With just under three weeks remaining to the start of the sixth edition of the Bahamas Games, here is an outlook on how significant sports is to the nation.
With thousands of young athletes leaving high school annually to transition into college, sports has become one of the major avenues that allows many young Bahamians to get a tertiary education, where they may not qualify financially.
For a small island developing nation like The Bahamas, there is a lead on the world stage and at the Olympic level, coming first per capita with the number of gold medals won. There are eight gold medals in the history of The Bahamas at the Olympics. For a nation with a population of less than 500,000, this is an outstanding feat that Bahamians should certainly be proud of.
Bahamians have left a significant impression in professional sports, with Bahamians performing at the world and Olympic levels in numerous sporting disciplines, including basketball, baseball, track and field, swimming, boxing and sailing, to name a few.
Although competitive, events like Junkanoo have always galvanized the Bahamian people and helped them see the best in one another as they cheer on their fellow Bahamian athletes.
The Bahamas Games, first established in 1989 under the then sports minister Peter J. Bethell, was designed to evolve and revolutionize this spirit of national unity through sports while finding the most gifted athletic treasures and bringing them to center stage.
The succession planning for the games to run every two to three years was engineered to allow young Bahamians to develop their athletic prowess, allow the nation to invest in their development and allow each individual to change their economic status by acquiring an education, even if they did not go into the professional ranks.
The vision of the Bahamas Games was founded by those with a forward-looking mentality of how we as a people could move the nation ‘forward, upward, onward and together’ while investing in future leaders and nation builders and providing them with the support and resources needed to develop as a people while leaving a positive indelible impression on the world.
The games incorporate various sporting disciplines, enabling athletes from throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to not just participate but have an opportunity to develop new relationships and friendships with teammates or competitors they may not have known or interacted with previously for any number of reasons.
Each island in The Bahamas possesses its own unique brand and style that adds to the national whole. Yet sports, regardless of difference, provides an opportunity for national patriotism and understanding.
The upcoming Golden Jubilee Bahamas Games will be held from July 7-15. The opening ceremony will be held on Saturday, July 8, leading into the nation’s 50th Golden Jubilee Independence Celebrations.
This edition of the Bahamas Games will
incorporate 14 disciplines with various venues with 10 islands or island groupings preparing to put on a spectacular show.
The secretariat will soon announce tickets and merchandise availability, and the public is encouraged to support the Bahamas Games, which is unique to Bahamians as a people and The Bahamas as a nation.
The excitement for this upcoming games is building, and everyone can participate and learn more about the games by going to the Golden Jubilee Bahamas Games website, thebahamasgames.org or visiting their social media handles for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @thebahamagames or TikTok and YouTube @thebahamasgames.
Every Tuesday, and this Thursday, June 15, at 6 p.m., the public is encouraged to tune into the Hype Tuesday show streamed live on the Bahamas Games Facebook and YouTube channels to say who they feel will win the upcoming games and which team they support.
For more information on how to participate in the Bahamas Games or general information on the event, the public is asked to please call (242) 322-1029/69 or send an e-mail to the address firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.