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News Article

December 23, 2014
Merry feet for Christmas

This is the season to be merry, however it is often not a merry time for the feet. Lots of holiday shopping usually means lots of walking and even sometimes running. In addition, it is time for lots of standing, while cooking, during parties, church and even Junkanoo. Further, most people, especially women will be wearing new shoes during these activities. All these reasons can add up to painful feet.
A recent survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) showed that painful feet are a common occurrence during the holiday madness. The most common way women soothe their aching feet is by moisturizing their feet. The women surveyed also admitted that stretching and massaging their feet were also on the list of favorite foot fixers. Here are a few more ways to keep your feet merry this holiday season.

Exercise your toes
Toe cramping is common due to long hours of standing and walking, often in tight shoes. Avoid toe cramping by stretching your toes upwards, pointing and curling them for five seconds in each direction, then repeat 10 times. You can do this several times a day and you won't even break a sweat -- but your toes will get good relief.

Massage your feet
Women like it because it works. Massaging releases tension, increases circulation and rejuvenates the feet after a long day on your feet. Get out the lotion and rub those tired toes, better yet get a spouse, child or friend to do it while you relax on the couch. You can also use a foot bath or tub to massage the feet. Fill the tub with warm water and your favorite fragrant moisturizing soap and let the jets massage your feet. Remember, people with diabetes should not soak or use hot water on their feet.

Elevate your legs
Long hours of standing, walking and even sitting can cause the feet to swell, especially at the end of the day. Reduce swelling by elevating the legs, when sitting or lying down. Be sure to lift the legs above the level of your heart.

Rotate your ankles
Because of swelling and long hours of standing and walking the ankles can get tired and achy and even swell. Relax your feet by rotating your ankles, turn your ankles up toward your head, down toward the floor then right and left, slowly, five to 10 times. This loosens up the ankle joints and increases blood flow to the area. It is very relaxing and works wonders on tired feet.

Wear smart shoes
For the most part during your holiday activities like shopping, cooking, etc., wear sensible, comfortable shoes and avoid high heels. Save the high heels for actual dress-up events. If you know you will be on your feet all day, wear comfortable shoes, sneakers or sandal with good arch support and a padded sole. When purchasing shoes, do so in the afternoon and be sure to try them on and walk about in the store in them to be sure they fit properly. Do not wear shoes that don't fit, they will cause blisters and other injury to the feet. For people who already have problems with their feet, for example heel pain or plantar fasciitis or even an injury to their feet, it is vital to follow the podiatrist's instructions and wear the prescribed footwear or continue your therapy or exercises during the holiday. It will prevent relapse and return of pain and other symptoms after the holiday.

Prevent injury
It is important to not over do it to prevent any injury to your feet while rushing to complete all the holiday activities. Pay particular attention to footwear and walking surfaces. Drinking alcohol and taking other mind-altering substances also increases your risk of injury. Continue your exercise routine during the holiday season as much as you can. Be sure to stretch before and after exercising. Wear new sports shoes cautiously, gradually increasing the wear time each day until you adjust to them. Do not walk barefoot, to prevent puncture wounds to the feet.
If you follow these tips and suggestions you can prevent injury and ensure that your feet are also merry during this holiday season.

However, foot pain and injuries, like fractures, ankle sprains, blisters, ingrown toenails etc. are common foot complaints during and after the holiday. If you do get an injury, or develop foot pain, see a podiatrist as soon as possible. Remember the reason for the season. Have a Merry Christmas and a blessed, and healthy feet new year.

o For more information email us at foothealth242@hotmail.com or visit www.apma.org. To see a podiatrist visit Bahamas Foot Centre, Rosetta Street, telephone 325-2996 or visit Bahamas Surgical Associates, Albury Lane, telephone 394-5820 for an appointment.

