Category: ALL SPORTS

‘We Are Our Brother’S Keeper’

SYDNEY CLARKE, flanked by her friends, display some of the items that she collected for distribution to the Bahamas Children’s Emergency Hostel.

SYDNEY CLARKE, flanked by her friends, display some of the items that she collected for distribution to the Bahamas Children’s Emergency Hostel.

As of Wednesday, December 23, 2020

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SYDNEY Clarke receives some items from Ebony Bahamas.

#By BRENT STUBBS

#Senior Sports Reporter

#bstubbs@tribunemedia.net

#With the support of the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association, her family and friends, young tennis sen-sation Sydney Clarke was able to surpass her goal of items received on behalf of the Bahamas Children’s Emergency Hostel.

#The Ministry of Sports’ 2020 Athlete of the Year held a food and toys drive yesterday at the National Tennis Centre. She’s expected to make the pres-entation to the home for underprivileged children on Thursday.

#“The event was a big suc-cess. I got a lot of donations. A lot of people stopped back and gave what they had, so I am really glad to be able to make a differ-ence and to help to restock the pantry, also provide them with clothes and toi-letries and toys,” she said.

#It’s a gesture that Clarke felt is needed in a time when everyone is being affected by the coronavirus pandemic. “I knew people would support me, so I’m very happy and glad that I can show everyone that in this time, we can still make a difference and support each other, even if it’s our last. We are our brother’s keeper, so anything I can do, I will help out.”

#Home for Christmas after completing the first semes-ter of her freshman year at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Clarke said she wanted to concentrate on getting as much food items and she was able to achieve that goal.

#The 18-year-old thanked her family and friends, who all pitched in and helped her with the food drive, for the support she received and she said she’s even more excited about taking the items to the home on Thursday.

#The former CR Walker Secondary High student, who went on to attend Windsor High School where she earned a full scholarship and became a part of the Albany Tennis Academy, before she grad-uated this year, noted that she decided to make it an annual event.

#Her cousin, Marinda Tucker, who is currently off to school as well on a golf scholarship, said it’s a great way to give back to the community and that was why she supported her.

#“Twenty-twenty hasn’t been a good year for a lot of people, so the fact that she chose to do something like this shows her character. That is why I am supporting her,” Tucker said. “She’s a great person.”

#Donte Armbrister, the top junior male tennis player, also joined in sup-porting Clarke.

#“I think what she’s doing is very good, considering the type of year that every-one has had,” Armbrister said. “But I think because of Christmas, this is a good time for her to give to the children to let them know that there are some people who care about them.”

#Armbrister, who is planning to head off to Hampton University next year, said more athletes should be able to give back to the community so it was those people who sup-ported them to get to where they are today.

#Bahamian versatile celebrity Ebony Bahamas said she only recently met Clarke at a Brajaxba Tennis Club event at the Winton Tennis Centre and after being introduced by coach Bradley Bain, she felt she was the perfect person to help mentor her 11-year-old daughter, Aryauna-Skye, in tennis.

#“I really just clicked to her because she has such a wonderful spirit. We con-nected and exchanged numbers and we joined on our Facebook and Insta- gram pages,” she said.

#“So when she reached out to me about having this charity event and if I can come out, it would be great. So my daughter and I are here.”

#Ebony Bahamas said she shared Clarke’s event on her pages and she got some stuff from some of her friends who couldn’t make it to the NTC.

#“We’re happy to lend our support,” she stated. “She’s such a wonderful person.”

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SYDNEY Clarke with her father, Bernard, sister Sarai and mother Shayvon Clarke.

#BLTA president Perry Newton, who also dou-bles as the chairman of the National Tennis Centre, was on hand to make a donation to Clarke as she assisted those in need.

#“We just want to support Sydney in her efforts,” he said. “We also allowed her to use the facilities and we also secured the tent for her to use. We know that Sydney is a stellar ath-lete with a great sense of humour. When she told me about her idea, we got together and made a contribution, It’s been a hard year for us, but we dug deep and were able to assist her course.”

#Her father, Bernard Clarke, said when she came up with the idea and pre-sented it to them, the family rallied behind her. “It was a great response. She got a lot of help from the community and we are really thankful for what they did, especially coming through during these hard times,” he said.

#Even Clarke’s 11-year-old sister Serai was impressed.

#“I’m very proud of her because she’s my mentor and she’s kind of an inspi-ration to me, so she’s showing me how to develop my character,” said the young tennis player, follow-ing in her sister’s footsteps.

#“By her doing this, she’s inspiring me to help others. She’s also paving the way for young girls in the Bahamas.

