Sporting fraternity eager for Johnson’s presentation
Published: Jun 01, 2013
The budget presentation of Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Perry Christie outlined the areas of attention for the new fiscal period. The overall presentation did not go into details and the press conference held subsequently with ministers of the government available to answer questions, did not uncover all of the nuts and bolts of the nation’s financial engine for 2013-2014.
As a result, Bahamians will have to either fully digest the budget themselves or wait for the respective presentations of ministers in the House of Assembly.
Members of sporting communities are eagerly looking forward to the time when Dr. Daniel Johnson gets up next in the House of Assembly. Members of the country’s sports family will want all of the details regarding the proposed facilities, the extent of the structures, just where in the islands they will be put in place and the time lines.
The news understandably is welcomed in the islands. The big focus is the government providing long overdue facilities for the young lads and lasses of the islands. Equally important is the jobs that will be available in the communities because of the ongoing works.
This is all very good.
The government’s plan will be the much-needed shot in the arm for sports. Proper coordination is important however. Dr. Johnson will be the one responsible to the government for carrying out the program. He is charged with getting the right players into the game. The wide area that has to be covered presents an uphill climb for the minister.
Managing the allocated funds to ensure that the program operates efficiently and is productive, is a huge task, given the financial limitation of the government.
It’s a tall order for the government but a challenge that has to be taken to further bolster the national sports industry. According to Johnson, the process will begin within a month.
“We are going to begin this very ambitious program in the summer, first week of July, we will begin. This allocation for the sports facilities in the Family Islands is $10 million. That does not include Nassau. There are ongoing works to be done at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Center, but that is the recurring budget. The new budget allocation is really to get the family of islands up to speed where we know there are thousands of young people who have no access to sports facilities,” Minister Johnson was quoted in a Nassau Guardian article written by Kelsie Johnson.
Then, there is the National Sports Academy. The academy will include centers of sports excellence and mini academies throughout the country. The make-up of the National Sports Academy, Minister Johnson is expected to disclose during his House of Assembly presentation.
The structure of the National Sports Academy is significant.
Who will be the drivers of the initiative from the national base?
Who will be the outriders, helping to bring the program together from different island locations and with separate portfolios?
The dawn of a new era of sports in the country approaches.
We wait with keen anticipation.
• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com.