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News Article

January 02, 2015
The Nassau Guardian's Senior Male Athlete of the Year

Antoan Richardson's late season heroics with the storied New York Yankees franchise left a big impression on the Major League Baseball (MLB) landscape in 2014, so much so, that a three-person panel of sports writers has selected him as The Nassau Guardian's Senior Male Athlete of the Year.
Richardson's breakout season was highlighted by a game-winning run to give the Yankees a 6-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles on September 26, in what was Derek Jeter's final home game with the Yankees. It couldn't have been scripted any better as Jeter, a five-time World Series Champion and 14-time All Star, hit the game-winning single past Orioles' first baseman Steve Pearce. It was the seventh walk-off hit in his 20-year career, and it came in his final at-bat at Yankee Stadium.
In his 13 games with the Yankees, Richardson finished with five hits in 16 at-bats for a .313 batting average. He scored twice, drove in one and stole five bases.
When an athlete plays for a team n New York, their errors and successes are magnified greatly; however, Richardson managed to thrive in the patented pinstripes of the fourth most valuable sports franchise in the world, which is also the most successful franchise in all of North America, with 27 World Series titles.
On September 4, Richardson made his debut as a pinch runner for the Yankees in a 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees won that game on a walk-off home-run by third baseman Chase Headley. The following night, Richardson entered the game as a pinch runner again, and got his first stolen base of the season in a 1-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals.
Richardson saw his first action behind the plate for the Yankees in a day-night double-header against the Baltimore Orioles on September 12. He finished 2-for-3 in the opener with a walk and a stolen base, and then came back in the evening game and had a hit in one at-bat. The following night against the Orioles he finished 1-for-3.
On September 18 Richardson scored the game-winning run for the Yankees, on a walk-off hit by Headley in their contest against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Yankees called up Richardson on September 1 when major league team rosters expand from the 25-man active roster to a 40-man roster. At this point, any player on the 40-man roster can play for the major league team.
Richardson spent the early part of this year with the Triple-A club, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, in Moosic, Pennsylvania. An affiliate of the Yankees, the team plays in the Northwestern Division of the International League.
In his time with the team he hit .271 with 70 hits including three home-runs and 22 RBIs. He also produced an on-base percentage of .380 with 26 stolen bases and 41 runs scored. Richardson finished The Nassau Guardian's selection process with 28 points, just two shy of a unanimous selection.
The 30-year-old says that he believes that the effort he put out will make a way for him.
Finishing second on The Nassau Guardian's list this year was veteran quarter-miler Chris "The Fireman" Brown with 27 points.
Brown was a member of the men's 4x400 meters (m) relay team that won a silver medal at the inaugural International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Relays at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium in May. He also was a part of the men's 4x400m relay team that finished second at the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in July, and the 4x400m relay team that won a bronze medal at the 12th IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech, Morocco.
On March 10 he captured an individual medal with his second place finish in the men's 400m final at the IAAF World Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Ergo Arena in Sopot, Poland.
He ran a season's best of 44.59 seconds at the Athletissima Diamond League Meet in Lausanne, Switzerland on July 3.
The 36-year-old has been selected as The Nassau Guardian's Senior Male Athlete of the Year on three occasions since the honor was first introduced in 2007.
Finishing third on the list was University of Oklahoma Sooners' junior guard Chavanno "Buddy" Hield with 24 points. Hield and the Sooners had an impressive showing at the 2014 Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament that was held in the Imperial Arena at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in November.
The Sooners scored blowout victories over the UCLA Bruins and Butler Bulldogs before falling to the Wisconsin Badgers in the championship game.
During the tournament, Hield averaged 12.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
On November 16 Hield set a new school record and tied the Big 12 record by going 7-for-7 from the three-point range in the Sooners 78-53 rout of the Southeastern Louisiana University Lions. The following day, he became the first recipient of the 2014 Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week award.
Prior to the season Hield was named to the All-Big 12 Preseason team, which is voted on by the Big 12 coaches, and he was also listed as one of 50 players on the John R. Wooden Award's watch list. ESPN analysts also picked him as a third-team All-American.
The Grand Bahama native entered the 2014 season fresh off an eventful summer in which he participated in both the LeBron James and Kevin Durant skills academies, and made an appearance with the Bahamian national basketball team at the FIBA Americas CentroBasket Championships in Nayarit, Mexico.
Hield is currently averaging 15.7 points per game and the Sooners have a win/loss record of 9-3.
Finishing fourth on The Nassau Guardian's list this year with 19 points was baseball player Anfernee Seymour who was the 197th pick of the seventh round of the MLB Draft by the Miami Marlins, and rounding out the top five is hurdler Jeffrey Gibson with 13 points.
Gibson, 23, captured a bronze medal in the men's 400m hurdles at the 20th Commonwealth Games in a time of 48.78 seconds, lowering his own Bahamian national record of 48.95 seconds that he set on April 4 at the Florida Relays. He is the only Bahamian to ever run under 49 seconds in the long hurdles.