#“She’s done so many things. She’s done a lot for our country and she makes us all proud.”

BFA presents tablets to the Ministry of Education

The Nassau Guardian

“We remain committed to youth development in The Bahamas beyond the football pitch,” explained Anton Sealy, president of the Bahamas Football Association (BFA) as they presented 100 tablets complete with MiFi devices to the Ministry of Education.

As COVID-19 forced schools in The Bahamas, and indeed the world, to convert to virtual learning platforms, the BFA recognized that many of its players have been challenged to access their new online classrooms. As such, the association sought support from FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) and subsequently partnered with Aliv to purchase and donate the tablets to benefit disadvantaged students across the country.

“We at the Bahamas Football Association, along with our member clubs, decided to do something to assist the most vulnerable and severely impacted members of our constituents in football, that being our school age players and more so, those without the capability to effectively participate in the virtual learning process,” explained Sealy. “We trust that these devices will go a long way in supporting the educational needs of our young student athletes.”

Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd was on hand to receive the donation. Minister Lloyd expressed gratitude to the BFA.

“We will not stand by and let any child get left behind. As such, we are so grateful for the philanthropy and partnership of the BFA for its support of our virtual learning program through the donation of these tablets,” he said.

The minister explained that the donation moves the ministry that much closer to its goal of making virtual learning accessible for every Bahamian student.

Mobile Sales Manager for Aliv Matthew Davis said: “At Aliv, we are committed to innovation and technology and we are happy to be able to support the education of our young people. Giving back is an important part of who we are at Aliv. These 10-inch tablets are intuitive and user-friendly with a convertible keypad and with the MiFi devices, students can access the network at high speeds from anywhere in The Bahamas.”

Both the ministry and the BFA acknowledged the invaluable partnership of Aliv as vital to bridging the gaps that exist for those most disadvantaged in the communities.

In addition to Sealy, BFA Executive Vice President Anya James and Deputy General Secretary Carl R. Lynch Jr. were also on hand for the presentation to the Ministry of Education. 

Bodybuilders: Closure Of Gyms Hampered Our Progress At Cac

PRO bodybuilder Jimmy Norius and his wife, Serena Salius Decius-Norius, on stage at the Central
American and Caribbean Bodybuilding Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

PRO bodybuilder Jimmy Norius and his wife, Serena Salius Decius-Norius, on stage at the Central American and Caribbean Bodybuilding Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Monday, December 7, 2020

#By BRENT STUBBS

#Senior Sports Reporter

#bstubbs@tribunemedia.net

#Had the local gyms re-opened before they left for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, professional bodybuilder Jimmy Norius felt he would have been in a better position to win the title at the Central American and Caribbean Bodybuilding Championships.

#For the first time this weekend, due to the fact that there were limited events staged because of the coronavirus pandemic, the amateurs and professionals competed over the weekend at the CAC Championships.

#Norius, the only Bahamian pro to travel with the six-member amateur team to compete in the championships, got second in the Classic Men’s Bodybuilding.

#He was the smallest competitor in his group on stage, but he rocked the spectators with his performance as he collected a certificate of achievement from the Elite Pro IFBB and a small cheque to enjoy Christmas.

#“The guys who I went up against were top of the line, very impressive,” said Norius following his competition on Sunday.

#“It was more competitive than the show in Brazil. I noticed that one guy who competed in Brazil, got third and I second. The guy who got first deserved it.

#“But I had a good routine, good support system and the show was rough. I didn’t have access to the gym like I wanted, but I just made use of what I had at home. Even though I came as a pro athlete, I was able to piggyback off of the amateurs. Nardo (Dean) came in the back and he encouraged me to press and Joel (Stubbs) encouraged me.”

#However, Norius’ comments cemented those of the other competitors, who felt that the closure of the gyms in the Bahamas hampered their progress.

#The 45-year-old Norius, whose wife Serena Salius Decius-Norius was a part of the amateur team, said he will now take the rest of the year off and try to develop more mass so that he can be better prepared for the next show that he is expected to compete in next year.

#Norius, who turned pro in 2018, was competing in just his second show for the year, having last appeared on stage in February in Brazil where he was fourth in the men’s classic physique pro division at the Angela Borges Fitness Cup Championships.

#In the amateur segment that took place on Saturday and Sunday, Decius-Norius claimed the first medal for the Bahamas with her third place finish in her debut in the Women’s Bikini Short Class. The Bahamas also received bronze from Wellington Wallace and Kaif Young in the men’s Physique Tall Class. Fania Joseph was fifth in the Women’s Bikini, while Jason Johnson and David Dormavil were both sixth.

