Board paves the way forward for the next four years
Tasked with the mandate of pushing the track and field agenda in the country for the next five years, the new administration of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) held a two-day self-funded conclave in Orlando, Florida, over the last two days, mapping out a course.
BAAA President Drumeco Archer said the move was necessary in determining the way forward for the country’s biggest active sporting discipline and ensuring its continued success.
Since The Bahamas’ inaugural participation in sports internationally, athletics has been the country’s biggest money maker in sports, the country’s most successful sporting discipline at global meets and the country’s biggest draw in terms of athlete and fan participation.
Be that as it may, Archer said it is the new board’s intention to do “more” and be “more”. He was returned to office less than two weeks ago after a detailed and comprehensive “More with Meco” campaign, and brings along with him a whole new administration.
Five pillars of the BAAA’s strategic plan for the next four-year period are more grassroots, talent search and development programs; building more partnerships and exploiting more commercial opportunities; more coaching and sports administration education; more fan engagement; and more athlete safeguarding policies.
“The BAAA has forged a quadripartite relationship with its auxiliary body, the coaches association, the government of The Bahamas, and the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) in a long-term talent search and development program, with emphasis throughout the public school system and family island student athletes,” said Archer. “Already, there have been groups of coaches who have visited Andros, Abaco, Eleuthera, Cat Island, and it is the intent of the next administration to continue this ongoing exercise in every island of The Bahamas, to ensure that no island and no child is left behind. This also requires an equal amount of engagement with family island-based school teachers to make this program an ongoing and sustainable one.
“To guarantee the success of the program, members involved will collect data that will allow us to provide systems of training and performance analysis that would assist in the growth of the program.”
During their time in Orlando, the new administrative team met up with the only Bahamian athlete on the University of Central Florida (UCF) track and field roster, Paige Archer. The freshman sprinter said she is enjoying university life so far, and is looking forward to suiting up for the UCF Knights. Due to a hamstring strain, she is expected to miss some of the indoor season, and is eagerly anticipating a debut at this level.
“Initially it was a culture shock for me, but I’m enjoying the experience so far,” she said. “I like the team and I like the coaching. The hamstring is healing and I feel I will be able to go in January. At this point, I just want to see improvement. Before the injury I could feel myself improving, and with some college training, I feel I could go a long way so I’m excited about the future,” she added.
Archer specializes in the short sprints. She is one of the top female junior sprinters in the country and at just 17, she has two years of CARIFTA eligibility remaining. She said she expects to be at full strength by the time the 2023 CARIFTA Trials rolls around, and with the 50th CARIFTA Games being held in The Bahamas in 2023, she is looking forward to making the team and representing The Bahamas at home.
As for the two-day conclave by the BAAA administration, the roles and functions of executives were outlined, appointments were made, and various commissions were discussed and formed, among many other items.
Archer said he is pleased with the new team and is looking forward to another fruitful four year of track and field in the country.
The current term of the BAAA administration covers a number of major meets, inclusive of but not limited to, the 2023 World Outdoor Championships, the 2024 World Relay Championships, the 2024 World Indoor Championships, the 2024 Olympic Games, the 2025 World Outdoor Championships and the 2026 World Indoor Championships.
The new administrative team has responsibility for the running of track and field in the country for the next four years and is tasked with the governance and overall function of the sport during that time.
The team returns to The Bahamas today.