Category: 2021 Olympic Game

Sprinter Resias Is Seeking Financial Support

As of Friday, June 12, 2020


Cliff Resias has been hoping to get on the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture’s subvention to elite athletes since graduating from Southeastern Louisiana last year.


#Senior Sports Reporter

#WITHOUT any success in securing any financial support from the Bahamas Government, sprinter Cliff Resias is forced to come home from the United States of America to redirect his career as he prepares for the 2020 Olympic Games.

#Since graduating from Southeastern Louisiana last year, Resias was hoping that he would have gotten on the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture’s subvention to elite athletes.

#But with only the support from his parents, Tamika Evans and Cliff Resias Sr, along with his coach Bernard Newbold, Resias Jr said it’s not sufficient to sustain him in the United States.

#Still in Louisiana, Resias had to put his training on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic and now he’s waiting until July when the border opens to make the trek back home.

#“If I can get the financial support, I can go back to Arkansas and continue my training with coach Bernard,” Resias said. “I was never on subvention. Before I graduated, I was trying to get on it. After I graduated, I continued and a whole year went without any word from the ministry.”

#Despite not getting any financial support from the government, Resias said he intends to continue running track because he loves it.

#“I can only do what I can do. I can’t do everything,” he said. “I can only do so much with the help from my parents and with coach Bernard’s help. He’s been helping me out as best as he could.”

#Since his graduation from SLU on May 19, 2019, Resias has been training and competing for the Bahamas. He made the team that competed at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru in August where he failed to advance out of the preliminaries of the 200m, placing sixth in his heat in 21.74 seconds.

#Resias also led off the Bahamas men’s 4 x 200m relay team that included Stephen Newbold, Anthony Adderley and Rico Moultrie at the Worth Athletics’ fourth World Relays in Yokohama, Japan in February.

#The team, however, got disqualified. Resias, Newbold, Adderley and Shavez Hart advanced out of the preliminary rounds with the sixth fastest time after placing second in their heat.

#In his last season for SLU at the 2018 outdoor season, Resias captured the 200 in 21.23 at the Louisiana Classics and was on the second-place 4 x 100m relay that ran 41.32. He also helped their 4 x 200m relay set a school record with a second-place time of 1:26.78 at the McNeese Cowboy Relays and was also on the winning 4 x 100m relay team that ran 40.69 and 4 x 400 that did 3:18.57.

#During that indoor season, Resias was fourth in the 200 (21.79) and fifth in the 60 (6.85) at the Samford Open. He also got eighth in the 60 (6.96) at the KMS Invitational and broke a 17-year-old school record with a second-place time of 6.72 seconds in the 60 at the LSU Purple Tiger.

#He was training up until the coronavirus pandemic put a damper on sports throughout the United States in March, shutting down all sporting facilities and training sites. During that time, Resias said he’s not been able to work out, which made his stay in Louisiana that more difficult.

#“My parents couldn’t really send me any money because the banks were closed, so the only person I really had to rely on was coach Bernard,” Resias said. “I really want to thank him for all of the assistance that he gave me because it was really hard for me.”

#In addition to that, Resias said he didn’t get his Optional Practical Training (OPT) card, which denied him the opportunity to secure a job while in the USA. He noted that with all of the social unrest and protests over the death of American George Floyd in Minneapolis, he’s tried to stay away from everything and not get involved in it.

#Newbold, who had formed the RK Athletics Track Club in the US last January to help Resias, Maverick Bowleg, Andre Colebrooke and Ashley Riley to prepare for the 2019 World Championships, said he’s done all he could to try and get Resias on the subvention programme, but nothing has happened and it has made it difficult for him to continue his training.

#“We’ve been trying since last year trying to get him on subvention. We followed all of the procedures like all of the other athletes,” said Newbold, now in his second year of his masters degree programme at the University of Central Arkansas in College Student Personnel Administration.

#“We’re thankful for the assistance that we got for him from Mr (Harrison) Petty to help him train and to travel to competition. But we sent in his resume and indicated that he was no longer a collegiate athlete and was now on the pro circuit. Then we found out in August that the ministry was not putting any new athletes on subvention because the BAAA didn’t submit their list in time for consideration.”

#Once again in February, Newbold said he resubmitted Resias’ information to the BAAA so that he could be considered in this year’s subvention list, but now they are told that the current athletes on the list are going to be cut by at least 20 percent.

#“It’s just a tough one,” Newbold said. “He was in Arkansas with me training earlier this year, but after the Covid-19 outbreak and the state began shutting down, he went back to Louisiana. We were hoping it was only temporary, but it’s still going on, so it’s tough.

#“He couldn’t train because all public spaces were locked down and then we found out that there were no more meets, so we called it a season. We just have to see how we can get him some funding so he can be relocated here in Arkansas and see how best that can work and to pursue the legal challenges to get him on the job force, if that is possible.”

