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This past November, the Bahamas Football Association (BFA) had the official opening of the beach soccer facility at the foot of the Sidney Poitier Bridge. It was such a grand occasion that even the disappointing one-goal defeat of our nationals at the hand of Jamaica's Reggae Boys (6-5) did not seriously dampen the enthusiasm of the moment.
It was historic and the presence of Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) officials and also, leading administrators of the region classified the event as one of the signature happenings for the sport during the past year.
Present were three government ministers, namely Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis (there particularly to cheer on his son and the rest of the team), Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Daniel Johnson. Indeed, the Government of The Bahamas was appropriately represented and Minister Wilchcombe clearly saw the sports/tourism potential that soccer provides. He indicated as much as well as an inclination for his ministry to have a definite role in the mix.
Well, this week, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) will stage its convention, beginning today with work sessions at the Indiana Convention Center. Sports Tourism Director Tyrone Sawyer will be present, along with Bahamas Football Association (BFA) Vice President Fred Lunn. No doubt, throughout the convention, the two will network closely with the objective being how tourism and the BFA can work together in the very near future for a mutual benefit.
I've always felt that the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism's sports department could be maximized once closer relationships were built with the various core organizations. I believe the Ministry of Tourism, through its sports department, has a meaningful part to play in the expansion of the Bahamian sports industry.
I know that Minister Wilchcombe feels likewise. It was he during the 2002-2007 administration of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), who sought to broaden the base of the ministry's sport department. It is looking like he still has the same mindset. This is good. The presence of Sports Director Sawyer demonstrates the positive outlook of the ministry for soccer, in this instance, and sports in general.
The local representatives will be in Indianapolis for the full duration of the convention sessions. The NSCAA convention is an excellent forum. The theme this year is, 'Innovate to Elevate', and according to the "promo", the main agenda items will be new techniques, training, youth programs, NSCAA market place and other educational aspects.
Of course, a priority for the Bahamian national program is how best to market youth soccer. I'm sure Sawyer and Lunn will be thus focused.
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com)
Last week Sunday, the Bahamas Flag Football League (BFFL) entered its seventh week; there were several marquee match-ups that took place and eventually shook up the standings in both the male and female divisions.
In the men's division, the Summit Academy Ravens showed why they were ranked as the best offensive and defensive team in the league. They destroyed the Bahama Clear Wolfpack, 34-0, improving their win/loss record to a perfect 6-0, while the Wolfpack fell to 1-4 on the season. The Finlandia Predators out-matched the N.P. Hurricanes, 47-0, and improved their record to 4-1. The Hurricanes fell to 0-5.
The Coca-Cola Hitmen came up huge in the fourth quarter as they held off the RBC Lions, 28-27, and put up their first win of the season. Meanwhile, A Sure Win's Team Elite came up with several big plays late in their game against the Orry J. Sands Spartans. They prevailed 14-8.
"The female division of the Bahamas Flag Football League took center stage during week seven of the regular season," said Bianca Lee, the league's public relations officer.
In the women's division, the defending champions Bahamas Welding and Fire Pink Foxes came up short against the Summit Academy Lady Ravens, losing 13-6. The loss was the Foxes second of the season. Division leader Sands Light Lynx showed why they were ranked as the best offensive team in the league; they defeated the SC Femme Fatale Lady Predators, 21-0, improving their record to 5-0 on the season.
The RBC Lady Lions came in tied with the Bahamasair Dashers on Sunday, but pulled ahead with a 6-0 victory over the Dashers. The Dashers fell to 1-3 in the standings. The Bommer G. Bobcats picked up a big win over the second place Johnson's Lady Spartans. The Bobcats won the game, 18-7, and managed to improve their record to 3-2, while handing the Spartans their first loss of the season.
The league will take a break this coming Sunday for Mother's Day, but will resume playing on May 18, with six games on the schedule.
In the men's division, the Lions will go up against the Strong Back Rams, while the Hitmen will square off against the Spartans. The Essential Service Avengers will go up against Team Elite and the Predators will go head-to-head against the Ravens. In the women's division, the Dashers will go up against the Lady Ravens, and the Lady Spartans will go to battle against the Pink Foxes.
The games will be played at the Winton Rugby Pitch in East Nassau, beginning at 1:30 p.m.
It was a tale of two halves last night at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium, as The Bahamas' senior men's national basketball team looked totally clueless in the first half before storming all the way back in the second.
