|Challenging work load facing Sports Authority|
Guardian Columnist/Sales Executive
Published: Feb 27, 2012
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 email@example.com