#The 23-year-old Resias, who came into SLU after attending Iowa Western Community College where he was an All-American and regional champion on the 4 x 100m team, was a Carfita, BAISS and GSSSA 100 champion while competing for CV Bethel up until 2014 when he graduated.

#Having posted personal best times of 6.82 in the 60m, 10.20 in the 100, a wind-aided 21.58 in the 200m and 50.89 in the 400m, Resias said he’s not yet ready to give up on his dream of being a professional athlete and competing for the Bahamas in the Olympic Games.

#With the Olympics delayed from July 24 to August 9, 2020 to July 23 to August 8, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan, Resias said he’s more committed to getting ready to compete in the 100m and possibly on the men’s 4 x 100m relay team, if they qualify.

#“If it works out, it works out, but if it doesn’t work out, then I would have to move on and find something to do in the job market,” he said. “Even though I may not be on subvention, I still want to try and achieve that goal of competing at the Olympics.

#“I know that I am close, so I’m not about to give up right now. If I wasn’t that close to qualifying, I would give up. I could use the subvention, but I don’t want to let that discourage me from trying to qualify for the Olympics. Hopefully everything will work out in my favor.”

Gibson: ‘As An Executive Of The Board Of The BAAA, I Know That I Am Going To Be Reduced’

As of Monday, June 8, 2020

#TRACK and field athletes’ representative Jeffery Gibson said he’s quite aware that there is expected to be at least a 20 per cent cut in the subvention to the Bahamian athletes in the Bahamas Government’s new budget that will be debated in Parliament this month.

#The Bahamas men’s 400 metre hurdles national record holder said while it may come as a surprise, it’s a reality that they will have to deal with.

#“Everyone is being affected by the budget cut as a result of COVID-19,” he said. “The whole Bahamas is affected. We know that cutting back, we will have to take a loss because of the pandemic and the lock down that the country is going through.

#“I know they said they were going to make a 20 per cent cut across the board with all athletes in all sports. It’s unfortunate, but with the subvention, it’s a year-to-year basis where there are some years when you get cut because of your performance, but these are some uncertain circumstances that we are faced with, so the cuts are inevitable.”

#As the elite athletes on subvention continue to prepare for the 2020 Olympic Games that have been postponed in Tokyo, Japan, until July 2021, Gibson said all of the athletes will now have to look at what adjustments they can make moving forward.

#“It sucks, truth be told,” he said. “It’s going to be difficult, but it’s something that I expected, so I’m not surprised that they are cutting the subventions.”

#Gibson, now in Durham, Raleigh, North Carolina where he’s training at St Augustine’s College with coaches Bershawn Jackson, a former world champion and his long-time mentor George Williams, said there needs to be a better way of communicating its plans to the athletes, whether it’s directly from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture or through the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations. “I don’t know if the athletes were made aware by the ministry as yet. I wasn’t advised of that,” he said. “You would expect the ministry to reach out to the athletes, but I’m not sure if they reached out to the athletes advising them who are under review and who will be reduced.”

#While the ministry’s budget is expected to be reduced from $18,938,187, about $5,143,194 less than what was expended in last year’s budget of $24,081,380, the subventions to elite athletes this year is projected to be dropped from $1,346,150 to $1,076,920, a decrease of just under $300,000.

#Gibson, a Grand Bahamian native and graduate of Bishop Michael High School, said he’s advised of what’s taking place as an executive of the BAAA as the Athletes Representative, but he said the decision will be have an adverse effect on a lot of the athletes because they were only made aware of what will happen because of the cut in the budget for sports.

#“I know that the ministry has not reached out to me as an athlete, but as an executive of the board of the BAAA, I know that I am going to be reduced,” Gibson said. “I know the executive board of the BAAA makes a recommendation to the Ministry on whether or not athletes should be added, decreased, increased or removed off the list.

#“Based on the athletes’ performances the previous year, their willingness to support national teams, their sponsorship and their growth and development through their national and international rankings, the BAAA would make recommendations. A lot of times the ministry would take the recommendations as they are, or they make their final decisions.”

#Currently in North Carolina, Gibson said working part-time with Target after he completes his training sessions each morning. He’s in the city of Durham where he’s under a curfew, but because he’s been abiding by the social distancing rule, he tries not to get into all of the latest developments surrounding the death of George Floyd.

#“When they started having peaceful rallies, we’ve been closing our stores here at 7 pm rather than 9 pm like they did during the height of the coronavirus,” Gibson said. “So while there have been some protests here just about every day, I have thought about what is going on.

#“Living here by myself, I thought about what was going on, especially when I went out jogging because it could have been me, as a Bahamian. In a way, I’m glad that they are dealing with this issue of racism. I think it’s about time. It’s long overdue. But I’m keeping my distance because I am a Bahamian first in a foreign land.”

#While it’s a recurring thought that nobody has ever experienced anything like this before, Gibson said he remembered the changes that were made after 9-11 when a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001 changed the way we traveled, Gibson said he’s not sure what will take place in the aftermath of Covid-19.

