|Bahamas a favorite of IAAF Chief Diack|
Guardian Columnist/Sales Executive
Published: Nov 12, 2012
It is clear that Lamine Diack likes The Bahamas. The long-standing president of the International Association of Athletics Federations took delight in The Bahamas being named to host the first World Relays in 2014.
Diack has a relationship of sorts with The Bahamas. Several years back, he visited and held talks regarding The Bahamas being the location for the IAAF Hall of Fame. He was hosted by the then Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Neville Wisdom.
It was a significant visit. At the end of the day, having a discussion with Minister Wisdom and Prime Minister Perry Christie and touring a prospective site at Sandyport, it appeared that Diack was set on the IAAF Hall of Fame being in The Bahamas.
It was a big plus for The Bahamas, orchestrated by Wisdom.
“Over the years, Lamine and I developed a personal relationship. Yes we talked a lot about The Bahamas being the physical location for the IAAF Hall of Fame. I know that he has a lot of respect and admiration for the Caribbean and he thought the region would be a good setting for the Hall of Fame,” said Wisdom recently.
The possibility still exists that The Bahamas will be the home of the IAAF Hall of Fame. What happens with the 2014 World Relays could be a determining factor. It is therefore understandable that Diack was complimentary about the country when the announcement of the World Relays was made in London this past August.
Here is a quote from the IAAF site:
“The wonderful athletics competition in London (2012 Olympics) has not only reinforced the appeal of our sport but specifically the popularity of relay races, which the spectators find dramatic and exciting. We are confident that this new special event, at the beginning of the season, will really help to promote the sport further. We were delighted when The Bahamas stepped forward to host because this country is passionate about athletics and has a tremendous reputation in the relay races. We have received strong support and financial guarantees from the Government of The Bahamas that will help us, together with our partner the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA), to deliver an excellent and exciting product.”
That’s a rather nice endorsement of The Bahamas, certainly. The scenario is ample evidence of the vast potential I speak to in this space often about our sports industry.
A very powerful world sports figure is in our corner. Diack has confidence in us The Bahamas.
We must make every effort to justify his faith in us. The Bahamian government through the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture is thus challenged to lead the way and ensure that the nation capitalizes on the Diack factor.
• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com.