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Division in BAAA administration

Sports Scope

Published: May 09, 2013

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The Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (formerly Bahamas Amateur Athletic Association) is a storied organization, linked to some of the great contributors to a wholesome Bahamian society, through sports and otherwise.

Today, there exists a division within the administration of the BAAA that does not do justice at all to the honorable presidents who through the years guided the organization to the kind of prolific status that none other enjoys. It started with the venerable A.F. Adderley. Down the line, positioned at the helm of the BAAA, were stalwarts like his son Paul, Harold Munnings, Sir Arlington Butler, Rev. Enoch Backford, Winston Cooper, Dr. Bernard Nottage and Desmond Bannister, to name some.

Yes, there were differences of views among the executives of those administrations. However, they found a way to keep the business of the BAAA respectable. The BAAA in recent years has been vastly different from what it was in the past. There has been a vote of ‘no confidence’ because a group of executives were upset with how the present president of the BAAA, Mike Sands, functioned. He was allowed back at the top of the BAAA because a decision was made to “try it” with him again. Unfortunately, nothing much changed. There is a perceived attitude that is synonymous with Sands.

Fellow executives feel disrespected. When I consider what transpired during the 2013 CARIFTA Games and the weeks leading up to the 42nd version of the most important junior track and field event in the Caribbean region, I understand. I have been told that the incoming executives, who ousted the majority of Sands’ slate during last year’s elections, were shut out of the organizing of the CARIFTA Games.

I was told that once, two of the new executives sought to be a part of a CARIFTA Games Local Organizing Committee (LOC) meeting and were asked to leave. With my own eyes, I watched presentations take place during the CARIFTA Games and I saw none of the new executives during the honors. Presenters came from all over but apparently the new executives were not considered.

Also, the magazine of the games, while listing the members of the LOC, did not profile the executives, other than Sands. He might wish to say that it was all an oversight. Most of the executives think differently.

Now, there is further division with the ‘no confidence’ vote in executives Iram Lewis, Carl Oliver and Harrison Petty.

Lewis, who served as BAAA 1st Vice President, is still a vice president in the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC). This is so because the BAAA nominated Lewis by a vote of 8-3 over Sands. When that scene unfolded, it should have been clear to Sands that there was not a lot of confidence held in him, at least by the eight executives who did not vote for him.

Then, the BAAA voted for delegates to the BOC elections and again, they did not favor Sands. The situation amounts to Sands being a lame duck president. At some point, soon, he should be minded to recognize his predicament and seek to work with his executives sincerely, or he will be subjected to the same treatment for the rest of his term which runs to 2015.

He could resign. He could also face a second ‘no confidence’ vote. Whatever the case, the view here is that the BAAA needs its administrative team working together on the very same page in the interest of the young developing track and field athletes and those who do so well competitively in the representation of their country.


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

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