BOC calling for commission to assist local student-athletes

As of Friday, September 18, 2020


ROMELL KNOWLES, president of the Bahamas Olympic Committee.

#WITH the way the landscape of sports is shaping up around the world in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Bahamas Olympic Committee president Romell Knowles is calling for the formation of a commission to assist local student-athletes.

#When the BOC hosts their next board meting next week, Knowles is expected to introduce a proposal for the country’s top sporting organisation to provide $10,000 to assist with the administration of the commission, once it is formed.

#“I know how hard it is for athletes seeking scholarships, so what I seek to do is get a group of people, who can form this commission, who can reach out to schools and coaches in the various sports to ascertain what they are looking for and to build a rapport so that when they see an athlete who meets those criteria, we can get them off to school.”

#While the bulk of the athletes presently attaining athletic scholarships are in track and field, Knowles said there are a number of other sporting disciplines that are offering scholarships, but the Bahamian student-athletes just don’t know how to secure them.

#And with a number of persons with knowledge on how to assist in such a venture, Knowles said it won’t be easy assembling a panel to head the commission.

#“We have persons who worked in the educational field in sports, persons who have ties to colleges overseas or the coaches overseas, so they will be responsible for setting up a criteria locally,” Knowles said.

#“We want the commission to even reach out to the Director of the University of the Bahamas and find out what are the criteria she is looking for to get student-athletes to stay at home.”

#By the time the students reach grade 12, Knowles said the commission would be in place to assist them in securing these athletic scholarships, whether home or abroad, and see if they are in a position to take advantage of the opportunities available to them.

#Without having done any fact finding costs to establish a commission of this kind, Knowles said he’s willing to propose to the BOC board that they inject some $10,000 to assist with the administrative costs.

#“We have no idea what we are venturing in other than we are trying to fill a void and a gap,” Knowles stated.

#“So for administrative costs, we want to budget about $10,000 for phone calls, sending emails, whatever the administrative cost is.”

#If approved, Knowles said the BOC could even utilise some of its office space for the administration of the commission, which will have one or two executives of the BOA on the board.

#“We will make appointments for the chairman and co-chairman and then we will tell them what it is that we seek for them to do and then we will go from there,” “Knowles said.

#Hopefully the commission will be set up before the end of the year so that they can start the process of contacting the various colleges and universities to get the system set up before the new school year in August, 2021.

#At present, Olympic triple jump bronze medallist Frank Rutherford runs a successful programme in Houston, Texas, that assists Bahamian athletes in the United States particularly in track and field, basketball and football.

#In addition, professional basketball player Juraun ‘Kino’ Burrows, still playing in France, now operates a Raw Talent programme that assists basketball players in getting to Europe.

#Additionally, former basketball player/coach Kermit Romer, based in New York, has and continues to assist countless numbers of local athletes to get into schools throughout the USA.

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