Senior male scores
1st - Antoan Richardson (Baseball) - 29 points
2nd - Chris Brown (Athletics) - 27 points
3rd - Chavanno "Buddy" Hield (Basketball) - 24 points
4th - Anfernee Seymour (Baseball) - 19 points
5th - Jeffery Gibson (Athletics) - 13 points
6th - Taureano Johnson (Boxing) - 12 points
7th - LaToy Williams (Athletics) - 9 points
8th - Trevorvano Mackey (Athletics) - 7 points
9th - Lesley St. Fleur (Soccer) - 6 points
10th - Shavez Hart (Athletics) - 5 points

Also receiving votes: Kyle McCartney - Football (4), Lyle Sawyer - Softball (2), Byron Ferguson - Volleyball (1), Carl Hield - Boxing (1) and Dewitt "DC" Pratt - Mixed Martial Arts (1).

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News Article

July 12, 2012
Sports ministry one of PM Pindling's visionary decisions

Anthonique Strachan inked her name into the history books by becoming the third Bahamian female athlete to win gold at the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Junior Championships.
 
The blistering 11.20 seconds, in the 100 meters (m), turned in by Strachan is the fastest time ran by a junior female athlete this season. Strachan's golden performance was done, yesterday, in front of a large crowd at the Olympic Stadium Lluis Companys de Montjuic, in Barcelona, Spain. The silver medal was reeled in by Nimet Karakus of Turkey, a time of 11.36 seconds and Brazil's Tamiris de Liz crossed the finish line in 11.45 seconds for third.
 
The young sprinter, Strachan, was one-one hundredth of a second shy from setting a new junior national record, which belongs to Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie. The gold medal is the third for the country at the games. Four years ago, Sheniqua Ferguson won the 200m in 23.24 seconds and Shaunae Miller captured the gold, in 2010, in the 400m. Miller's time was 52.52 seconds.
 
After two days of competition, The Bahamas is in a four-way tie for sixth with Germany and New Zealand. The 25-member team will look to build on the medal count, as a number of them settle into the blocks in the semi-final round today.
 
Tayla Carter was not able to advance into the final after finishing fourth in 11.76 seconds. She ran out of heat one with Karakus, who won in 11.58 seconds and Fany Chalas was second in 11.68 seconds. Carter is set to a run a leg on the 4x100m relay squad.
 
Defending champion in the 400m, Miller cruised to 52.71 seconds to win heat four in the morning session of the championships. Miller's time was the second fastest heading into the second round which takes place today at 2:35 p.m EDT. Miller was in the second heat, lane four and Rashan Brown was in the third heat, lane four. The Freeport native, Brown, clocked 54.02 seconds and won heat two of the preliminary round.
 
Strachan will go for the sprint double when she lines up in the 200m today. In the heats, running out of lane five, heat two got underway at 5:25 a.m. EDT this morning. Carmiesha Cox is in the first heat of the preliminary round. She and Jodean Williams of Jamaica will represent the English-speaking Caribbean in that heat. The semifinal will also take place today at 1:50 p.m EDT.
 
Male sprinter Teray Smith watched the final of the 100m from the stands. He was fourth in his heat, with a time of 10.44 seconds. Smith will give it another go when he lines-up in the 200m. His season's best is 20.88 seconds.
 
Blake Bartlett has a season's best of 20.89 seconds, in the 200m, and will run out of the second heat, lane two. Other Caribbean athletes in that race are Tahir Walsh and Deandre Rawlins of Antigua and Barbuda and the U.S. Virgin Islands respectively.
 
The final of the boys' 400m will take place today. O'Jay Ferguson was eliminated in the semifinal after clocking 47.02 seconds which placed him sixth in heat two.
 
World junior leader in the high jump event, Ryan Ingraham only needed two jumps to qualify for the final of the high jump event. He entered the competition at 2.14m and then moved onto 2.17m. The final is set for Friday.

