blue Bahamas" Tour. I couldn't ask for more than that. I think this will get a lot of division one teams to see "Summer of Thunder" as that tournament that they need to be a part of," said Bastian.
"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 both 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."
One of the main things that could bring not just ESPN, but other media outlets to the country is players like young Bahamian prospect, Deandre Ayton. Coaches, scouts and media personnel showed up to every game he played, even if their teams weren't playing. The chance to see the 6' 11" 10th grader in action could be enough to fill seats on its own.
"We have a definite future pro in him. I looked at one of the stat sheets from one of the games, and he scored 22 points and had nine rebounds against guys in their junior and senior years in college. I remember when he was just an exceptionally tall kid. His future looks very bright," said Bastian.
Although he felt the tournament was a success, Bastian expressed that he still wants to make some tweaks to it, and although the changes won't happen overnight, he feels confident that the new goals will be accomplished.
"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. There were also some concerns about the officiating, but we play under a different set of rules, so I'm not too concerned about that," said Bastian.
The exhibition games wrapped up on Monday night with the locally-based Providence Storm beating another foreign opponent, the Portland State University Vikings, 75-73. It was the third victory for the Storm over a NCAA Division I school in the 2014 BBF's "Summer of Thunder" Tournament.
The Caribbean Football Union (CFU) is surely making its presence felt in the inaugural Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Under-15 Girls Championship, currently ongoing in the Cayman Islands.Five of the 12 CFU teams competing have advanced to the quarterfinals. The five teams are The Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the host nation, the Cayman Islands. The Bahamas was scheduled to play Trinidad and Tobago in its quarterfinal match at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands last night, but the result of that match was unavailable up to press time.This inaugural event has so far displayed a mixture of culture and languages, with the Caribbean teams interacting with other teams within the region such as Belize, Canada, Costa Rica and Honduras, as part of CONCACAF's vision for women's football development in the region.A delighted president of the CFU, Gordon Derrick, congratulated the teams and CONCACAF.
"I congratulate the five CFU teams for their exceptional performances so far, even as we look forward to a Caribbean team winning the tournament. Their performances thus far speaks to the quality of the grassroots program being promoted by CONCACAF in member associations. I wish the CFU teams more success as the championship progresses."Meanwhile, a delighted chairperson of the CFU Women's Committee, Sonia Bien-Aime, said: "This CONCACAF Under-15 Girls Championship is no doubt one of the confederation's most important competitions because it gives young girls an opportunity to play competitive football and showcase their skills and talents whilst preparing them for the next big step, the FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup."In the other quarterfinal matches, Jamaica was scheduled to take on Haiti, the Cayman Islands would be challenged by Honduras, and Canada would take on Costa Rica. With the number of CFU teams in the quarter-finals, and the fixtures, it is guaranteed that at least half of the teams in the semifinals will be from the CFU. The semis are set for Friday.
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.
The Bahamas Gymnastics Federation (BGF) made history this summer as it competed in the Senior Pan Am Championships for the very first time August 25 to September 1 in Mississauga, a small town outside of Toronto, Canada.
The team consisted of three gymnasts: 20-year-old Simone Hall, 19-year-old Toneka Johnson and 17-year-old Kianna Dean. They were accompanied by coaches Trevor Ramsey and Alexandra "Muffy" Deal.
The trio, comprised of level eight and nine gymnasts, went up against some of the best in the world, as all of the other competitors were level 10 or elite level gymnasts.
Over 700 athletes from 24 nations around the Caribbean and the Americas competed in the event that served as a qualifier for the 2015 Pan American Games.
Although their squad was outclassed, BGF President Barbra Thompson said that she was pleased that her gymnasts chose to attend the prestigious event.
"I'm very proud of what they did, and I think the country should be very proud of them as well. They were competing against more experienced athletes, and even though they did not finish on top, they did well based on their level of training. I really wish I was there to see them in action," said Thompson.
Prior to the championships, the trio completed a two-week training program at Branch Gymnastics in Michigan. Coach Ramsey considers the past few weeks a real eye opening experience for the young women and hopes that it helps them going forward.