They fell behind by 23 points in the second quarter, and trailed 53-33 at the half, but gradually chipped away at the lead in the second half. In the end the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) proved to be too fundamentally sound though, as they held on for a 91-89 wire-to-wire win, taking the gold in this year's Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships.
- Genre : Comedy, Romance
- Rating : C - 18yrs and Older
A comedy that charts the ups and downs of an engaged couple's relationship....
When the Bahamas Amateur Athletic Association - now Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) - was founded on May 6 1952, the International Amateur Athletic Association - now International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) - was 40 years old. That was the year of the Helsinki Olympics that spurred the BAAA to seek ratification by the IAAF.
The BAAA's first president was Alfred Francis (AF) Adderley, who died a year later on his way from the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. Helsinki was the second Olympic Games after the second World War; the preceding games were held in London in 1948.
London saw the initial participation of many countries from our region, including Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. They made their marks, and 66 years later we wonder just how athletics in the Olympic Games were without the Caribbean influence.
The BAAA sent its first team to an international competition in 1954 - the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver. Sports journalist Cyril Richardson, the then president of the BAAA, was the manager of the team that included the late Irrington Isaacs - who was the first to compete, Leonard Dames, and Cyril Johnson.
They came home empty handed, not advancing out of their heats. Sixty years later it is unthinkable for a Bahamian team to return home empty handed. We have won a myriad of medals of all hues in the Olympic Games and world championships, not to mention the Commonwealth and Pan American Games, among other competitions.
On the second anniversary of the BAAA, May 6 in 1954, something happened that would change world athletics forever. On that day at Oxford University, Roger Bannister smashed the world record in the mile. He became the first person to break the four-minute barrier. His time was 3:59.4. Today, 60 years later, the record is 3:43.13, done in Rome on July 7 1999, by Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj. That is 16 seconds in 47 years.
The Bahamas has hosted numerous regional and area events from the CARIFTA Games in 1976 to the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Senior Championships in 1985 and 2005, and the Pan American Track & Field Championships in 1984.
A few weeks after the 62nd anniversary of the BAAA, The Bahamas will host the inaugural IAAF World Relays in its 15,000-seat state of the art stadium named after track and field pioneer Thomas Augustus Robinson. He was the first Bahamian to make an Olympic track and field final - the 100 meters (m) at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
Much has changed in world athletics. In 1952, the Olympic Games were for amateurs. Today, there is much professionalism in the Olympic Games and other events.
In 1954, there were no world championships, World Indoor Championships, World Junior Championships or World Youth Championships. The changes in women's athletics have been unbelievable. Women did not run the 800m, the 400m hurdles, the steeplechase or the 4x400m relays. They did not participate in the triple jump, the pole vault or many other events.
Numerous athletic pioneers have passed, but at this time we remember A.F. Adderley, the first president of the BAAA; Thomas Augustus Robinson; Oscar Francis and Tom Grant, of the first relay team that participated in 1957 at the British West Indian Games. We think of Reverend Enoch Backford and the late Winston Cooper, under whose presidency the first CARIFTA Games was held. We recall the late Irrington Isaacs and the late Cyril Richardson, the second BAAA President and manager of the first Bahamian international team that participated in the British Empire and Commonwealth Games, respectively. We also remember Cyril Johnson, now aged 80, and Leonard Dames, now 85, who participated approximately 60 years ago in Vancouver.
We cannot forget the first international 4x400m relay team, which finished third in Kingston in 1957, comprised of Oscar Francis, Ulric Whyly, George Shannon, all deceased, and Hubert Dean who is now 80 years of age.
We also honor Dr. Gail North-Saunders, Elaine Thompson, Althea Rolle-Clarke and Christina Jones-Darville, who participated on the first women's 4x100m relay team at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in August of 1962. We cannot forget Sir Orville Turnquest - the only founding member still alive.
None of our successes could have happened without great leadership in the federation, dedicated coaches and officials, great fans and - of course - individuals and businesses who put financial resources into our program. We look forward to the next 10 years of Bahamian and international athletics and dream of where both national and world athletics will be.
By LAMECH JOHNSON
The international governing body for track and field has listed the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium as a Class 2 facility.
