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American football in Grand Bahama - Part I

Sports Scope
NG Columnist/Sales Executive

Published: Oct 20, 2011

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Two years ago, a sporting milestone was achieved in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. With the Grand Bahama American Football program as the catalyst, an under-19 team represented the nation at an International Federation of American Football (IFAF) regional tournament in Panama.

The association with the IFAF was a significant step and paved the way for the sport to get the kind of world prominence it had not gotten before. American LaLisa Anthony spearheaded the American Football program in Grand Bahama and still holds the position of president of the Bahamas American Football Federation (BAFF).

However, Stanford Duhaney is now the football maestro in the island. He heads the Bahamas Youth Football (BYF) organization as the commissioner and is in charge also of Flag Football in Grand Bahama. Anthony is no longer based in Freeport so it falls also to Duhaney to be the prime mover locally for the BAFF.

The man has a plate that is quite full and should be given the maximum support. As in other sports disciplines, the raw talent is certainly in Grand Bahama for American Football. Some of the momentum has been lost but the enthusiasm is still strong for American Football in Grand Bahama.

Flag football has proven to be an extremely exciting dimension to the sports picture. A major BAFF affair is planned for early in 2012. The BYF new season is due to start, on October 29, and Duhaney is set to go.

“Yes, I’m encouraged. We had a bit of a general lull when some of our support fell off, but I’m convinced that we are back on track. I can say that Youth Football in the island is still surviving and I really look forward to a vibrant season. There are six teams made up from some 200 athletes who are in the program and the future really looks bright. You know the kids today have the physical size. They are excited and want to play. We have the connection to provide the equipment for them. The season is going to be exciting.

“I see signs of the support coming back and this is good. There is great potential for advancement in American Football in Grand Bahama. We have the numbers. The interest is certainly there among the young lads and once we get the support, the sky is the limit for us. There is one thing we have to do. We have to make sure that we become sound in fundamentals and technical. I can’t emphasize more just how important it is for the kids to be properly taught the game,” said Duhaney.

There are indeed so many skill items that need to be addressed, digested and passed on to the youngsters for them to be able to compete favorably against their peers in the region and the wider world jurisdiction of the IFAF. It is a big undertaking for Duhaney. Grand Bahama should rally around him. The noble venture of developing the youth of our nation ought to be appreciated by all.

(This series will continue tomorrow. To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at fredericksturrup@gmail.com)

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