"I think that they did a very good job and handled themselves with the utmost professionalism, even though it was very challenging going against the high level athletes. I think this is the first competition of this level that they have attended, and now that they're back home after the experience, they can really analyze where they want to take their gymnastics careers. I personally hope that they continue to stick with it," said Ramsey.
The BGF does not know whether or not the athletes have been invited to the 2015 Pan Am Games as yet, as the announcement of the list of qualifiers will be made sometime in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the federation has shifted its focus to putting together both a junior and senior national team.
"Were putting these teams together to try and give our gymnasts as much opportunities as we can. The girls that competed serve as coaches as well in our Nassau Nastics program and we hope that they will serve as the leaders that the younger athletes look up to," said Thompson.
Ramsey said: "This has been a process that has been going for a while, and right now we are really close to getting it done. We should have a final word on this very shortly."
The gymnastics calendar will begin to pick up again in October, when Nassau Nastics begins its season. The club will also travel abroad to a few international competitions before the year is out.
Despite just a three-medal haul, it is widely felt that The Bahamas turned in some brilliant performances at the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace turned in one of the best swimming performances the country has ever seen at a major international event. She captured a silver medal in the women's 50 meters (m) fly, and added fourth and fifth place finishes in the 50 and 100m free events, respectively.Jeffery Gibson won a bronze medal in the men's 400m hurdles, setting a new national record in the process. The final medal for The Bahamas came from the men's 4x400m relay team, as the runners blazed their way to a silver medal. Also, the men's 4x100m relay team managed to set a new national record in the heats of the event, finishing fifth in the final. Aside from the performances, these games were successful for other reasons as well.This year's team was more diverse than ever before. For the first time, The Bahamas competed in judo and wrestling. There were also several cyclists on the roster for Team Bahamas.In track and field, this was the first time in a long time that the country was represented in all of the relays and the first time ever that all four relay squads made their respective finals.Also, the team was relatively young. Even though the inexperience may have been a slight hindrance to the team, the lessons learned from these games will no doubt be valuable to the athletes who took part."The younger athletes really appreciated this experience because now they know exactly what needs to happen. Some of them believed that they were doing so much, but now they came to find out that they were not doing anything. So, these games helped to put them in a different frame of mind moving forward and trying to reach higher goals in their respective disciplines," said Chef de Mission for the Commonwealth Games team Roy Colebrooke.At the 2012 London Olympics, The Bahamas competed in just two disciplines. In Glasgow at the Commonwealth Games, The Bahamas was represented in six disciplines.One of the mandates of the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) this quadrennial period is to make sure that sporting federations have the necessary tools to send their athletes to high-level training camps. The main reason for that is to help the athletes prepare for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil."These games did a good job of showing each and every federation exactly where they are at and where they need to go. The athletes expressed it themselves, so for a lot of them, the experience was second to none," said Colebrooke. "It is important that we highlight the disciplines that did not win medals, but the experience is truly invaluable to them."There was also some controversy surrounding the cyclists, in Glasgow, concerning their taking a wrong route and being placed in immediate danger. Colebrooke expressed his sentiments on the issue surrounding those athletes."The media said that The Bahamas cycling team went on a highway and we had to clarify that point for them, stating that the GPS system itself that came with the cycling equipment provided, had that route on it. They went on the highway for maybe five minutes, but we immediately corrected it that day to ensure that our cyclists were safe. Aside from that, it is safe to say that Team Bahamas did a splendid job at the games."Moving forward, the athletes now know what it takes to compete at the highest level of competition. Although the 2016 Olympics is still two years away, it is important for each of them to push harder than they have done in the past in order to be represented at that level.
The New Providence Volleyball Association (NPVA) commenced its 2014 season with two tough games on Sunday night at the D.W. Davis Gymnasium.
In the women's division, the Johnson's Lady Truckers took down the defending champion Scottsdale Vixens in five sets (25-21, 16-25, 25-21, 19-25 and 15-5), and in men's action, the Scotiabank Defenders managed to edge out the Technicians also in five sets (19-25, 25-15, 18-25, 25-19 and 15-7).
