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A firm push to CARIFTA Games 2013 is important

Sports Scope
  • BAAA President Mike Sands

Guardian Columnist/Sales Executive

Published: Apr 20, 2012

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The Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) has been given the opportunity to host the 2013 CARIFTA Games. BAAA President Mike Sands and I chatted recently. He is well aware of the necessity for a firm push to get everything in order for overall success to result.

For The Bahamas, it will be more than just trying to catch and pass Jamaica, the perennial CARIFTA Games champion. Excellence could in fact define all aspects of the top regional junior track and field competition if proper planning is done. There is a need for recognition of what has to be done if the incoming representatives of our sister countries are to return to their respective homes satisfied with having been treated to an exceptional host job.

We can do it, but planning is important. I understand that BTC, a company that from all appearances is doing quite well in our country, will step forward to be a major sponsor of the 2013 version of the spectacular athletic event. I believe, given the very comfortable deal BTC got, it should be automatic for this kind of financial assistance and more, to be forthcoming.

So, Sands and company have that plus factor to begin the long journey to a successful 2013 CARIFTA Games. An organizing committee should be put in place. That’s urgent. Marketing, housing, coordination of travel arrangements, ticketing, ceremonial functions during and prior to the event, the competition officiating and the networking with the Sports Authority amount to a large body of work that has to be dealt with.

It’s one huge challenge facing Sands. The 2013 CARIFTA Games more than anything else he has been a part of, figures to put some kind of a stamp on his administrative capacity, positive or otherwise. Quite frankly, I’m convinced Sands knows what needs to happen and the kind of structure he needs to put in place.

As one of our best athletes (a sprint specialist during the 1970s) he was always a hard worker. He will work hard to have the 2013 CARIFTA Games succeed. The big question mark for Sands and the rest of the BAAA is the networking with the Sports Authority.

How that goes will depend on just how efficient that entity becomes. Officially, the Sports Authority now has total responsibility over the country’s sporting facilities. It is unfortunate though that the Sports Authority is not yet “up and running” appropriately. That all-important national arm of sports, legislated by parliament, is still struggling to become a solid functioning body. While we know who the members of the authority are, no day-to-day operating personnel have been announced.

It would have been ideal if the BAAA had the benefit of a vibrant Sports Authority at this time. The view here is that the 2013 Games will be the first major sporting event to take place in the new Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. Incidentally, our sterling quarter-miler Chris Brown has talked about staging his invitational in April of next year.

Can the Sports Authority get it together to accommodate the CARIFTA Games and the Brown invitational track and field meet? How will the Sports Authority fulfill its obligations? Answers to such questions are vital to people like Sands who don’t wish to be embarrassed as hosts.

I look forward to the 2013 Games, the Chris Brown invitational, other track and field events as well as prospective soccer activities at the national stadium. Right now, the Sports Authority is the biggest question mark. Best wishes for the 2013 CARIFTA Games to Sands and the BAAA.

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

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