#“These changes will certainly affect us forever as we moved forward,” he proclaimed. “I don’t know if that means whenever we have an event, we will have to continue to wear our masts or we have to compete in front of very small crowds, we just have to use commonsense.

#“I don’t know what to expect for next year, but I am still talking with my coaches and planning on what we need to do to get prepared. I want to be ready for the Olympic Games. That was one of the reasons why I decided to come back here to train.”

#Gibson, 29, didn’t make the qualifying standard for his second appearance at the Olympics before sports was interrupted in March, putting a halt to the outdoor season. The Oral Roberts University graduate initially moved to North Carolina to train for his professional career.

#After winning his second medal – a silver – at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia in the 400m hurdles in 49.10 in 2018, Gibson ended up with a fourth place finish at last year’s Pan American Games in Lima, Peru in the 400m hurdles in a time of 49.53 seconds and as a member of the men’s 4 x 400m relay team that included Ojay Ferguson, Alonzo Russell and Andre Colebrooke that placed seventh in 3:09.98.

#Gibson enjoyed a breakout season at the NACAC Under-23 Championships in Irapuato, Mexico in 2012 with three medals, clinching the gold in the 400m hurdles in 50.27; a bronze in the 400m in 46.30 and a silver on the men’s 4 x 400m relay team of Alfred Higgs, Denzell Forston and Alonzo Russell that ran 3:04.33.

#In 2013 at the Central American and Caribbean Championships in Morelia, Mexico, Gibson ascended the podium in the same position twice with a silver in the 400m hurdles in 49.94 and on the men’s 4 x 400m relay team of Latoy Williams, Ojay Ferguson and Wesley Neymour and that clocked 3:02.66. However, he failed to advance out of the semifinals of the 400m hurdles at his debut at the World Championships in Moscow, Russia to close out the year.

#A year later at his initial appearance at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, United Kingdom in 2014, Gibson stormed back with a renewed vigor and claimed a bronze medal in a national record breaking time of 48.78 and he secured the gold later that year at the Pan American Sports Festival Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico in 48.91.

#In his return to the World Championships in Beijing, China in 2015, Gibson avenged his previous outing by lowering his national record in the 400m hurdles to 49.17 for the bronze medal. He suffered a torn labrum in the lead up to his Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016.

#Last year, Gibson was voted as the new Athletes Representative, replacing Leevan ‘Superman’ Sands. He has vowed to make a difference in his role, while at the same time ensuring that he’s right there with his peers representing the Bahamas on the international scene.

‘Elite Athletes May Require More Financial Assistance, Not Less’

As of Thursday, June 4, 2020


#Senior Sports Reporter

#Romell Knowles, president of the Bahamas Olympic Committee, is calling on the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture to not cut the subvention of elite athletes, considering that it is critical for them to receive every penny they can get to prepare for the 2020 Olympic Games.

#Knowles sent a letter to the ministry after it was reported in The Tribune on Tuesday that the subvention for elite athletes is expected to be cut by over $269,000 as outlined in the budget presented in the House of Assembly last week by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest.

#Knowles, whose BOC is expected to receive about $40,000 in the projected budget, said with the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, being postponed until July, 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are still anticipating great performances from our athletes who are under a number of constraints.

#“The restrictions of competitions, coupled with restrictions to train for the most prestigious sporting event in the world, The Tokyo Olympic Games, brings with it a set of abnormal circumstances and expenses for our athletes,” Knowles wrote.

#“In addition to preparation expenses, which I believe may increase due in part to share demand, the mental preparation may be an additional but necessary expense, our athletes may be forced to endure.”

#Knowles said preparation for these games have their own peculiarities and with them come additional expenses.

#“In this regard, we respectfully ask that you escalate our request for consideration to delay any and all reduction to elite athletes’ subvention who are in preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games,” Knowles continued.

#“Given these difficult set of circumstances brought on by an abnormal COVID-19 environment, elite athletes may require more financial assistance, not less,” he said.

#In that regard and on behalf of the elite athletes, Knowles said they are requesting that the ministry delay any reduction in subvention so that our athletes may be better positioned to prepare, qualify and ultimately perform at their optimum at the most prestigious sporting event in the world – the Olympic Games.He said they are looking forward to engaging in a dialogue with the ministry and the government in this regard, as well as funding that is expected to be provided to the various sporting federations and associations.

#“Sporting federations find themselves having to provide more assistance in these most difficult times,” Knowles said.

#“It is our hope there are no reductions in federation grants in this Olympic cycle. Hoping to bring resolve and comfort on behalf of our elite athletes. I am available to discuss this and other matters soonest.”

#In the budget report, the recurrent expenditure for the ministry is estimated to be around $18,938,187, about $5,143,194 less than what was expended in last year’s budget of $24,081,380.

#This significant reduction in the budget is expected to drastically change the landscape of sports in the country in the aftermath of COVID-19