BOC providing more opportunities for federation members
Guardian Sports Reporter
Published: Oct 18, 2013
By the time the 2016 Olympic Games roll around, the executives in the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) wants to have athletes qualify in at least four to five sporting disciplines, and rowing is not an exception.
In fact, the quest to qualification has already started for rowing with Lex Fountain and coach Jason Williams. The Bahamian duo is in San Salvador, El Salvador at the Latin America Youth Training Camp and Regatta. The 10-day course is designed to harness the skills, as well as introduce new ones to those participants.
General Secretary in the BOC, Romell Knowles revealed that Fountain was hand selected by the Bahamas Rowing Federation (BRF), as he is one of the top rowers in the program. Fountain is expected to compete at the Central American Junior Championships and at the Youth Olympic Games, the latter pending qualifications.
“The rowing program is one of many that we have started and will extend to all of our member federations,” said Knowles. “This particular program that Lex is attending, The Bahamas was extended an invite and we wanted to take full advantage of this opportunity too, so we contacted the Bahamas Rowing Federation (BRF), who selected Lex. We were told that he was rowing on a consistent basis, but just recreationally.
“This is a part of our development, providing more opportunities and building capacity. One of the strengths of this organization is we are recognized and respected by all of our international organizations. FISA has been active, putting a lot of money into their programs and is trying to encourage members to send athletes, in hopes of qualifying.”
Since the introduction of rowing and other sports like handball, archery, the resurgence of wrestling and taekwondo, Knowles said the interest level has increased around the country and the BOC will continue to work hard towards building.
He said: “We want to get more persons interested in what we call the not so glamour sports. We are building and assisting the handball, archery and rowing federations. There has been resurgence in wrestling and taekwondo. And more work is being put in for sports like badminton and fencing. We will continue to work with those Bahamians who want to compete internationally and try to build the smaller federations.”
A number of scholarship opportunities are available for those persons interested in the sport of rowing, according to Knowles. He encourages Bahamians to take complete advantage of the opportunities that are now available.