#Dean, assisted by Tim Rolle, served as the head and assistant coaches respectively for the team, which was accompanied by Stubbs, the president of the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation, who along with executive member Brittny Hamilton, participated in the CAC Congress. Stubbs and Hamilton also served as judges.

#Decius-Norius, who competed in the NPC Ultimate Grand Prix Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships last month in Florida, said she was delighted to represent the Bahamas for the first time at the CAC Championships.

#“I am very proud of myself because I only worked out in my home,” said Decius-Norius, who was trained by her husband, Jimmy Norius. “I enjoyed travelling with the team for the first time in the IFBB because when I last competed, I did it in the NPC. The next time I come back, I hope to do much better.”

#Wallace said he was pleased with his performance and all of the Bahamian athletes put their best foot forward, even though they were limited in their training without access to the gyms.

#“Other countries made concessions for their athletes, but our athletes were not allowed the same concessions, so I think that was a disadvantage for us,” he said. “Still we put our best foot forward and I felt we did well. I think we still did excellent with the gyms being closed. If they were open, I felt we could have done better. But all in all, we’re still grateful that we could bring some medals home.”

#In making his debut at the championships, he said he too was pleased with the effort.

#“I feel as if we didn’t have enough time to prepare, due to the fact that we didn’t have access to the gyms,” he reiterated. “We had to work with the little access that we had. But I think the team did very good. I want to thank the Ministry of Sports for the grant in helping us to compete in this year’s CAC and we’re looking for next year, going bigger and better and harder next year if the gyms are opened.”

#Joseph said it was challenging preparing for the championships, considering the restrictions that were placed due to COVID-19.

#“I wanted to compete this year, so I made an effort to try to get in the best position shape for this competition,” she said. “I thought the package that I presented was the best package, although I only just started competing last year.

#“I can most certainly say that I have seen an improvement in my physique. I’m looking forward to getting some feedback from the judges to clarify or to ascertain what it is that I can work on, I can improve to bring the look that the federation is looking for as it pertains to bikini fitness.”

#As a crowd pleaser, Joseph said she felt she was more conditioned than her debut last year, despite not getting in the top three. But she said she was happy in getting her body properly prepared under the circumstances and she thanked the federation for affording her the opportunity to represent the Bahamas.

#She indicated that she thoroughly enjoyed the experience this year.

#Like Joseph, Dormavil said not having access to the gym to train prevented him from performing as well as he had anticipated.

#“We could have done better and we have the potential to do better and we have some great athletes that we believe in, but because the gyms were closed, we had to work with what we had,” he said. “We didn’t have any other choice.”

Face To Face: Belinda Learned From Her Mother – Standing Up For Others And Making Their Voices Heard

BELINDA WILSON

BELINDA WILSON

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

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FELICITY DARVILLE

#By FELICITY DARVILLE

#MANY schools, especially public schools in The Bahamas, had their first day of school yesterday. It also happened to be World Teacher’s Day – the 26th annual day honouring teachers globally. This year’s theme was: “Teachers leading in crisis – reimagining the future”.

#In the view of a global pandemic, teachers are facing their most difficult time yet. The new school year is quite different from any other year, and schools are having to embrace the digital age like never before. The challenge in The Bahamas is complicated by the fact that at least a hundred teachers are in quarantine at this moment. In spite of it all, Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) president Belinda Wilson is confident her members are up to the task, but they will need as much support as possible.

#“I reimagine a future in education and teaching where teachers will be respected, honoured, and where our voices will be heard,” Belinda said.

#“I reimagine a future where teachers will be seen as the experts and the architects of our educational system. Thirty-two million teachers in 192 countries are celebrating. In this COVID-19 pandemic environment, be strong, be resilient. We will and we can succeed; we will make it. In Bahamas, I want to say to teachers, solidarity… forever!”

#Belinda has given her life to the cause of teachers in The Bahamas. She has played an active role in the BUT for the past 26 years, and continues to go strong. She has served as the union’s president since 2008 and she is the longest-serving in this post. She is also BUT’s longest-serving executive officer, and the third woman to serve as president, the first being the renowned educator Mabel Walker who led the union in 1947. Prior to COVID-19, Belinda and her executive team were at the table with the Ministry of Education negotiating the fourth collective bargaining agreement that she has taken part in. She has been co-lead for one and has taken the lead for three.

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BELINDA in an outfit made up of different student uniforms.

#“In 2012, we were able to get medical insurance for our members,” she said.

#“Our terms and conditions of service, as well as having a better quality of education for students… these are always on our mind and reflected in our industrial agreement.”