"After Sunday night's performances I think that we're going to have a very competitive season, especially in the men's division, because even though the number of teams dropped from eight to five, we had players that joined forces with other teams to help strengthen them," said Vince Smith, NPVA's president.
"In the women's division we are looking to implement a feeder system. You are going to have three high level teams, as well as three junior teams. Two of the teams are made up mostly of school kids and that's going to help our school programs, as well as the junior national team that travels next year. Getting them on the court can also help the senior national team as well."
Prior to the season, decorated head coach and North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) instructor Augusto Sabbatini held development practices at D.W. Davis Gymnasium to work with some of the junior and senior players.
"Coach Sabbatini is here on call from the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) and NORCECA and his job is to help develop the sport of volleyball in the Caribbean region," Smith added. "He is on loan to The Bahamas for a one-month period and what we decided is while he is here, we are going to take full advantage of it."
Smith feels that the implementation of the feeder system, along with the strengthened teams in the men's division, should be able to bring new fans to the gym.
"Our first night was a very good showing as we saw a lot of new faces, which means as a result of the level of play, we are hoping that the fans would get the caliber of volleyball that they pay to see. Based on the two games played we know that fans are going to be thrilled to come and watch some competitive volleyball.
"With the school kids making up a greater portion of the women's division, we know that family members and friends will come out to support their young ones. So we are looking forward to that and creating a fun and safe environment that makes them feel comfortable coming out to the gym."
NPVA action continues on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the D.W. Davis Gymnasium. In the opening game, COB will take on the Lady Technicians, while the Warriors will clash with the Intruders in the second game.
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 ...
Top motorsports officials are hopeful that the proposed creation of a multimillion-dollar circuit track will be the catalyst needed to transform the industry here in The Bahamas.In town for one day only, International Automobile Federation (FIA) President Jean Todt, along with some of his colleagues, endorsed the planned construction of the motorsports facility here in The Bahamas, as announced by Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Daniel Johnson yesterday. FIA is the world's governing body for motorsports.The minister emphatically stated the government's plans to have the facility completed by late 2015/early 2016, which is expected to be a major boost for auto racing in The Bahamas. One of the two sites being considered is the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre.The minister said that the creation of such a facility will go a long way in continuing the promotion of the sports-tourism brand that has taken the country by storm in recent times. This year alone, there has been the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, the IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2014, and most recently, an international friendly soccer match between The Bahamas senior men's national team and the U.S. under-23 men's team, just to name a few of the sports-tourism events thus far.Already, there are talks about bringing major FIA events to The Bahamas, perhaps cutting into the Mexican and South American markets."We want to continue to bring the most exciting sports events in the world to The Bahamas," said the minister yesterday. "The investment is well worth it. The Government of The Bahamas through the sporting federations is committed to showcasing the world-class sporting venues that we have here by bringing in world-class sporting events. We want to put The Bahamas on the map for motorsports events. This is a fantastic time for many of our young men and women to learn the basics of motorsports and the technology that comes with it. I'm looking forward to world-class racing coming here to The Bahamas in short order."The limitations of the proposed track most certainly won't allow for Formula One racing at this time, but accommodating the other levels and other FIA events could be quite feasible. David McLaughlin, Speed Week Revival chairman and event director, who also serves on the Task Force Project & Funding Commission for the FIA as its Director for the Caribbean, said yesterday that Formula E Racing, which is the world's first fully-electric racing series, could be making an appearance here in The Bahamas. Since he re-introduced Speed Week to the country a few years back, his vision has always been to see a circuit track come to fruition, and with the minister's announcement yesterday, there is light at the end of the tunnel."We are so pleased to hear that a circuit track will be built," said McLaughlin. "Motorsports is spreading in The Bahamas. The circuit itself will be sustainable, looking at it as an investment. Already, there is a detailed track design. It will be very challenging due to space limitations, but what we see now is that motorsports is becoming more and more modern. When you look at the Formula E, with the electric cars, they are completely silent, so one aspect of racing is developing and it wouldn't have a serious impact on the community."Also yesterday, the Bahamas Motorsports Association (BMA) was officially ratified as a member of the FIA, whose membership is about 140 worldwide.The president of that esteemed body, Frenchman Jean Todt said that they are pleased to have The Bahamas on board and look forward to a long-standing, working relationship."We are extremely pleased to be here in The Bahamas to welcome our newest member," said Todt yesterday. "We welcome the words of the minister in the creation of the circuit track, and we hope that many FIA activities will happen here. It will allow for the coming back of the sport here in The Bahamas with a lot of ambition. Motorsports has a strong tradition here in The Bahamas, and we're happy to hear the minister remind us of that tradition. We support all kinds of motor racing worldwide. Of course, one of our priorities would be road safety, and that is something we want to address here in The Bahamas. That is a very important problem that needs to be addressed."
