#By BRENT STUBBS
#Senior Sports Reporter
#ALTHOUGH there are a number of international events on their agenda for 2023, Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations president Drumeco Archer said they are making sure that they are ready for the hosting of the 50th Golden Jubilee CARIFTA Games.
#The games, to be hosted here for the ninth time, will be held April 7-11 and will be a part of the 50th Independence celebrations of the Bahamas.
#Coming out of a successful election in November as he was returned to office for the second consecutive four-year term, Archer said the buzz in track and field is very high for the games. “The athletes are excited about competing and this is the most excitement I’ve seen for the games in a long time,” Archer said.
#“What I can say is that there are people who are emerging as superstars, who we have never seen before.
#“That’s a testimony to the work that our coaching staff have been doing since last year. So, I’m very excited about what our season holds for us and what we can expect for the CARIFTA Games.”
#After attending their annual church service on Sunday at St Barnabas Anglican Church, the BAAA 2023 calendar of events will kick off this
#weekend with the T-Bird Flyers Track Classic, starting at 6pm on Friday and from noon on Saturday at the original Thomas A Robinson National Stadium.
#The T-Bird Flyers Club, headed by BAAA first vice president Foster Dorsett, is expected to honour Courtney Wallace, the immediate past president of the Bahamas Association of Certified Officials (BACO) and one of their field judges Ivy Charlton, both of whom recently passed away.
#On the heels of that meet will be the DTSP Wolf Pack Track Meet, scheduled for January 21, honouring former coach, educator and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Neville Wisdom.
#The month will close out over the weekend of January 28-29 with the Red-Line Athletics’ Third Annual Sonja Knowles Track and Field Classic.
#“We’re looking for really exciting performances,” Archer projected.
#“We started a stimulus programme by the Bahamas Coaches Association several months leading into the new year.
#“We believe that is something that has caught the imagination of our athletes, not just in New Providence, but in the Family Islands. So, I’m really excited about what fruit can come out of that initiative.
#“I believe that there is much more that can come out of it, but we are pleased with where we are with it right now.”
#With the games being staged here at home in the new Thomas A Robinson National Stadium, Archer said it could be a little bit intimidating for the athletes to compete in front of their home crowd, but he’s confident that they will rise to the occasion and perform at their optimum level.
#With a new executive board in place, Archer said they have just sent out their applications to the Coaches Association, headed by Corrington Maycock, to make their recommendations for the coaching staff for the team.
#Once they respond over the next few weeks, Archer said they will release the list of the entire management and coaching staff no later than the first week in February.
#In the meantime, Archer said they have released the requirements for the athletes to attain through the qualification standards in order to make the team to represent the Bahamas.
#“Before the start of this year, I think in September or October, we engaged the coaches in an effort to come up with a reasonable standard for the games, which has always been a major bone of contention in our association,” he stated.
#“Finally, we came to a conclusion of those standards at our general meeting last week and they have been ratified, with the exception of the field events. All of the standards will be based on an average of fifth place performances of CARIFTA.”
#Archer, however, said while the primary focus is to increase their fan participation and their sponsorship engagement, when the dust is settled, they still have a federation to run.
#“I just want to remind corporate Bahamas, both large and very small, to the extent that we are looking at individuals, to primarily fund the BAAA,” he stressed. “We have a full complement of international events that we have to underwrite. So, we’re looking for continued support.”
#Archer also revealed that during the CARIFTA Games, the BAAA will honour three pillars of the sport in former public relations officer and president Alpheus ‘Hawk’ Finlayson, administrator Doyle Burrows and the late Leviticus ‘Uncle Lou’ Adderley, who was responsible for the formation of BACO.
#“We want to celebrate them during these 50th Jubilee CARIFTA Games for their work and contribution to our sport over the years,” Archer declared.
#“We feel they are all worthy of the recognition that will be bestowed upon them at the games.”
#A banquet is expected to take place during the games to recognise and honour the men for their contributions that were second to none in the roles that they all played.