#Her monumental journey in the teacher’s union started in 1994. She was teaching physical education at CC Sweeting Junior High (now TA Thompson Junior High) under the great Leonard “Boston Blackie” Miller. Many find it surprising that a woman with a Master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of St Thomas, a Bachelor’s degree in English Language from St Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina, trained to teach English Language and Literature at the College of The Bahamas, would choose to teach physical education.

#Belinda replied: “Why? Because it is an easy fit for me. I spent three months teaching English Language and Literature when I went to the Ministry of Education to request a transfer to teach physical education. I felt closed in. It didn’t suit me. I like to move; I am upbeat and active.”

#She showed athletic prowess from a young girl. Born on Ross Corner, this Farm Road girl is the ninth of 11 children born to Reverend Basil and Maria Johnson. She attended Woodcock Primary before attending St John’s College for high school.

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BELINDA on being elected BUT president.

#Principal Arlene Nash Ferguson once held a competition at the school, which Belinda won. She is to thank for the name “The Green Giants” that students shout at competitions today. While at St John’s, Belinda not only excelled in academics, but also at athletics. She made records at the school in track events like the 400 and 800 metres, and long jump. She participated in numerous sports, including softball.

#It was for this sport that she was granted a full scholarship to St Augustine’s, thanks to Cynthia “Mother” Pratt and Tom “The Bird” Grant, who helped hundreds of Bahamian students have the opportunity to study there. She enjoyed a full ride from 1991 to 1994, and played outfield in softball consistently for the college, which is now a university. She also wrote for the school newspaper, and graduated Magna Cum Laude, completing her degree in three years instead of four.

#It was May of 1994 and Belinda was about to graduate. Her boyfriend, Arnold Wilson, had flown over to the graduation, but he also intended to propose. Unfortunately, Arnold lost the ring! Bewildered by the event, he ended up telling his love what had happened, and they went back to the mall where he thought he had dropped it. Lo and behold, the ring was still on the floor of the shop where he dropped it. It was carefully wrapped in a napkin. The fact that the napkin was still on the floor in the spot he dropped it was a sign to the couple that they “were meant to be together”. Twenty-six years later, they are still in love and going strong with a beautiful daughter, Nika, Belinda says. They got married at 11am on May 7, 1994 and at 12 noon, Belinda was walking across the stage in her cap and gown.

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BELINDA’s parents, Rev Basil and Maria Johnson. Her mother died in November last year at the age of 90, and her father is still alive at 91 years old.

#That same year, she started at CC Sweeting Junior and was elected a shop steward for her counterparts at the school. She taught there for five years before moving on to CV Bethel Senior High, and she was one of the pioneering teachers who were among the first to work at the new school. By 2003, Belinda went on to assist in the opening of another new school – Dame Doris Johnson Senior High. She became the first Teacher of the Year for the school, and also received the Excel award for Coach of the Year.

#She credits her first go at teaching to Bishop Neil Ellis, who made contact with the late great Rev Charles Saunders, requesting an opportunity for her to work at what was then the Bahamas Baptist College, now named after Rev Saunders. She says her first students are now 48 and 49-years-old, making great contributions to the country, which gives her great joy and pride. She and her family continue to attend Mount Tabor Church under Bishop Ellis to this day.

#Her strong faith, she said, was nurtured by her parents: “I thank my parents for teaching us the way of the Lord. My dad woke us up at 5am to pray every day. We went to church and Sunday school. On December 31, 1989 I accepted the Lord and I am a true believer. My husband is also a quiet, but prayerful man. He provided a safe, comfortable, loving home and whenever I have a rough day, I can go home to the loving arms of my husband. He is my rock and a pillar of strength. My daughter is quiet like him, but very observant. My siblings and some of my cousins and close friends have also been a pillar of strength for me in my life.”

#Her mother also made a tremendous impact on her, as she learned to be an activist under her wings: “I must have followed in my mom’s footsteps. We spent a lot of time with her at the Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union. She was a chief shop steward for 18 consecutive years there. We were on the ground with her when they demonstrated, and we watched her take a stand for others.”

#Belinda – who was a shop steward from 1994-1996 and a trustee from 1996-1999, found it necessary to take that same type of stand for others when she attended a union meeting back in 2004: “I never wanted to be president; I never even thought about it. But I attended a certain meeting and holy hell, as they say, came up in me. I saw what was happening in that meeting and I thought the teachers deserved better representation. I decided to seek out certain individuals and convince them to run with me for the new executive team. Among them was Ida Turnquest. She was to run for the president position and I would run for secretary general. She said yes. We ran with a small team, but our team was successful.”