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News Article

August 07, 2012
British teenager with Bahamian ties finishes 15th in heptathlon

LONDON, England - With Sheniqua Ferguson bowing out of the women's 100-meter (m) semi-finals on Saturday night, the Bahamas' hopes for another finalist to join swimmer Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, were dashed. However, as it turned out, there was reason to cheer after all.
British teenage sensation Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who has Bahamian ties, was still competing in the women's heptathlon. Katarina's father Ricardo Thompson, who works at the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas, is 100 percent Bahamian. Katarina set a new British junior national record of 6,267 points to finish 15th overall in one of the more celebrated events of these games. British athlete Jessica Ennis responded to the pressure brilliantly as she scored 6,955 points for a new British senior national record, and the gold medal.
As for 19-year-old Johnson-Thompson, she was just elated to be competing in her first Olympic Games, and thrilled that she was able to shake off the nerves to perform so admirably. She had personal best performances in the 200 meters (m), 800m and the high jump, and matched a personal best time in the 100m hurdles to post her best score ever, in front of her home crowd.
"This was a tremendous experience. I've never experienced anything like this before," she said. "There were about 80,000 people in the stadium, and to be here in Great Britain was wonderful. Everyone was so into the competition because of Jess (Ennis) and I were happy to experience that. I don't know if I would ever experience anything like that ever again. This is something that is going to stick with me for as very long time."
The talented teen is no stranger to international competition. She won the gold medal at the 2009 World Youth Championships in the heptathlon, and is also the World Junior Champion with her gold medal leap of 6.81m (22' 4-1/4") in the long jump in Barcelona, Spain this year.
"The stadium at the World Juniors was the same size but it was empty compared to this," she said. "This here today was just wonderful. I'm happy for Jess. I aspire to get to that level one day. This whole experience was just wonderful though, and I was happy to be a part of it."
Johnson-Thompson said that she definitely recognizes her Bahamian connection because it is a significant part of her. She said that she speaks with her father regularly, and will call him again in short order.
There's no doubt that her affiliation is to Great Britain though. That's where she spent her entire life, and that's where her heart is. For Bahamians wondering if Johnson-Thompson would ever be interested in competing for The Bahamas, she kept her cards close to her chest. But over the years, athletes have been known to switch affiliation in terms of competing at the Olympics and in IAAF events for different countries. There is hope yet! The most popular athlete to come to mind is the legendary Jamaican Merlene Ottey, who, at 52, is still competing. After competing for many years internationally for Jamaica, Ottey moved to Slovenia at the beginning of this century, eventually became a Slovenian citizen. She has been competing for them ever since.
The International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) rules for switching affiliation certainly isn't as stringent as those of other world level organizations such as the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), thereby giving Ottey the freedom to run for Slovenia just two years after representing Jamaica at the Olympics.
For Katarina Johnson-Thompson, she has, all things being equal, her entire senior career ahead of her though. For now, she's just focused on competing and representing Great Britain to the best of her ability. She's visited The Bahamas quite a few times, but make no mistake about it, she's British to the core, so that's definitely where her affiliation lies. As they say, home is where the heart is!

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News Article

July 19, 2012
Defending the FNM's record

In his typical bombastic and inelegant style, the chairman of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) in a letter to the editor of The Nassau Guardian of July 3 responded to legitimate criticism from the leader of the Free National Movement (FNM) of the PLP's denial of the severity of the global recession by charging that the FNM administration made it worse.
This deceit was part of the PLP's propaganda when in opposition. Another part of that deceit was the outrageous claim of the billions of dollars of "notional" projects which they had lined up for inward investment prior to their defeat in 2007 and which they claimed the FNM's 'stop, review and cancel' policy had prevented from progressing.
The continued reference to billion-dollar projects that suffered from the alleged 'stop, review and cancel' policy must be a reference to the PLP planned massive land giveaways (as was contemplated at Mayaguana) to various prospectors who had not even secured the funding for some hugely exaggerated projects on which they could not possibly deliver even with the sale of Bahamian land.
But this was the propaganda engaged in at the time and presumably being resurrected by the chairman of the PLP now. The PLP seemed to subscribe to a policy of announcing huge investment deals, highlighting exorbitant sums which they hope will be invested and large numbers of new jobs they hope will result, but not making the terms of the agreements public so that if or when they did not materialize the government's embarrassments might be minimized.
The Free National Movement (FNM) does not go that way; that is why before the end of 2007 the FNM government tabled heads of agreement concluded by the PLP but never tabled in the House of Assembly as follows:
Project/co. name

Date heads of agreement signed
1. Governor's Harbour Resort & Marina

March 23, 2004
2. Rav Bahamas (Bimini Bay)

June 9, 2004
3. Kerzner International
(Supplement to heads)

December 7, 2004
4. Pittstown Landing

April 27, 2005
5. Cape Eleuthera Properties &
Powell Point Properties Ltd.

May 3, 2005
6. Baha Mar Development

April 6, 2005
(Cable Beach)
7. GINN-LA West End

Dec 9, 2005
(Amendment to heads of agreement)

June 8, 2006
8. EGI Ltd.

April 24, 2006
9. Sky Beach Development
(Eleuthera)

April 20, 06
10. RC Rose Island Hotel Co.

February 13, 2006
(Amendment to heads of agreement)

April 12, 2007
11. Crystal Mount (Cat Island)

January 16, 2006
12. Royal Island (off N. Eleuthera)

December 14, 2006
13. Park Ridge Securities (Albany)

November 9, 2006
March 6, 2007 (Amendment)
14. Lignum Vitae Cay Ltd.