The 15,000-seat facility that has an estimated cost of $30 million was certified last week by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to the Certified Athletics Facilities list, posted on the IAAF's website, The Bahamas is among 416 countries in the world with the Class 2 certification. Only 97 facilities in the world are considered Class 1 by the IAAF; Jamaica's and Trinidad and Tobago's facilities are slated in the top list.
Other major Class 1 stadiums from around the world including the National Stadium in China, London Olympic Stadium, and the Estadio Olimpico Joao Havelange stadium, the home of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Certified Athletics Facilities list was last updated by the IAAF on Friday, March 1, 2013.
Beynon Sports Company, Quli Group of Companies and representatives from the IAAF assisted The Bahamas government with getting the certification.
"Today I am pleased to inform you that this stadium - with the seating capacity of 15,000 seats, a running track that meets IAAF certification requirements - the national stadium is ready to receive our guests," said Dr. Daniel Johnson, minister of youth, sports and culture. "Adjourning this stadium is a full service track and field facility, our first Thomas A. Robinson stadium that has been fully refurbished and has now been certified, and is ready just for striping. These games will be like none other like you've seen before. There is no facility in this region that boasts this compliment of facilities, none. One can be used as a warm-up track, ... for small games, ... for training, winter training and other events. It is important to note also that three technical teams have assessed our new renovated facilities. Three technical teams of the highest order have for the past month been working to fully assess these facilities, and today they have confirmed that they are indeed world class events, and world class standards."
The stadium is the home for the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) and the Bahamas Football Association (BFA). It was officially opened on February 25, 2012.
The facility is a gift to The Bahamas from the People's Republic of China.
The facility's infield will be inspected by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA). It is currently being raised to a level that meets FIFA's standards.
The Haiti International Jazz Festival is in its seventh edition, yet it is my first encounter with the festival. The Haitian tourism calendar is fortunate to have such a prestigious event as the coup d'envoie to its yearlong cultural activities. I have been a regular of the New Orleans Jazz Festival almost from the beginning in the 70s, in my school days at Tulane University. I enjoy going back often to the Jazz Festival in St. Lucia. These are major events that attract thousands of tourists, bringing a major impact to the economy of Louisiana and of St. Lucia.
The Haiti International Jazz Festival is still in its infancy. In fact, I am taking the chance of changing its name from Port-au-Prince International Jazz Festival to Haiti International Jazz Festival. I am hoping the organizers will follow suit and make it a true national and international festival. Haiti cannot afford to stage another jazz festival in a different city in the same year; in addition, setting the event in major cities each day of the festival will add charm, cachet and improve the tourism experience for all, the locals and the foreigners.
Jazz music is new to Haiti, in spite of the fact that the jazz experience is part of the Haitian DNA. Watching Branford Marsalis starting the festival at Jacmel, I asked my companion to describe the sentiments felt. I had to educate her about the erotic emotion of the jazz experience. To me, jazz music is like making love to a woman (hopefully it is also vice versa). There is spontaneity, there is diminuendo leading to the crescendo, the pause, and the repetition of the same notes, the unexpected, the jazzy groove that gives you at the end the ecstasy of having gone to paradise and coming back to earth renewed and rejuvenated.
It was as such during a whole week from January 19 to January 26 in Haiti, where the United States, Canada, France, Mexico, Spain, Brazil and Switzerland combined to bring to the island nation, right after the days marking the anniversary of the earthquake (January 12), the gift of their best jazz music players. To mark the 150th anniversary of the continuous international intercourse between Haiti and the United States, Regine Rene Labrousse, the American embassy cultural attaché, told the crowd in Jacmel that the U.S. sent its premier star jazz player, Branford Marsalis and his group.
Staging a major international jazz festival takes a whole year of preparation. Its sponsor, the Haitian Jazz Foundation, led by Joel Widmaier and Milena Sandler, did not know, upon publication of the brochure of the event, if Jacmel as a venue could be added to the event, and if the media would receive transportation support and assistance.
Jazz is new to Haiti and, as such, public contribution by the government and civil society is not always forthcoming. Yet, the Ministry of Culture, in spite of austerity measures imposed by the Haitian government, has maintained its budgetary contribution at the same level as last year; a last minute announcement that gave an "ouf" of relief to the event organizers.
The jazz festival that started in Jacmel took place mainly in Port-au-Prince. With a full moon plotting happily to add its mystic and erotic touch, jazz music aficionados moved from the garden of the French Institute, to the garden of Fokal and then to the magnificent plaza of the Karibe Hotel to the historic sugar cane park. It was all free, except for the event at the Sugar Cane Park, where the entrance fee was US$20.