#During the following BUT elections in 2008, Ida decided that she did not want to run, so Belinda made the decision to run for the post. Later on, Ida had changed her mind. So she ended up running against Belinda along with Francis Friend and Byron Small for the position of president. Belinda won. She has been at the helm ever since. She considers herself in good company, as the BUT has had some outstanding persons in leadership, including Carlton Francis and former Governor General Dame Ivy Dumont, who was the union’s first secretary general. The union has a rich legacy and on January 10, 2018, a document was produced in this regard. It is a booklet commemorating the oral history of the BUT, written and edited by Patricia Roker and designed by Sheila Bethell.

#Belinda has the honour of having the BUT’s multi-purpose building in Grand Bahama named in her honour – the Belinda Wilson Convention Center. Two executive committees voted on and approved the name. It commemorates a woman who continues to be at the forefront of the fight for the rights of teachers. In addition, hundreds of teachers have benefitted from local and international training under her leadership. Union members benefit from Christmas bonuses, and they also have retirement and death benefits.

#“I am very proud to be representing the teachers of this nation,” she said, “It is the profession of professions.”

#“It is an honour and privilege for me to serve them for such a long time. I have made so many friends and I have so many relationships with colleagues and associates that will last a lifetime. I enjoy life and I have a passion for what I do. There is something inside of me… I get very upset when I watch people being taken advantage of and when people are treated unfairly. It causes me to want to push and advocate even more for the rights not only of teachers, but people in general. I intend to serve my country and be a voice for the voiceless without fear or favour as long as I have breath.”

#There were some highs and lows in Belinda’s tenure. Among them, she was suspended several times by executive committee. In 2017, she went to the Supreme Court to plead for her place on the ballot. The court ruled in her favour, and she won her way back to the presidency by more than 1400 votes.

#“I have learned that you have people who for and those who are against you. After running and being successful seven times, I realise there’s more with me than against me. I am honoured to have served the teachers for so many years and we are still going strong!

Bahamians Invited To Participate In One Run Global Challenge

By Brent Stubbs

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

#BAHAMIANS are being invited to participate in the One Run Global Challenge on December 10.

#Hosted on Human Rights Day, Bahamians are encouraged to join thousands of people from 195 countries around the world competing in the challenge.

#It will take place between the hours of 7-8pm and participants are advised to either run or walk the 10k distance.

#According to One Run co-founder Danny Bent, all are invited to participate.

#“2020 has been filled with extraordinary events, stories of inequality, injustice and hardship. We’re coming together to show the world that love is a human right and no child should be hated for who they are,” Bent said.

#“We welcome every country, every age, every ability, every gender, every human being with open arms.

#“This isn’t about being fit or getting a personal best. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never run – what matters is showing up and taking part in whatever way you are able.”

#The One Run Global Challenge is being backed by several celebrities, including Tom Daley, an English diver, television personally and YouTube vlogger; Mayim Bialak, an American actress, neuroscientist and author and Billy Porter, an American actor and singer, as they determine that One Run is more than just a run.

#“They are unitying #EveryHuman for a change in a 24-hour celebration of humanity,” Bent said.

#“They are also encouraging participants, partners, artists and celebrities to join together and raise funds for causes that stop injustice and inequality against children.”

#One Run Global is partnering with charities such as Unicef, No Bully, NO8H Campaign, Do Something and Know Your Rights Camp.

#To participate in the event for free, persons are urged to log onto https://onerun.global/take-part/free/

Roadmasters’ Bahamas Half Marathon, 10k Race Goes Virtual

By Brent Stubbs

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

#IN the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Bahamas Roadmasters has decided to take its 2020 Bahamas Half & 10 kilometre race virtually, powered by the Cancer Treatment Centres of America.

#Due to the COVID-19 Emergency Orders, club president Marcel ‘Pops’ Major said participants can now look forward to running the eighth version of the half marathon or 13.1 miles race or the 10K (6.2 miles) race within their community from Monday, November 16 to Sunday, November 22nd.

#Major said in keeping with the COVID-19 protocols, social distancing and avoidance of mass gatherings and based on international trends that is happening in the running world, which introduced virtual running, Bahamas Roadmasters decided to give Bahamians an opportunity to participate in an organised, loving distance event.

#“We are aware that it is a novel running idea and it will take a while for the Bahamians to embrace it, but we are very optimistic that those that like the sport of long distance running will see the value in it, which will give them the opportunity to challenge themselves for better or improved running times and still compete for a medal, while we are in a pandemic,” Major said.