April 27, 2007
15. Bonds Cay (Berries)

May 1, 2007
None of these projects were stopped or reviewed by the new FNM government. Instead everything was done to facilitate them moving forward in a timely fashion. The worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression intervened and stopped virtually all of these projects. Those which proceeded - Albany, Baha Mar, Rav Bahamas - did so because of extraordinary efforts by the FNM.
Such efforts and support to others of the projects - notably GINN, Exuma Resorts Developers-Setai/Aman, RC Rose Island and the Harcourt Group in Grand Bahama - could not overcome the fallout for these projects from the recession and very directly the failure of important international financial groups like Lehman Brothers.
The record also shows that by February 2008 the FNM government had concluded and tabled in the House of Assembly three major agreements which had stalled under the first Christie government: those relating to the doubling in the size of the Baha Mar project inclusive of seeking and obtaining parliamentary approval to transfer a portion of the public road (now deviated West Bay Street) and other government-owned land to Baha Mar; the conclusion with the Park Ridge Securities relating to the Albany project and including parliamentary approval for the transfer of portions of south west Bay Street and of portions of South Ocean Boulevard in exchange for a new south west Bay Street now named Frank Watson Boulevard, and the conclusion of a superseding heads of agreement with the Exuma Resorts Developers for the development of a Setai/Aman Resort at Norman's Cay.
Bradley Roberts continues the PLP distortion that the FNM chose to award the New Providence Road and Utility Improvement Project to an international (Argentinian) company excluding presumably able Bahamian companies. He ignores the fact that the bid for this project was put to international tender (as required by the Inter-American Development Bank) by the PLP government. Under that government no reputable international company responded to the bid. The FNM's return to government brought a response from international companies and following a competitive analysis, Jose Cartellone Construcciones Civiles (JCCC) was awarded the contract.
Roberts also conveniently fails to acknowledge that every Bahamian road paving company was engaged by the FNM government between 2007 and 2012 on other important and significant road and utility upgrade projects - many of which are now ongoing in New Providence (deviated West Bay Street and the connector road to JFK Drive; Bay Street from Nassau Street to Mackey Street, intersection improvements along East Bay Street to the Montagu fishing ramp; Moss Road extension and access roads to the new sports center and all Family Island road projects).
Roberts also seeks to ignore that in each of the five budgets presented to Parliament during the FNM's last administration - 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/2010, 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 - there was a consistent reduction in customs duties and the elimination of duties on a number of products to ease the cost of living on the community, to improve the competitiveness of the tourism product or to provide specific incentives. This happened in each of the five budgets. It is worthy of recalling that the systematic reduction of customs duty rates and the reduction of the number of rates are policies introduced by the first FNM government between 1992 and 1997.
It is acknowledged that in the 2010/2011 budget, in addition to continuing the reduction in customs duties on selective products to ease the cost of living broadly, provision was made for increases in several taxes to ease the financial strain that was having an unfortunate impact on the country's fiscal circumstances. Roberts' claim that the policy was a failure is untrue. The policy produced an increase in revenue over the previous year of $160 million and led directly to a lower deficit.
It is never clear from these critics of that fiscal policy whether they are promoting lower spending or higher deficits. Balancing the trade-off between debt and unemployment in that global recession was probably an issue of such delicacy that it did not likely catch the chairman's fancy.
Roberts has also not been able to make the distinction between debt and spending that creates infrastructure - fixed assets for the country and debt for which no remaining evidence can be found. This is why he has been able to say such critical things about the increase in debt during a devastating global recession in which the opportunity was taken by the FNM to deficit-finance the construction of infrastructure to facilitate the economy's future growth while also easing the strain of unemployment. On the other hand he overlooks, and hopes that the public will not notice, the shame of the huge creation of debt during a period of economic growth with nothing to show for the spending during the period presided over by PLP from mid-2002 to mid-2007. He might consider this is why his party while commanding a majority of seats in the House of Assembly, does not command the support of the majority of registered Bahamian voters.
Roberts and the PLP already are getting a sense of the challenge of economic management in a period of economic adversity. Already they have demonstrated that their understanding of job creation is restricted to finding jobs for their members and supporters even if they can only achieve this by firing Bahamians they met working.
It is also to be noted that notwithstanding that economic circumstances have already begun to improve and the recession has ended, they began their term with the largest deficit in the country's history. No doubt they will seek to blame the previous administration for the size of their deficit, but they understand that they are in charge now, as they are quick to point out, and the choice was theirs to make.
Finally, Roberts objects to the FNM reminding that the PLP has failed to keep its promise and pledge to be ready to govern on day one. He seeks to excuse the failure of the PLP to name new boards including naming new chairmen for the most important public corporations where FNM political appointees resigned their posts at the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC), the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) and the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas (ZNS) by comparing the PLP record to that of the FNM. The FNM welcomes such comparisons as the superiority of FNM performance in every segment of government can be readily seen. We have a record and we are proud to stand by it.
Roberts will have considerable opportunity to engage in vitriolic bluster in response to legitimate criticism of the PLP's governance and propaganda, particularly since so much of their governance seems to be conducted by public broadcast by way of the usurpation of ZNS news.

o Charles Maynard is the chairman of the Free National Movement.