The international jazz players included: Augusting Carbonell, "El Bola", from Spain; Benjamin Struelens from Belgium; Molly Johnson from Canada; Sandro Schneebeli from Switzerland; Timo Vollbrecht from Germany; and Ilan Bar Lavi from Mexico. Those international stars intermingled with a fusion product that included Haitian artists such as Melanie Charles; Vanessa Jacquemin; Michou and the much loved troubadour, Belo.
During the jazz sessions, I took time to watch the crowd; the young men and women were all mesmerized by the dexterity of each player, the intensity of the partners, and the synchronization of disparate movements leading to a perfect landing at the end.
Whether Haiti will use its international jazz festival in January to capture its market share of the tourist industry will depend on the vision of the festival organizers. I put that question to Regine Rene Labrousse, the American embassy cultural attaché, a native of New Orleans with Haitian roots. She answered with the diplomatic cachet expected from a diplomat, but I could sense the message that the Haitians must own their international jazz festival. They must be willing to pay for the cost and reap the benefits therein.
In a coveted global circuit of jazz festivals, Haiti has the luck of the Irish to be first on the hosting line, in the middle of January, when the weather in Europe, the United States and Canada is freezing. It might seem easy if the tourists could use the Jared Diamond formula of "constructive paranoia": being attentive to hazards that carry a low risk but are encountered frequently to get themselves to Haiti where the weather is on beau fixe, the festival free, the culture free and an excellent cuisine cheap and convenient. (Dinner or lunch of fried plantain, banana pezée with grio: crisp fried pork or grilled chicken: poulet boucanné including hot salad with homemade organic juice: less than US$5.) The full week that the Haiti Jazz Festival took place was without a minor incident that could be registered as an infraction.
The Haiti International Jazz Festival can serve as the harbinger to bring back the tourist industry to Haiti. Once they taste the legendary hospitality of Haiti and of the Haitian people, I am sure they will come back to the island after a quick trip back home, to avoid the thaw of February. They will head again to Haiti for Mardi Gras; it will take place this year in the colonial- and museum-like city of Cap Haitian. March is dedicated to Rara, the rural carnival; from the beginning of May to November 1, the festival of saints will bring you as close as possible to the medieval era in our modern civilization in the different villages of Haiti.
The organizers will have to garner the support of the very dynamic minister of tourism, Stephanie Villedrouin, as well as her director general, Josette Darguste, promoted recently to minister of culture, to make the Haiti International Jazz Festival a passage oblige for the many fans of jazz all over the world. They will need also to consult with the veteran organizers of the jazz festivals from New Orleans and St. Lucia on how to entice an international crowd to such a spectacular event.
My Rolodex has the name of an influential international ad marketer who is willing to promote Haiti á la South Africa after Mandela for a few years free of charge. It should be taken up for next year's Haiti International Jazz Festival. Albeit warnings to the contrary, Haiti is set to become a major and unique tourist attraction in the Caribbean which is as close as possible to the culture of New Orleans, where the trademark and the roots came from anyway!
Note: Haiti can be reached from major international hubs with different airlines such as Delta, American Airlines, Air France, Air Canada, Continental, Insel Air, Spirit, Copa, KLM and United. Sunrise airline and Tortug'air offer local connections with Port-au-Prince to Cap Haitian and other cities of Haiti.
o Jean Hervé Charles LLB, MSW, JD, former vice-dean of students at City College of the City University of New York, is now responsible for policy and public relations for the political platform in power in Haiti, Répons Peyisan. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Published with the permission of caribbeannewsnow.com.
Nassau, Bahamas -
opportunity to get dressed up to the ninth, look your best, walk the fashion
run way and the dance the night away. It's an opportunity to win lots of
wonderful prizes, bid on pieces that are not ordinarily affordable, and have
funs with family and friends. It's an
opportunity to save a little heart while enjoying the company of that special
someone in your life. It's the Annual
theme, "Save a Little Heart.... Embrace the Opportunity", The Heart Ball
Committee will host The Annual Heart Ball.
This event will be held on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at Sheraton
Nassau Beach Resort. As guests enter the door to the reception are they will be
kissed by an angelic floral and fauna décor. The meal will be prepared by
Cacique Award winner, Chef Johnson...
