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BAAA celebrates 60 years

  • Mike Sands.

KELSIE JOHNSON
Guardian Sports Reporter
kelsie@nasguard.com

Published: May 04, 2012

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There are lots of achievements the local governing body for track and field in the country, the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) can celebrate, but its 60th anniversary is topping the list.

The executive members are rolling out the red carpet on Sunday, the anniversary day of the association. They will attend a church service at Evangelistic Temple and the banquet will be held on May 27 at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. All athletes and supporters are invited to the two events planned by the BAAA.

In 1952, a group of young men formed the association which at that time was called the Bahamas Amateur Athletic Association. A meeting was called at the office of Alfred F. Adderley, who was later elected the president. Joining Adderley on the first slate were Cecil. V. Bethel, Gerald Cash, Edwin Davies, Reginald Farrington, Randol Fawkes, Joseph Garfunkle, Kendal Isaacs, Edward Mitchell, Fred Moultrie, Cyril Richardson, and Reginald John Robertson.

That same year the association was adopted by the international body, the International Amateur Athletic Association (IAAA), but did not compete in the Helsinki Games. The first international game, since the formation of the group, was in 1956. That game was held in Melbourne, Australia. Thomas A Robinson competed in the 100 and 200 meters (m) that year. Skippers Sir Durward Knowles and Sloane Farrington won the Bronze medal in sailing.

Some years later, the amateur association hosted the first international competition, the CARIFTA Games in 1976. Since then five CARIFTA Games, three Central America and Caribbean (CAC) Age Group championships, two CAC Junior Championships, one CAC Cross Country Championships, two Central America and Caribbean Senior Championships and one Pan American Jr. track and field championships were held in The Bahamas. Other international and regional meets were also staged.

The first international medal was won in 1987 at the IAAF World Indoor Championships by Frank Rutherford. He picked up a bronze in the men’s triple jump. Rutherford cleared the way for a medal haul which includes Olympic Games and World Championship titles. The BAAA has also seen an improvement in ranking on the international and regional arenas.

Next year the association will play host to the annual CARIFTA Games in the new state-of-the-art Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.

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