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News Article

July 12, 2012
The partial gambling referendum

When each of the political parties said during the election campaign that they would hold a referendum on gambling for Bahamians and legal residents in The Bahamas if elected, many thought that the referendum referred to would put on the table the full issue for the people to decide upon.

The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) won the election and it is now in power.  Prime Minister Perry Christie has committed to holding the referendum, but it won't be on the full issue of gambling.
There are at least three mainstream forms of gambling: sports betting, casino gambling and lotteries.  Based on the statements of the prime minister it appears as if the referendum will only be on lotteries.

The hotels have long opposed Bahamians being allowed to use casinos.  At the heart of it, there has always been a fear by some that regular Bahamians would not know how to behave in a casino.  Therefore, according to those who hold this position, Bahamians should be barred.

This is a bizarre position to hold in that Bahamians can rent the most expensive rooms in hotels and spend tens of thousands of dollars per night, or they can lavish friends in the most expensive hotel restaurants or nightclubs, spending additional tens of thousands of dollars at a time, and this is fine.  But these same people would argue a Bahamian would not know how to behave if he lost $50 at a slot machine.
 
A major problem with the current system we have of allowing illegal gaming is that it perpetuates a culture of lawlessness and duplicity in The Bahamas.  We say we are a land of laws, yet we allow an industry to operate openly in violation of the law.  Finally holding a referendum on gambling should be viewed as the moment to once and for all decide what we want to do on the issue as a people.  Either it is legal or illegal.  By only voting on one type of gambling we risk legalizing that type of wagering and leaving the other types to continue to flourish as open illegal operations.
 
While the numbers business is likely the biggest of the forms of gambling in The Bahamas, many Bahamians also regularly engage in illegal casino play and sports wagering.
 
Why not put the full question to the people?  If they say yes, it is legal.  We then regulate it, tax it and move on.  If they say no, we should move to shut down the whole industry.
 
A rigorous debate has already erupted between the church and those who seek to legalize numbers.  This is good.  Such a momentous vote should be preceded by a fierce back and forth between the sides.
 
However, we must take time to consider what it is we are going to vote for in this referendum.  Referenda are supposed to put difficult and momentous issues before the people in order for them to make what sometimes is a once in a generation decision.  Will we resolve this issue by only posing a part of the question?

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News Article

August 03, 2012
BAAA athletes carrying weight of expectations

Today, track and field athletes of The Bahamas delegation at the London Olympics begin competition.
Bahamian contestants are listed for the men's long jump, and the women's 100 and 400 meters early rounds. It is important to remind Bahamians of the tremendous weight of expectations being carried by the athletes from the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA).
Just one other discipline, swimming, is representing The Bahamas in London. The BAAA is to be congratulated for once again being that "trooper" sports federation The Bahamas looks to mostly for medal satisfaction at the Olympics Games.
Indeed the value of the BAAA to our sports program ought to be fully appreciated by all and sundry. I hear of some coaches who have not been documented by the Bahamas Olympic Committee to the extent whereby they can be in the village with the athletes and enjoy certain privileges afforded others.
I understand the esteemed Bahamian "international coach" Henry Rolle is not living in the Olympic Village. How could this be, unless this is his preference? The BAAA brought him on board to guide the relay performers. He should be a constant presence, 24/7, for the athletes under his charge.
Well, there is always the big picture and perhaps a full explanation by the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) is in order.
However, the position that the BAAA deserves to be accommodated fully, based on the large numbers of athletes provided to represent The Bahamas and past achievements on the grandest of sports stages cannot, I think, be legitimately challenged.
The BOC has the authority to determine who are accredited. Always, there are a multitude of requests, too many to be processed. This is the case worldwide and the National Olympic Committees are accordingly, faced with going through the process of elimination.
It is imperative though that the athletes are not denied the full availability of their coaches, while there are others with full accreditation, with no duties nearly as significant.
Hopefully this is not the situation.
The BAAA deserves to be treated very well. I make this point because from the Barcelona Olympics of 1992 to the beginning of the London 2012 Games, Olympics medals for The Bahamas have come only from the BAAA.
This time around, the BAAA has presented such a quality group that there is the possibility that The Bahamas could equal the medal count of 2000. In Sydney, Australia, the BAAA produced three medals, a gold (female 200 meters), another gold (female sprint relay), and a bronze (men's 1600 meters relay).
In 2008, we won two, a triple jump bronze and a silver medal from the 1600 men's relay squad.
This year, it is likely that this version of the men's 1600m team will win a medal. There is the possibility that Leevan Sands will medal in the triple jump; one of the quarter milers (Chris Brown, Demetrius Pinder or Ramon Miller) could win an individual 400 meters medal; and Trevor Barry or Donald Thomas could medal in the high jump.
Maybe Michael Matthieu will come through in the men's 200 meters.
This is the healthy scenario possible, because of the BAAA athletes.
The BAAA should be specially saluted for the many years of putting athletes forward who have brought glory to this tiny nation, and treated in kind.

