|Just one training camp for Olympic athletes|
Guardian Sports Reporter
Published: May 22, 2012
Scheduling two separate training camps for Bahamian Olympic qualifiers is an option that just cannot be explored by any of the sporting governing bodies which will be represented at the London Olympic Games.
Both the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) and the Bahamas Swimming Federation (BSF) intend to take full advantage of the camp set up by the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC). They will use it as the official training camp for the Summer Olympic Games that will be held in London, England.
In the past, provisions were made by the various sporting associations to host training camps ahead of the one that is usually in place by the BOC. This year, the sole training camp will be held in West Sussex, West London and is scheduled for July 16-25, just days before the start of the games. The London Summer Games will commence on July 27 and will run until August 12.
“Right now, we don’t have the list of athletes who will be attending the camp as yet,” said BOC Secretary General Romell Knowles. “The 4x100m ladies’ and men’s teams are trying to make sure that they have a good position, but the training camp is open to all of the athletes from July 16-25. Arianna [Vanderpool-Wallace] is going in on the 16th of July.
“It (setting up the camp) was challenging but not difficult because during the Chef de Mission’s seminar we toured a number of facilities. It was just a matter of communication; so in other words, it was not difficult at all. We will take care of all of the immediate expenses such as accommodations, usage of the training camp, meals, and provide athletes with stipends and transportation.”
Knowles said that the BOC has been in the Olympic mood from two and a half years ago. The early start, according to Knowles, was set in place in hopes of avoiding any last minute hiccups and conflicts in scheduling. He said that so far, everything is going according to plan.
It is just 66 days before the London Games official start. The training camp is going to cost around $40,000. The reason for the one training camp is not the money, but the time constraint, Knowles pointed out.
“The thing is while we have all the process and procedures in place, and working with the organizing committee, it is just a matter of knowing who the athletes are who have qualified and scheduling them to and from London. That process is going on now, so pretty much we are ready. We just finished our pre-PDRM last week, that is the delegates registration meeting. We go over the number of persons based on the number of athletes who have qualified thus far. We go on the number of spots available, in terms of coaches for the delegations, the opening dates for the venue, speaking to everyone who we are actually accrediting like the prime minister and governor general, the high commissioner and their entourage. We discussed stuff like the games village and the number of beds that will be available – the amenities that will be available to the athletes.”
The only difficulty Knowles said he might face is the purchasing of airline tickets. Right now the committee is looking at about 20 persons to qualify. This number does not include potential relay team members.