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Harrison Petty emerges as big power behind scene in BAAA

Sports Scope
  • Harrison Petty.

Guardian Columnist/Sales Executive

Published: Nov 27, 2012

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The big difficulty that Mike Sands had going into the recent Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations’ (BAAA) elections was the loss of Harrison Petty as one of his supporters.

Petty went public with his opposition to Sands as president and threw all of his influence, financially as well, behind Iram Lewis and the rest of that slate. With one noted exception, he achieved success. Lewis did not win the presidency but is the first vice and set to build confidence for the next time around.

Petty, without a doubt, has been the marketing genius who drove BAAA initiatives in recent times. He spent funds and made available office space to the organization. He was for years the catalyst of the Parents of Track and Field Athletics Association. He has been a stalwart in securing scholarships for scores of athletes.

Petty is indeed, a powerful element in the Bahamian track and field family. The annual end-of-year BAAA Awards Banquet is coming up and it’s a safe bet that he is at the helm of the planning. Yes, Petty is important to the program and is now on the same page with a power block of executives. What does this mean for Sands?

Definitely, Petty’s position is the same as it was prior to the elections. There is one major change. He is supportive of the other executives for the most part and confident that they will be capable of leading a turnaround for the BAAA.

How do you lose the support of someone who is so deeply entrenched in the progress of the BAAA? That’s another question that Sands needs to reflect upon. Obviously, Sands failed to recognize signs of disillusionment in his leadership from throughout the organization. He could have used Petty as a barometer. Petty was the appropriate gauge by which Sands could have gotten a good idea of his standing in the organization. Did he

ignore the signs? Did an arrogant nature cause him to be defiant in the face of the growing unhappiness with the presidential role he was playing?

Whatever the case, he missed the boat badly. That same Petty, who felt grossly ignored, seemingly is now more highly regarded by the current executives of the BAAA than Sands. This is a most interesting situation.

Many in the BAAA family do not know Petty quite as I do. The former respected management level banker has always been very serious about his objectives. Petty was deeply saddened by the obvious disconnect between significant segments of the country’s track and field family and Sands. He believed then and now that fundamental changes are necessary in order for the spirit of togetherness to flourish within the BAAA. He did something about it. He supported a change. I believe that the organization is now poised to reach its true potential.

In the background of the core executives will be one Harrison Petty, with an agenda that is not personal, rather one geared for full development of our talented young boys and girls in track and field.


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

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