o To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com.

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News Article

June 26, 2012
A sweet, sweet feeling

Since the start of Bahamian competition in the Olympic Games and World Championships, no Bahamian has participated in the 800 meters (m) or anything longer. Mind you, Julian Brown from Bimini was enlisted to participate in the 800m in the Rome Games. However, he fell sick and was unable to participate. He was still a student of St. John's College at the time.
Two years later at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Kingston, Jamaica, Brown ran 1:52.50, a Bahamian national record that would last 18 years. This was in the semi-final, and in the final, Brown was spiked and he never was the same again. Five years ago, Kenneth Wallace-Whitfield participated in the IAAF World Youth Championships 800m in Ostrava, Czech Republic, becoming the first Bahamian to compete in the 800m at the World Youth, World Junior, World Outdoor Championships or World Indoor Championships. Wallace-Whitfield made history when on July 11, 2007 he ran 1:57.02 for sixth place in the second heat of the 800m in the World Youth Championships.
BTC Scotiabank Olympic Trials
At the BTC Scotiabank Olympic Trials last weekend, two junior 800m runners excelled.
Andre Colebrooke, from Eleuthera, established a new national junior record in the 800m. The old record was held by quarter-miler Ramon Miller. He clocked 1:52.27 on July 29, 2005 in Windsor, Canada. Colebrooke ran 1:52.20, breaking the old record by seven hundredths of a second. He has improved significantly since he won a bronze medal at this year's CARIFTA Games.
Coached by Stephen Murray, he is scheduled to compete in the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Junior Championships this weekend in San Salvador, El Salvador.
Then, newcomer Teshon Adderley ran 2:06.96 to book a ticket to the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain, this July. The qualifying mark is 2:.09.10. She is also scheduled to participate at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Junior Championships this coming weekend. Adderley will be the first Bahamian, man or woman, to participate in the 800m at the World Junior Championships.
This is certainly historic for The Bahamas. She has an excellent chance of beating Vernetta Rolle's records. The next step would be the World Championships.
Based upon the performances of both Adderley and Colebrooke over the weekend, there is a "sweet, sweet feeling" in the Bahamian track and field community. Adderley won the silver medal in this event in this year's CARIFTA Games. Only one Bahamian has run faster. That is Vernetta Rolle, who holds both the national junior and senior records in this event. Her junior record was set at 2:06.27 on March 18, 1995 in Baton Rouge, and the senior record on May 23, 1998 in Atlanta.
Whelma Colebrooke had a best of 2:09.20 which she did in July of 1981 to capture the bronze medal at the Senior Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Championships in Santo Domingo. Colebrooke was still a junior at that time.
Adderley is a 2010 graduate of C.V. Bethel Secondary High School. She attended Iowa Central Community College from which she graduated in May. She previously ran the 200m and 400m but it was felt that she did not have the leg speed. She moved up to the 800m and has found her niche. She is a member of the T-Bird Flyers and is coached by Michael Armbrister.
There has been continual discussion of the state of distance running in The Bahamas. People wonder when a Bahamian will compete in the Olympics in the marathon or some other distance event. The 800m is a middle distance event which actually includes some sprinting ability. Athletes who are not successful in the longer sprints should move up to the 800m.
There is an easier chance of Bahamians competing in this event in the World Championships or Olympics but few move up to this event because of the perceived "glamour" in the sprints. It is understood why most athletes gravitate toward the sprints but a good coach should analyze the athlete's talents and steer them in the right direction.
There certainly is a "sweet, sweet feeling in the Bahamian track and field community".

