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Coach Williams waits patiently for mini sports academy help

Sports Scope
  • Anthony Williams.

FRED STURRUP

Published: Oct 30, 2013

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The mentor and chief architect of the best mini sports academy template in the country is patiently waiting.

He and his family are absorbing the brutal costs of housing young native islanders in double figures, while ensuring that they are trained to sprint with the best of their peers in the world, and at the same time, pay full attention to their academic studies.

It is a monumental task the Rev. Anthony Williams of Moore’s Island in the Abacos, has undertaken. He has taken the little Bahamian habitat to the world through his coaching efforts and the raw talents of his young sprinters. Coach Williams is on the cutting edge of something phenomenal in the history of this country. How long can he and his family hold out under such a burdensome sacrifice?

Coach Williams informed me recently that his group of young boys from the island has grown to 15. He gives them full accommodation at his home, inclusive of food, coaching, academic mentoring and the whole “care” works. Besides the in-home responsibility he and Mrs. Williams face on a day-to-day basis, the coach, such a decent reverend gentlemen, has also extended his hands to assist two other families of Moore’s Island with their children.

The man is simply incredible. However, he admittedly is feeling the strain. His voice, normally moderate in any case, was particularly subdued when he called me.

“It’s tough. I’ve got 15 boys living at home now and I’m also helping two more who are with their families. So many promises have been made to me to help with the situation. This is my passion, but it’s very tough. You know, right now, my program is going on by the grace of God and I keep waiting to see the promises become real,” said Coach Williams.

So much that goes on in this country could follow a more positive and productive route if not for the disheartening red tape that seemingly is faced at every turn. Many worthwhile projects get bogged down in bureaucracy. It seems such has been the case for Coach Williams and his Moore’s Island speedsters for quite a long time, and, through changing central administrations. None of the politicians can legitimately point a finger.

The current prime minister, Perry Christie, caused a lot of excitement within the Bahamian sports industry back in July when he passionately emphasized his National Sports Academy objective. He has often reiterated his strong position on the issue, in the House of Assembly, and outside. This proposed umbrella organization is to feed off mini programs such as the high-potential one Coach Williams has in Moore’s Island.

I sincerely believe Prime Minister Christie is very serious about the National Sports Academy coming on stream, officially and legally, with urgency. Yet, the movement appears to be languishing. Accordingly, a true icon with a primary passion to build quality young men into productive adults, is increasingly becoming frustrated.

Hang in there, Coach Williams!

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


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