  • Each participant must register for either the 10K or half marathon at a cost of $25 on the website: www.bahamashalf.com
  • Each participant must run their race registered for within their community on any day within the November 16-22. The run must be in one session and can not be broken into some miles today and others the next day. They all must be done all at once.
  • Each participant must take a photo of them before and after their run. They are also to produce a photo of their miles and times logged via a running app. Those photos along with an identification must be presented to the Palmdale Vision Centre in Centerville on Monday, November 23 between the hours of noon and 5pm. At that time, they will receive a Bahamas Half 2020 finisher medal.

#This is not the first time that Bahamas Roadmasters has tried to do a virtual run this year because of COVID-19.

#According to Major, the pilot project was a success, hence they are looking for tremendous support for their signature event, the Bahamas Half & 10K.

#“We experimented with it on a small scale during the Labour Day holiday where we promoted a free 10K or 5K Bahamas Roadmasters virtual race and gave away shirts and medals that we had left over from previous Bahamas Half races,” he said.

#“The running public embraced it overwhelmingly, hence the decision to go full fledged with our signature race, the Bahamas Half. This will be our eighth annual race, only this one will be held virtually.”

#It should be noted that no awards will be distributed to the various winners or t-shirts or goodie bags, as has been done in the past.

#Instead, Major said the finishers will only receive a medal for completing their particular course.

#“We are also a community-minded organisation and giving back to charitable organisations is our mantra,” Major said. “It’s very important to note that we are proudly sponsored by The Cancer Treatment Centres of America CTCA. The 2020 race is being dubbed The Bahamas Half powered by The Cancer Treatment Centres of America.”

#As a result, Major said part proceeds from this year’s event will be presented to the Royal Bahamas Police Force welfare fund for cancer treatment.

Mike Sands: ‘We Have To Get The Message Out About Who Is Nacac’

Mike Sands outlines his plans for NACAC. Photo: Terrel Carey.

Mike Sands outlines his plans for NACAC. Photo: Terrel Carey.

By Brent Stubbs

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

#THE North American, Central American and the Caribbean (NACAC), in its bid to bridge the gap in all aspects of the region, hosted a virtual meeting with the media to ascertain the way forward and, in particular, the highly acclaimed CARIFTA GamView Post

#The meeting was hosted by NACAC’s newly elected president Mike Sands and facilitated by Trinidad & Tobago’s journalist Kwame Laurence and local photographer Kermit Taylor and events manager Dianne Woodside-Johnson.

#Sands, who was accompanied by Keith Jones, NACAC’s …ecretary general from St Vincent & the Grenadines, took the opportunity to hear the views and concerns of Laurence and Taylor about the role the media plays and from Woodside-Johnson on the management of events like the CARIFTA Games.

#The 49th version of the top junior regional track and field games was scheduled for Hamilton, Bermuda in April, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. In preparing for a rescheduled event next year, NACAC got the imput from the media on how they could make the event a successful one.

#“I think it’s a first good step in the right direction. I was pleased with the turnout of the area media. We were able to develop a relationship with the media so we can share what we are doing and not just keep it in a vacuum,” Sands said.

#“By the same token, we got to hear the concerns of the media because if we are going to see them as partners and to work with them in tandem, we made it our objective to engage in dialogue.”

#Sands, a former athlete turned executive of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations and now the NACAC president and a representative on the board of World Athletics, the governing body for the sport, said they need the media to get the word out about what they are doing.

#“While we have some of the best athletes performing around the world, we have to get the message out about who is NACAC, the region that they represent,” Sands said.

#“So the main way to get that message out is to develop a relationship with the press.

#“We don’t just want to tell the individual stories of the athletes by country, but we want to tell them about the region they represent and what NACAC is doing on behalf of these athletes who perform for the region.”

#As a result of the meeting, Sands said they have identified Laurence, an accomplished sports writer at the Trinidad Express, as the liaison person, who will provide a formulated plan from the media that will be presented to NACAC for their consideration.

#“We will look at it and see what is durable and equitable for all of us and then we will look at implementing them,” he said. “The ball is now back in the hands of the media to come back to us with their recommendations so that we can consider what was shared.”

#More than 20 people from throughout the region logged onto the virtual platform and shared in the question-and-answer period that followed the presentations by Laurence, Taylor and Woodside-Johnson.

#Laurence, who covered his first CARIFTA Games in 1997 in Barbados, said one of the major concerns for the media is the inconsistency that is created by the local organising committees of the respective host countries from year to year.

#He called for a standard document that should be produced by NACAC that will outline the guidelines for the media’s participation at the games, including the removal of the $100.00 fee that is sometimes levied to the media to do their job when there is no charge for international events like the World Championships.