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News Article

July 13, 2012
Bahamian trio are favorites in finals at WJC

This just might be the best showing for The Bahamas at the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Junior Championships, as four junior athletes survived to the final of their respective events today.
Entering the competition with the best mark, so far, on the year by any junior athlete in the world were Anthonique Strachan, Shaunae Miller and Ryan Ingraham. Sprinter Teray Smith added his name to the list by qualifying for the final of the boys 200 meters (m). The trio, who are now referred to as the junior world leaders, had no difficulty advancing through the rounds at the championships taking place in Barcelona, Spain.
Strachan has already won the gold, in the 100m, and will look to pull off the double today in front of a capacity crowd gathered in the Olympic Stadium Lluis Companys de Montjuic. She will head into the final of the 200m with the third fastest time, but will settle into the blocks out of lane six. The leading time, at this level, was turned in by teammate Miller who opted out of the half lap and lined up in the 400m, where she is the defending champion.
The title was won two years ago by Miller who moved a step closer to that goal by cruising into the final with a 52.75 seconds performance. American Ashley Spencer, has the best time on the year. She won her heat in 52.24. Bahamian Rashan Brown was in the same heat and placed third in 52.88. The final of the 400m is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
Running in the first semifinal heat of the girls 200m was Carmiesha Cox. She stopped the clock at 24.08 seconds but did not advance. Smith's time of 21.06 seconds, in the semifinal, running out of heat one, placed him in lane one in the final. He will clash with Delano Williams from Turks and Caicos, who has one of the fastest times heading into the event.
In the opening round of the 200m, Blake Bartlett was up first for The Bahamas. He crossed the finish line in 21.41 seconds and was fourth in heat two. He did not advance to the semifinal.
Coming in third in the 400m hurdles was Devinn Cartwright with a qualifying time of 1:00.72. She will be in heat three, lane nine. Teammate Pedyra Seymour did not advance to the next round after placing sixth in heat four, in a time of 1:01.09.
It's a busy day for Cartwright who will also line up in the 100m hurdles with Devynne Charlton. The sprint hurdles event was held earlier this morning and the 400m hurdles will go in the evening session. Charlton is in heat two, and Cartwright is in the fourth heat.
The final of the boys' high jump event will take place today at 12:30 p.m. Eastern standard time. Ingraham, who is the favorite, has the best mark on the season.
The qualification rounds for the triple jump, which will feature Latario Collie-Minns and Lathone Collie-Minns is set for 12 noon, Eastern standard time. Latario is in Group A and Lathone is jumping out of Group B.

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News Article

July 14, 2012
New championship record run for Strachan

There is no doubt, Anthonique Strachan is ready for the upcoming Olympic Games. The junior sprinter became the first Bahamian to win gold in both the 100 and 200 meters (m) at the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Junior Championships.
In perfect form, Strachan set a new championship record and lowered her own junior national time in the 200m. The golden performance was done in 22.53 seconds. It is a personal best for Strachan, who won the 100m on Wednesday at the championships.
Defending champion in the 400m, Shaunae Miller had to settle for fourth in the event. She turned in 51.78 seconds. The winning time was 50.50 seconds by American Ashley Spencer. Kadecia Baird of Guyana picked up the silver in 51.04 and Erika Rucker of the U.S. was third in 51.10 seconds.
Junior world leader in the high jump event, Ryan Ingraham, had to settle for the bronze medal after struggling with the opening height. Ingraham's heels knocked the bar down at 2.26m.
Cartwright ran out of lane four and finished sixth in the 100m hurdles. Running 14.20 seconds was Devynne Charlton in the second heat of the 100m hurdles for women. Charlton was seventh and did not advance.
Hours after competing in the 100m hurdles, Cartwright ran in the semifinal of the 400m hurdles. She clocked 1:03.88 for eighth. That time did not put her through to the final set for today.
The quartet representing The Bahamas in the 4x100m ran out of lane five in the first of three qualifying heats. The team of Charlton, Carmiesha Cox, Rashan Brown and Anthonique Strachan did not finish the race.
The boy's 4x100m ran out of heat two and posted the time of 39.48 seconds. Running on that team were Anthony Farrington, Blake Bartlett, Shane Jones and Stephen Newbold. The winning time was 39.25 seconds turned in by the USA.
Latario Collie-Minns was able to move into the final of the triple jump event while twin brother Lathone struggled in his group. Latario needed only two jumps to get into Sunday's final. His best on the day was 16.51m. Cuban Pedro Pichardo popped 16.64m to lead the group and Georgi Tsonov had the third best jump in that group. His mark was 15.97m. The best jump on that day for Lathone was 13.30m. He closed in the 14th spot.

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