Todt said that he is concerned about the number of traffic fatalities here in The Bahamas. He hinted that a small country such as The Bahamas shouldn't be experiencing such drastic numbers when it comes to road safety. There were 51 traffic fatalities in the country last year, and 44 each in 2012 and 2011. The FIA has signed on to the United Nation's Decade of Action for Road Safety.
McLaughlin shared those same sentiments as Todt."Safety is a major concern for us," said McLaughlin. "We want to educate people about safety tips on the road and how to create a safe environment. It starts with the Edukarting Program. We want to put measures in place to show the youngsters at the Edukarting Program how to work together to achieve a common goal. We have seen so many of the kids improve, and we hope that continues."The Government of The Bahamas is the primary financial backer for the proposed multi-million dollar circuit track. It is being dubbed, "The Circuit of The Bahamas."McLaughlin said that at the end of the day, people want to see high-class racing, so he expects the Bahamian people to fully embrace the concept, and the expansion of the industry here in The Bahamas.
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 ...
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 ...
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 Bahamas Sports Authority has been officially operating since the beginning of this month. The authority started off under the gun and the pressure is not going to lessen anytime soon.
The field at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium will prove to be a huge hurdle the authority has to clear. Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard appears inclined to let the Sports Authority do its job without interference. When the general election dust clears, if Maynard is still in place, there will no doubt be continuity in how he deals with the all important sports body.
If someone else ends up in the sports minister's seat, hopefully there will be full recognition that the best way ahead is to ensure that those who coordinate the Sports Authority can do so comfortably.
Whatever the case though, the embryonic period for the Sports Authority is going to be incredibly challenging and the road beyond looks equally daunting. It's a brutal portfolio that the authority has been saddled with. All the government facilities are under the jurisdiction of the authority. The accumulation of demanding situations will be awesome. Today, I just want to focus on the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.
The field that is the anchor section of the facility is not a good one. Minister Maynard recently made the frank admission that while the field looks good from afar, close-up you easily notice the bad patches and the infestation of ants.
There is another problem. Some of the watering apparatuses have been installed inside of the playing area. Yes, right where players will be running at full steam, there is a covered spigot. It's dangerous and by no means, will the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) qualify the field as is.
The truth be told, more than cosmetic work needs to be done to bring the field up to FIFA standard. Infrastructural work is necessary. The cost will be prohibitive. It's looking more and more like the powers-that-be should decide to go for broke one time and install synthetic turf. Sure, there is the initial turf installation cost, but for the long run, that's the way to go. Even if the field, as it currently is, can be fixed to the satisfaction of FIFA, the ongoing servicing will be constantly problematic.
Right out of the blocks this is the staggering challenge that confronts the Sports Authority. Multiply that with the labor and maintenance needs of the National Stadium and the other facilities; having to deal on a day-to-day basis with the federations that use the areas for competition, and one gets a very clear picture of what the authority is up against.
This is why I've suggested in this space that Chairman Leroy Archer and Deputy Chairman Anton Sealey must have free reins. They need to be able to function independently, despite the portions of the Sports Act that refer to the sports minister. The great workload they have been mandated to handle is challenging enough.
To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
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 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."