Cuban Influence Counted On To Boost Local Sports
Published: Jul 06, 2013
The Government of the Republic of Cuba is prepared to reach an agreement to cooperate with this country with the development of boxing in particular and sports in general.
This was confirmed when I met with Ambassador Ernesto Soberon Guzman on Wednesday of this week. The resident Cuban Ambassador is very interested in laying the foundation for a sports connection with his country that could prove invaluable in the future.
Ambassador Guzman’s presence here coincides with a new sports industry era in the country.
“We are on the way to having two agreements with your country. One is in boxing, and the other is in sports in general. We hope to do all we can to assist,” said the ambassador. Of course, the bigger picture is Cuba providing a shoulder for its Caribbean neighbors to learn on.
During the 1970s, Jamaican sports officials and the government developed a solid relationship with Cuba in sports.
Look at Jamaica today!
It has taken much longer for there to be full realization here in this country of how sensible it is to emulate the Cuban National Sports Program.
There is a lot about sports in Cuba that sports leaders here in this country would be wise to learn and ultimately put in place to help craft a true national sports program of our very own.
“We are here. We have been helping to some degree. We want to do more and the agreements when they are signed, will enable this to happen,” said Ambassador Guzman.
According to Ambassador Guzman it is expected that a Bahamian delegation will be accommodated in Cuba, in September of this year, after which it is anticipated that the relationship of full cooperation will begin in earnest. This is a great opportunity for The Bahamas.
I see nothing wrong in patterning our national sports program directly after Cuba. I think this should be done in totality. It’s not just about boxing, track and field, swimming and the other core sports. Archery, shooting, canoeing, diving and wrestling are disciplines Bahamians should do well in. I believe we can develop Olympic competitors in those disciplines. Bahamas Olympic Committee President Wellington Miller feels the same way. In fact, he has confirmed that there is a big move afoot in the BOC to concentrate on the disciplines that have not been popular in the country.
“We have to begin thinking about a greater participation in the Olympics. Bahamians can do well in archery, diving, shooting and other events. We in the [BOC] feel we have to provide the opportunities for this kind of expansion,” said Miller.
There is Cuba, waiting to assist.
We ought to grab the hand Ambassador Guzman is extending, and seize the moment.
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com).