POLICE officers from the South Western Division have broken up three major house break-in rings, and are searching for the leaders of two other gangs.
Showcasing thousands of dollars worth of electronics, jewellery, and other household items stolen from homes over the past few months, Superintendent Paul Rolle said officers have 10 people in custody in relation to 44 house break-ins.
They also expect to charge another six people they have in custody with a number of other related matters. The majority of those in custody, he said, are in their early 20s.
Detectives are seeking the public's help in apprehending David Cunningham Cooper, of Life Boyd Street, and Keno Johnson, of Coconut Grove, who ...
A high seven-figure deal for February Point in Exuma has fallen apart after a due diligence period, Guardian Business can confirm.
Talisker, a Toronto-based firm that owns and operates several high-end retreats in North America, came to preliminary terms with the principals of February Point back in January. At the time, owner of the property Randy Hart said Talisker would lead the island's "renaissance" through its global reputation and diverse, high-end clientele.
However, Jackie Johnson, a representative from Talisker, told Guardian Business yesterday that the deal is off the table.
"The deal is not happening," she said. "Talisker is not buying the property in Exuma. This is a final decision."
Jackson would not elaborate on exactly why the deal has fallen apart, citing that negotiations have been sensitive on both sides. According to sources familiar with the matter, there were many "moving parts and wrinkles" to the acquisition.
The news will likely come as a big disappointment to stakeholders on Exuma.
Khaalis Rolle, the minister of state for investments, previously hailed the initial agreement as an important development for the island. He said that Talisker holds "tremendous potential" given their resources, reach and history of success.
"So we're looking forward to completing this process and we'll do whatever is needed to facilitate it," he added.
The botched deal also takes away what would have been a hefty stamp duty for the public treasury.
Judy Herlock, a leading realtor on the island, expressed disappointment that the deal went sour.
"That's a pity. They were the most likely option to take over the property," she told Guardian Business. "We seem to go two steps forward and four steps backwards here on Exuma."
Herlock and others in the property business were intrigued with the possible introduction of Talisker, in the sense that the company could have driven up land values and brought new money to the destination. The Toronto-based firm was apparently seeking to invest considerably in the property by boosting its existing offerings and building new homes and amenities.
Herlock said that "there is nothing to get terribly excited about" on the island right now in terms of property sales. She said that more infrastructure is needed to justify the high prices for homes and vacant land.
That said, sources close to the matter said that February Point could still get scooped up by a foreign investor. John McGarvey, new owner of the Coconut Cove Hotel, is thought to be the second major suitor for the oceanfront property.
He is also the investor behind a proposed resort on Stocking Island and a concrete factory on land across from February Point.
Exuma currently benefits from a duty exemption on raw materials for construction, as instituted by the Progressive Liberal Party when it came into power last May.
Name: Ron Johnson
Position: Culinary artist, Savory Art Culinary & Consultation Service
Guardian Business: Can you briefly describe your experience in the tourism sector and what your role is today?
Ron: I've been a part of the hospitality industry since the age of 16. I was an apprentice chef at the Atlantis Resort & Casino and eventually left my post for educational pursuits. However, during my tenure at the property, I've always felt a strong sense of pride and responsibility ensuring guest satisfaction, simultaneously pleasing my superiors. Whether local or international cuisine was requested, working independently or with a team, contentment was the primary goal. It should be noted that in most areas of people activity, food is involved either in overt or subtle ways.
After attaining my formal educational goals, I've currently been active as a personal/private chef for celebrities, affluent individuals and occasionally working aboard yachts (seven in total thus far), cruising to the Exuma Cays and sometimes Harbour Island, showcasing elements of island flare and other cuisines to the best of my ability. At 31, I would see myself as a culinary ambassador of sorts, particularly to those unfamiliar with tropical cuisine.
GB: Why did you choose to work in tourism as a career?
Ron: At first, the career chose me, along with my mother's stern guidance and foresight. After graduation from high school, I had no idea of what path I would take. I felt idle, without purpose and eager to make a quick buck. I enrolled at The Bahamas Hotel Training College (now called School of Hospitality Training Studies) and found myself performing fairly well, particularly out of fear and love. The fears of letting anybody think I was inadequate were intertwined with my affinity for the profession.
I eventually simmered down and found it was something that I could handle fairly well. It allowed me to be creative with my hands, only limited to what my mind could conceive. A friend told me that certain African tribes believed that your spirit/vibe was transferred into your food creations. I would hope people get an overwhelming sense of love and commitment when they taste what I create.
