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Sports focus on islands key to national process

Sports Scope
FRED STURRUP

Published: Oct 07, 2013

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The key island in the country, New Providence, is such for a number of reasons.  Central administrations have always been anchored here and accordingly New Providence is the strong pulse of the nation.

Meanwhile, the Family Islands have been greatly upstaged.  The ones with the small populations have indeed suffered in virtual isolation.  The view here is that the time has come for our governments to begin targeting the islands for more activities across the board.

The process can begin in earnest with sports.  Prime Minister Perry Christie, when he announced plans for a National Sports Academy and four centers of sports excellence, clearly demonstrated an understanding that the Family Islands must be brought into the mix for total sports development.

That is in fact, significant to the overall success.

For far too long, raw talent in all core disciplines has slipped through the cracks.

They have gone undiscovered.  In most of the instances, even when youngsters with great potential for sports success surfaced, the environment to nurture them into world elite performers was not available.

This is still the case in the islands, to a great extent.  However, the plan to provide quality facilities, and first-rate training programs for the country, inclusive of all the islands, is on the table.  It is the key to the national sports development process.  The discussions are ongoing and if proper actions follow the many meetings, look to see top performances by Bahamian athletes multiply in the near future and going forward through the years.

I have no doubt that with the Olympic sports more medals of every variety will be forthcoming.  I predict that as early as 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, The Bahamas will make greater inroads at the Olympics.

In non-Olympic sports,

Bahamians will also enjoy huge progress.

This will only happen, though, if the right steps are taken.  The adequate financial chest to drive national sports development must be provided by The Bahamas government.

Those individuals charged with the responsibility of orchestrating the government’s sports program, should be monitored closely to ensure that the important work committed to is being done.  They ought to be properly fortified as well.

This is a pivotal stage for sports development in the land.  If mishandled, we will lose a wonderful opportunity to take this country to heights that would have The Bahamas comparable to Jamaica in track and field and gain us world attention in several other disciplines, inclusive of combat sports, basketball, volleyball and soccer.

Yes, this is an important moment in time for sports development.

The prime minister understandably has to be careful, given the state of the economy, but he pulls the strings.  The focus on sports throughout the inhabited islands is certainly key to this country’s future.

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1505@gmail.com.


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