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Ministry of Education’s sports focus important to growth

Sports Scope
  • Jerome Fitzgerald.


Published: Aug 12, 2013

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The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology must be applauded for its most recent focus on sports development. In response to an application for assistance from the Bahamas Parents Association of Track and Field Athletes, the ministry’s Scholarship and Loan Division has chipped in handsomely.

Up to 20 qualified student/athletes presented by the Parents Association each year, will receive up to $3,000 towards their subsistence in colleges/universities in the United States.

It’s a rather nice windfall for the Parents Association that has forged ahead despite the depressed economic times, to afford many young Bahamian boys and girls advanced educational and athletic opportunities abroad. The gesture by the ministry is also a clear indication that there is an understanding of the responsibility to assist in the full development of students.

Sports disciplines have always been a significant aspect of the curriculum of schools. The course of study in our system is heavy on sports and the focus has resulted in one of the bright lights, consistently, in the Bahamian society. Minister Jerome Fitzgerald, Director of Education Lionel Sands and those who directly coordinate the Scholarship and Educational Loan Division are demonstrating good balance with the funds available to the ministry.

At the outset when he was given responsibility for the important government ministry, Fitzgerald expressed the intention to be comprehensive in his approach to the business at hand. Sports development is high on the agenda. The examples include also the EduKarting Summer Program, another new initiative.

The program enables young students to be educated about the finer points of go-kart racing, inclusive of mechanical knowledge and actual racing skills. Minister Fitzgerald took a hands-on approach when he suited up in racing attire and drove a few laps during a recent camp.

He’s serious.

So the assistance to the Bahamas Parents Association of Track and Field Athletes fits right into his overall plan.

“The recognition by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of this important body of work we in the Parents Association are doing to assist in the development of young boys and girls of The Bahamas means a lot to us,” said BPATF President Harrison Petty.

“It’s not just about the financial aid, although we can certainly use the money and will do so wisely to the benefit of students.

“For us though, we feel appreciated and endorsed as a necessary arm of education and sports development in the country.”

He expressed satisfaction that despite everything that has been happening in the country’s track and field family, the role his association plays has remained constant.

“We have stayed on course, with the athletes as the top item on the agenda. For us it is all about the athletes and working towards as many chances as are possible to uplift them and prepare them better for the years ahead,” added Petty.

The BPATF will be responsible for ensuring that the applicants meet all of the conditions required.


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


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