#In consistent with what is done by World Athletics, the world’s governing body for the sport, Laurence said NACAC needs to ensure that the media is given finish-line seating with proper work stations, internet access before, during and after each day’s session, a proper mixed zone to interview the athletes when they have completed their events, workable results websites and media hotels and bus transportation to and from the venue in a timely fashion.

#Taylor, a former public relations officer for the BAAA and the founder/producer of Bahamas Athletics, talked about his personal experiences in attending various international events like the World Youth and Junior Championships to the World Championships and the challenges he and other photographers are faced with in covering the CARIFTA Games.

#Taylor called for NACAC to identify a photographer manager, whose responsibility it would be to ensure that the photographers are given the free reign to take pictures of the athletes as they compete at various angles of the track and field stadium.

#And Woodside-Johnson, a former hurdler turned coach, provided a detailed account of the role she played as the events manager for such international meets as the World Relays and the Chris ‘Fireman’ Brown Invitational staged in the Bahamas.

#Woodside-Johnson, the founder of the dismantled Club Monica Track Club and former head coach of her alma mater the Big Red Machine at St Augustine’s College, also served as head coach and manager of a number of national teams representing the Bahamas, including the 2012 Olympic Games (as the first Bahamian female assistant coach) and the 2017 World Championships (as the first Bahamian female head coach), both in London, England. 

BAAA eyes end of July for nationals

Drumeco Archer.

June 17, 2020

The Nassau Guardian

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This coming weekend was set to be a busy one for the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) as youth, junior and senior athletes were scheduled to be in action at their respective nationals. The events were set to get underway today at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.

Instead, the nationals have been pushed back to the end of July, running over into August because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is provided that the government of The Bahamas approves sporting activities in its latest Emergency Powers orders.

BAAA President Drumeco Archer said it is expected to be a watered-down national championships due to the numerous challenges they face and the restrictions in place due to the pandemic.

“We are still hopeful that we can stage the event, even if it is a watered-down national championships, so that we could have some sort of culmination of our track and field program. It is hard to call it a national championships because I do not think we will have full representation. It is hard to call someone a national champion when you do not have everyone present,” said Archer.

The meet was set to be a qualifier for the 2020 Summer Olympics which has been postponed to the summer of 2021.

Under the current plan, juniors and seniors will be in action at the nationals starting on July 30. On Friday, August 1, the youth will hit the track. Archer said the competition level is still expected to be high.

“The success of any track and field competition is preparation and with a three-month furlough, it is difficult to see where we are in our program. There are many athletes who abbreviated their training. That applies to many of our junior and senior athletes. We are now trying to encourage them over the short weeks of the summer to sort of get in some level of fitness, but training happens in cycles. That is one of our challenges,” said Archer.

Archer said that the younger athletes will utilize the meet as more of a summer activity.

“Training has not only been a problem for the junior athletes but the senior and elite athletes who train locally as well. They have found a way to put in their training as best as they can at the senior level, but I cannot say the same for our junior program,” Archer said.

According to Archer, the meet is open to everyone as the borders will be opened for international travel on July 1 and athletes are welcomed to come home for the nationals.

“I speak to the coaches on a regular basis to find out what their athletes are doing and where they are,” said Archer. “There are many coaches who would have said that many of their athletes have shut down their seasons. On the other hand, there are a number of coaches who have maintained practice with the athletes who have been interested in getting meets in. All is not lost and we want to continue to encourage people to maintain fitness, but we are also mindful that within the summer period, there is a normal break period.”

It is a very tough time economically as corporate Bahamas, the government, and individuals practice austerity measures during these times of uncertainty because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What I would like to see is individuals who are in a financial position to make a donation,” Archer said. “Our focus will now be turned to attracting individuals to provide smaller level of sponsorship to the federation. I think it is pretty remote to consider larger companies. There have been massive layoffs. There are companies who have not reopened for business as yet to presume that they are in a position to provide funding for an extra-curricular program.”

World Athletics, the governing body of track and field in the world, recommended a national championships window of August 6 to 8.

In her national budget communication last week, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle mentioned that her ministry has prepared a list of COVID-19 guidelines that were set to outline how sports activities are to be conducted whenever they are allowed to resume.

Life Prep Academy Pipeline For Bahamian Student Athletes

As of Thursday, June 18, 2020

#By RENALDO DORSETT

#Tribune Sports Reporter

#rdorsett@tribunemedia.net

#LIFE Prep Academy continues to be a pipeline for Bahamian student athletes across various sporting disciplines.

#Over the course of the past two months, the school has announced several new additions to its institution in Wichita, Kansas to join its basketball, track and field, football and soccer programmes.

#Former CI Gibson Rattlers point guard Kenvon Farrington was the latest addition last week.

