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PLP sports interest is an encouraging sign

Sports Scope
  • PLP Leader, Perry Christie. TNG file photo

FRED STURRUP
Guardian Columnist/Sales Executive

Published: Apr 11, 2012

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Over the years, I’ve been perhaps the staunchest critic of local politicians because of their seemingly nonchalant approach to the national sports program.  In this space, the cry has gone out often for the national sports program to be elevated into the top budget allocations.

Something interesting and, quite frankly, unexpected happened the other day.  The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) made the decision to be the major sponsor to bring the performances of our track and field athletes home via radio and television, live, from the CARIFTA Games in Bermuda.

It was an innovative undertaking and a truly pleasant and well-received gesture.  This is the height of the political campaign season as the official opposition PLP, the governing Free National Movement (FNM), the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) and independents posture their positions.

It could be a great political ploy by the PLP.

Only the opposition leader, Perry Christie, and the rest of the PLP brass can ever speak honestly about that aspect.

What’s the bottom line here though?

The truth be told, this sports interest of the PLP is an encouraging sign.  It makes one begin to believe that finally the politicians seem to be getting the message.

The PLP joined forces with JCN Channel 14 and Sports Radio 103.5 FM to take Bahamian television watchers and radio listeners close up to the competition in Bermuda.

It was enjoyable.

Hopefully this is a trend that will continue in the future.  The political entities focus on many national issues.  Thus far, particularly during this campaign spell, they had ignored sports.  A political party taking the initiative to boost the national sports picture gives hope that central administrations will take heed.

The political parties spend huge amounts of dollars in attempts to get their messages out to the electorate.  The electorate includes a large percentage of voters who are based within the country’s sports fraternity.  Helping sports will always be a plus.

I’ve had the occasion to lambast Christie and his party when in governance for not making good on the grand sports infrastructure promise for the Family Islands.  It is only fair to give credit when it is due.

Certainly, the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA), parents and guardians of the 2012 CARIFTA team, the athletes themselves, their supporters and Bahamians in general had a high level of appreciation to be able to see sons and daughters of the soil representing the country.

It’s one of those feel-good stories that politicians are rarely deservedly associated with.

This time, though, there ought to be nods of appreciation to the PLP.

It’s beyond politics.  It’s more so satisfaction that politicians have stepped up to the plate to financially aid sports in a special way.

Let’s see if the future brings continuity.

 

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

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