GB: What has been your most memorable moment?
Ron: Most experiences I've had thus far have their own merit in my life. One in particular, as Montell Williams personal chef aboard a three-week yacht trip throughout the Exuma Cays, still permeates in my memory. Although I've had the pleasure of cooking for him a few times prior to the most recent trip, we had a chance to really have in depth discussions about my future in general and I got to interact on a higher level with his family and staff; they were truly appreciative of what I fed them and the level of professionalism I maintained. Beware of getting too 'familiar' with a guest or client by the way.
Notwithstanding, they were appreciative to the point that they questioned and hesitated dining out on other yachts they got invited on or local restaurants because the precedent I set made them compare my performance; they said it was better than others. The reassuring moment came when he complimented my mother about my professionalism and gave me a hefty 'thank you' gift that made me smile from ear to ear; he personally gave me his contact information as well.
GB: Has the industry changed since you started your career? How?
Ron: Where to begin? I'm a bit at a disadvantage properly responding to this, as my personalized service isolates me to a degree. However, I converse with colleagues and make observations as well. On a side note, the common misperception is that when one sees a chef jacket of sorts, they automatically assume you are employed at a hotel. There are other atypical, unconventional places chefs work at such as stand-alone restaurants and chocolate factories, as well as in positions as personal chefs, food and beverage directors and managers of franchises and supermarkets. The industry has changed in other ways as well to my knowledge. As we are in the Information Age, access to revered techniques, recipes and ideas are easily accessible at the speed of touch and type. I'm also noticing a stronger push for utilizing native grown produce.
GB: What should The Bahamas focus on to stay competitive?
Ron: This is a hard question to answer in that a definite response does not justly address a myriad of issues one may perceive. However, I can speak to factors such as nutrition, redefining and elevating our cuisine and adapting more European culinary disciplines in our forte. Generally speaking, our food is truly tasty and satiating. Tourists from across the globe make an effort to try chowders, stews and souses, fritters, peas n' rice, Bahama Mamas and other local gastronomy. Adversely, our diet impairs our health. Finding creative ways to preserve or create new flavors with an emphasis on wellbeing for the health conscious or apprehensive tourist (or native) is barely exploited.
Lastly, for those with a high appreciation of fine dining, we can improve on presentation and modern techniques; the taste is already there.. I'd like to see a Bahamian restaurant achieve a Michelin Star or three, fully exploiting local produce. That would definitely garner attention to our country and perhaps promote more food-based tourism to a different audience.
By LAMECH JOHNSON
By LAMECH JOHNSON
The Bahamas is expected to field a stronger team when the Freeport players are added to the mix this weekend.
Playing in their second try, the U19 select youth rugby squad will go up against the Canadian team, Joan of Arc, at 2 p.m. Saturday, at the Winton Rugby Field. This is the first match-up for the national select squad, which started training late last year. According to Elystan Miles, director in the Bahamas Rugby Football Union (BRFU), the team still has a lot of work to do. Miles also noted that the friendly games are being used as an evaluation for the local coaches.
Miles said: "This is the first time many of them are actually playing organized rugby, more of a tournament style play. To be honest, the team here just started training several months back and you can see them making progress. We aren't putting any pressure on them; we are quite aware of their strengthens and weaknesses. All we need to do is see how they perform and take it from there.
"The team coming in from Canada is a strong one, but the players from Freeport are also strong so we are expecting a better game tomorrow. Over in Freeport, they have a strong youth rugby program. Here in Nassau, we are just trying to build our program. So we have gone into the schools. Those players who are coming out, you can see improvements but more work is needed."
The BRFU recently launched their high school program, using it as a feeder system for national teams. So far, several schools are playing rugby, including C.R. Walker Senior High, Doris Johnson Senior High, Queen's College and St. Augustine's College.
Training for persons in the program will continue, with the hopes of several of the players being named to the national U19 team that will take part in a regional tournament in July. That tournament will be played in Trinidad and Tobago. A local Youth Sevens tournament is scheduled in the upcoming weeks. That will be used as preparation for the regional event.
The national men's squad will play in the North America Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) tournament starting April 13.
Nassau, Bahamas -
Tourism Today takes you on the red carpet at opening night of the 7th
annual Bahamas International Film Festival held at Atlantis in Paradise
Island which took place from December 1st to 5th.