#“We are excited to announce that Kenvon Farrington will be bringing his talents to Life Prep Academy” the LPA staff said.

#“He is an explosive point guard who has an exceptional work ethic. Kenvon is a great leader on and off the court. We can’t wait to get him here and get to work.”

#D’Angelo Dawkins is another addition to the basketball programme.

#“D’Angelo is 15 years old. He is a 6’2 combo guard that is ranked one of the top up and coming basketball players in the Bahamas,” the LPA staff said. “He is a huge offensive threat who can shoot from the outside and get to the rim. D’Angelo is a great kid with an extreme work ethic. He takes his academics serious as well. His goal is to continue to develop as a student athlete and earn a division one basketball scholarship when he graduates. We can’t wait to get him here and get to work.”

#On the soccer pitch, they added Ainsley Brown.

#“A 5’9 190lb goalie/striker. Ainsley has helped his team in the Bahamas win five championships. His goal is to earn a college scholarship and play professional soccer in Europe,” LPA said.

#“Ainsley is a great student with a strong work ethic and we can’t wait to have him here next year.”

#On the baseball diamond, 6’2” 235 power hitter Jeffrey Pierre has also committed and plans to play two sports with the addition of football to his athletic résumé.

#“A first baseman/outfielder from Freeport, Bahamas, he is a great athlete who has a lot of pop. Jeffrey will definitely add another power bat to the heart of our lineup. He will also be a big addition to our football programme,” he said. “We are grateful for a hard working, talented, student athlete like Jeffrey to choose Life Prep Academy.”

#Roheim Kelly will join both the athletics and football programmes. “Roheim is a 5’11 220lb football player from the Bahamas. He also plays other sports, including track, where he was the national gold medallist in the discus,” LPA said.

#Jace Smith will also be an addition to the gridiron.

#“Jace is a 5’9 230lb football player. He is strong, athletic and excited to push himself towards his ultimate goal of earning a college scholarship,” LPA said. “Jace will be in Grade 11, so he will have two years to develop under our coaching staff. We are blessed to add a highly motivated, good character kid to our programme.”

#Several Bahamians starred athletically for Life Prep last season, highlighted by Traimaine Ferguson and underclassman Michael Johnson on the basketball court.

Minister Rolle Outlines Official Guidance Document

As of Tuesday, June 16, 2020

photo

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle.

#By RENALDO DORSETT

#Tribune Sports Reporter

#rdorsett@tribunemedia.net

#AS local sporting activities remain on hold throughout the country due to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, organisations eagerly anticipate the guidelines that will allow them to return to participation.

#In her contribution to the Budget Debate for the 2020/2021 fiscal period, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle said the mode of operations for organisations moving forward would be outlined in the official Guidance Document.

#“In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture has prepared a list of COVID-19 Guidelines for the benefit of youth organisations, sports federations and organisations and cultural artists and related entities that may choose to conduct independent programmes,” she said, “for the record we emphasise that until we are clear of this state of emergency particular contact sports and related facilities should not be conducted or opened in the absence of health guidance.”

#The official Guidance Document was expected to be available Monday 15th June, 2020 on the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture’s website and Facebook page. Rolle added that the government expects to move ahead with its summer programmes and announced dates for its commencement.

#“Under the guidance of the Ministry of Health we are planning to host our four-week summer programmes commencing July 27 to August 21,” she said.

#“We also continue to monitor guidance by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention for best practices of reopening youth, sports and cultural sectors and activities. In this COVID-19 environment, our programmes will be guided by and subject to the advice of the Ministry of Health.”

#Several international sporting bodies, including FIBA and the World Baseball Softball Confederation, have issued safety guidelines for their respective member federations as the sporting community continues to search for a means to continue amid the pandemic.

#FIBA published recommendations on returning to basketball, with a basketball-specific Risk Assessment Tool, produced in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

#FIBA’s guidelines are primarily for national federations that are seeking direction and advice on the restart of basketball activities and competitions.

#The guidelines and risk assessment tool will serve as a checklist to ensure any decisions on basketball events are based on an assessment of risks and the best chance of a successful restart. This publication is not intended to replace the guidance and restrictions of governments and public health authorities.

#The WBSC published a set of health and operational recommendations for the safe return of baseball and softball activity.

#The precautionary measures and recommendations — named “Safe Return to Baseball/Softball — COVID-19 Prevention Guidelines” — have been developed by the WBSC Medical Commission in accordance with the World Health Organisation’s risk assessment tool and “Considerations for sports federations/sports event organisers when planning mass gatherings in the context of COVID-19”