January 17, 2017
The National Sports Authority (NSA) is in hot water.
The throwing members of the national track and field community, in particular, those based in the capital island of New Providence, have openly criticized the NSA. Kermit Taylor’s chat line, which is the bible of information for local track and field, has been inundated with complaints against the NSA.
At a press conference called over the weekend, both iconic Bradley Cooper and Dawn Woodside-Johnson, a leading advocate of the throwing segment of athletics (track and field), blasted the NSA and made public the collective claim of unfair treatment.
Cooper and Laverne Eve are the only two Bahamians to have ever achieved consistent elite world status in throwing events.
Over the weekend, he lamented the state of affairs regarding the availability of the old training venue and the new Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Center, for throwers.
“I’ve been involved in throwing since 1974 and the same thing that happened to us before, with us not being able to use the stadium, is happening again. They shut down the original field (old Thomas Robinson Stadium) and now they are shutting down (to throwers) the new stadium. This is unfair,” said Cooper.
The timing, according to Cooper is simply terrible. He acknowledged that it has been quite some time since Bahamian throwers have been particularly productive in regional and international competitions, and added that “just as throwers are beginning to make some progress” they are treated unfairly by the NSA.
Woodside said the situation had gotten to the point whereby the “throwing fraternity became concerned and united as throwing coaches, parents and fans” to express strong disapproval for the disregard being shown by the NSA.
Cooper’s appearance emphasized the deep-rooted feelings of the entire throwing sector of the sport, athletics, over its relationship with the NSA. Cooper’s character is one of quiet deliberation before speaking out. He has been the type to be confrontational verbally only when situations demand such an approach.
Bradley Cooper is track and field royalty in the country.
Over two decades 1975-1995, he produced medals for his country, initially at the junior level and then as a prominent senior. Cooper was outstanding at the outset with the shot-put and the discus. From the dawn of the 1980s until he retired, he concentrated on the discus.
His achievements include, Central American and Caribbean Games, Commonwealth Games gold medals and two Pan American Games silver medals. He was once an International Association of athletic Federations (IAAF) World Championships finalist and twice Cooper advanced to an Olympic qualifying round.
His credentials are strong indeed.
Cooper should be listened to.
His plea and that of Woodside-Johnson and others, is that throwers should not be segregated against.
They get full support from this place.
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com.
Published Tuesday, January 17, 2017