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BOC gives important portfolio to Lewis

Sports Scope
FRED STURRUP

Published: May 17, 2013

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Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) President Wellington Miller has assigned portfolios to the entire executive lot. Interestingly enough, Iram Lewis, the embattled vice president of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA), was given a very important job. He is responsible for Family Islands Research.

Obviously the ongoing BAAA executive fight was not a factor at all in Miller’s endorsement of the highly significant role Lewis must now play. Lewis, BAAA Secretary General Carl Oliver and parents association president Harrison Petty were recently the targets of a ‘no confidence’ vote that they deemed to have been processed unconstitutionally. Subsequently, they successfully applied for a Court Order to stay the action.

For the BOC, it’s business as usual. Lewis has a mandate that ironically makes him a much bigger power player in sports than the president of the BAAA. It is Lewis who is best positioned and authorized to drive the sports talent search throughout the Family Islands. Based on the stated objective of BOC chief Miller, Lewis is expected to thoroughly examine the Family Islands on a continual basis to ensure that all of the “raw talent” is uncovered.

“We expect the Family Islands portfolio to have the best of results. This is something that I wanted to do from four years ago. Portfolios were assigned but the work wasn’t done. This time it is out there for the general public to see what the real intentions of the BOC are when it comes particularly to national sports development.

“We in the BOC recognize that the search for talent is the missing piece of the puzzle in our sports industry. We’ve given Iram a big job and we have confidence that he can do it. We will provide Iram and all the others with what they need to carry out their responsibilities,” Miller informed.

He advocates that initially Lewis should reach out to all of the development programs going on in the Family Islands, especially those with a working template. He feels that once Lewis has made contact with those in the Family Islands who are working with progressive structures or the trainers who are struggling individually to nurture young athletic boys and girls, his job will be easier.

“It’s Lewis’ job to do, but it makes sense to check out the sports scene in each inhabited family island and then determine the format the overall program. We are sure about what we are doing. Lewis has the background to be successful with his mandate,” added Miller.

So, Lewis finds himself under the microscope. He will be challenged to perform efficiently despite the BAAA controversy. His BOC colleagues have placed a lot of faith in him. Hopefully he can justify the decision. On the other hand, although there are those within the BAAA family who want him out of the executive picture, it should be recognized that he is the only one positioned with authority to act on behalf of the track and field community around the BOC table.

It’s a situation that’s not enviable. BAAA President Sands and his supporters who backed the vote of ‘no confidence’ in Lewis now find themselves in a position whereby they need him to speak out for the organization. Lewis’ portfolio is inclusive of all disciplines but track and field is a core sport and accordingly will get a high level of attention. It is Lewis who has evolved as the key track and field administrator in the nation.

If the agenda at the bottom of the BAAA controversy is not personal and more about the development of track and field athletes across the length and breadth of this country, then despite the big issue, Sands and company should reach across the executive divide within the organization, grasp Lewis’ hand and agree to move forward.

Lewis is a fixture as a BOC vice president, at least for the next four years of an electoral period endorsed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). That should be fully recognized.

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


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