In this video
you will hear from the Director General of the Bahamas Ministry of
Tourism, David Johnson; the Bahamas Film Commissioner, Craig Woods; and
visiting American actor, Arthur Braddy III.
About 6,000 sports technicians from Cuba have been positioned throughout 50 countries, and are assisting with the sports development programs in those respective locations. In The Bahamas, two Cubans are working with the Bahamas Swim Federation (BSF). In a short period of time, the likelihood is that Cuban sports experts might be in this country in double figures.
In fact, as of the official signing of the Agreement for Sports Cooperation with The Bahamas on Tuesday, September 24 in Cuba, the gate was opened for the process of Cuban technical assistance into this country. Cuban Ambassador Ernesto Soberon Guzman who led the negotiations between his country and the Bahamian Government during the steps toward the venture, said congratulations were in order for Cuba and The Bahamas. He expressed his sentiments during a press conference held at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture on Monday, October 7. The signing of the cooperation arrangement was announced at the conference.
Dr. Daniel Johnson, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, who signed on behalf of The Bahamas Government, called the occasion "extremely historic."
"For many decades we in The Bahamas have wanted to establish (this sort) of relationship with Cuba. The time has come. Fidel Castro with his vision has built a society of people, many who are champions in their very own rights. We have received an opportunity to utilize (this relationship) as a tool to develop in sports medicine, in the field of competition and in humanity. We (in The Bahamas) must cooperate to maximize this relationship. God gave us a sign. It is time," emphasized Minister Johnson while on tour in Cuba September 22-25.
The minister was accompanied by Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture Calvin Balfour, National Director of Sports Tim Munnings, Director of Sports in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Evon Wisdom, and National Sports Academy committee members D'Arcy Rahming and Fred Sturrup.
The portfolio of the technicians made available by the Cuban Government is extensive. Cubadeportes, the organization that is responsible for monitoring the technical assistance program, calls it the "Experience of Champions" with good reasons. The work of the Cubans in other countries has resulted in many champions. As for The Bahamas, Cuban coaches and trainers have been largely responsible for the success of amateur boxers Taureano Johnson, Valentino Knowles and Carl Heild.
Cubadeportes touts the program heavily:
"The Technical Assistance consists of sending professionals to offer their knowledge related to sport to any country where it is wanted. More than 6,000 sport technicians, in more than 50 countries, offer their services in different disciplines such as chess, track and field, basketball, handball, baseball, boxing, canoeing, cycling, diving, equestrian, fencing, soccer, artistic gymnastics, musical aerobics, general gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, hockey, roller derby, judo, karate do, weightlifting, wrestling, swimming, synchronized swimming, skating, water polo, rowing, sculling, softball, taekwondo, court tennis, table tennis, archery, shooting, sailing and volleyball.
"All these sport technicians are trainers, methodology workers, specialists in sport medicine, computer experts, people graduated at the Superior Institute of Physical Culture, masters and doctors, professors of the same institute, general advisers, specialists in integral organization of multidisciplinary events and in diagnostic studies for sport development, professors of physical education, specialists in rules and refereeing, psychologists, nutritionists and physiotherapists."
Such will be provided through the agreement between Cuba and The Bahamas. The Cuban Government, through Ambassador Guzman, made a large group of program directors and department heads, steeped in knowledge of the Cuban Sports System, available to the Bahamian delegation.
They included First Vice President of the Institute of Sports and Recreation (INDER) Roberto Leon Richards Aguiar, Vice President of INDER Jorge A. Polo Vazquez, National Health Promotion and Physical Education Director Gladys Becquer Diaz, Director Nilde Molina Secada from the National Gymnastic School, Director Jorge Pavel Pino of the Sports Medicine Institute, Ariel Sainz, president of the Cuban Volleyball Federation, Rector Barbara Tandron Negrin of the International School of Physical Education, Director Julio Falcon Ruffin from the Higher School of High Performance Athletes, Cubadeportes General Manager Carlos Rodriguez Acosta, Director of Events and Travel Agency Pedro Urquia Montano, Director of Technical Assistance Tania Olaniel Gonzales, Rector Antonio Becali Garrido of the University of Physical Culture and Sports Sciences, Fernando Rojas of the Ministry of Culture, and INDER Senior International Relations Specialist Ileana Alfonso Valdes.
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