New Year expectations

As of Wednesday, January 4, 2023


#Senior Sports Reporter

#Coming out of the COVID- 19 pandemic, sports took off and many of the sporting bodies were thrilled to be back in action. And as they transition to the new year, there are even more exciting expectations for the new year.

#The Bahamas will play host to the CARIFTA Games for the ninth time over the Easter holiday weekend and the Bahamas Games will be back for the seventh time as a part of the country’s 50th Golden anniversary celebrations.

#• Here’s what some of the sporting bodies have on their agendas for the new year.

#Bahamas Aquatics Federation

#Look for another busy year from the federation, according to president Algernon Cargill, from going for another historic milestone of five straight at CARIFTA to the 19th FINA World Championships in July.

#“We will open the year with the defence of our CARIFTA Aquatics title in Curacao over the Easter weekend,” Cargill said.

#“The Bahamas will be taking a full team to Curacao. We want to go on record as being the first country to five-peat. We’ve already won four straight, so we want to go for five straight.”

#From CARIFTA, Cargill said they will launch a competitive summer that will include the Central American and Caribbean Games in El Salvador, the Bahamas National Championships in Nassau and the CCCAN Championships, also to be staged in El Salvador. These meets will serve as precursors to the FINA World Championships in Japan.

#Bahamas Softball Federation

#Jennifer Isaacs-Dotson, the first female elected last year as the president of the BSF, said there are plans to put in a number of programmes in place.

#“We will implement a fitness programme, develop a junior national programme, appoint national team coaches and players to start preparing for international tournaments, secure fundraising, certification of officials and coaches inclusive of primary and high school teachers and coaches,” Isaacs-Dotson said.

#“We also want the development of and preparation for associations to start playing fastpitch softball instead of slowpitch because too many young players are playing slow pitch and we want to continue working closely with the associations, the BBA, MOYSC, BOC, ECASC and WBSC.”

#Bahamas Baseball Association

#With the fourth Caribbean Cup in December as the springboard for their international competition at the newly constructed Andre Rodgers Baseball Stadium, BBA president Sam Rodgers said there’s a lot more excitement to look forward to.

#“We in the Bahamas Baseball Association are gearing up for an exciting 2023 as we gear up for our Bahamas Games in July and we are expecting to take two or three national teams to international tournaments as we are also planning to host some international tournaments along with our national championships to be held in Nassau this year,” Rodgers said. “We are still awaiting the Andre Rodgers National Baseball Stadium to be fully completed and then we would release our full baseball calendar for 2023. With God’s help the baseball community should have an exciting year in baseball for 2023.”

#Bahamas Judo Federation

#The BJF has at least five athletes in the pipeline preparing for the 2024 Olympics and nobody is more eager about their future than president D’Arcy Rahming.

#“This year judo intends to participate in many major tournaments and games with a mind to qualifying for the Olympics,” Rahming said. “We have on the circuit: Cynthia Rahming, Andrew Munnings, Alexander Strachan, Daniel Strachan and Xavion Johnson.”

#Boxing Federation of the Bahamas

#President Vincent Strachan said with renewed courage and strength from the challenges and successes during 2022, he anticipates greater success in 2023. “The last half of 2022 was a period of success for our boxers, who participated in the school boys and girls championship in Georgetown, Guyana and the Bert Championship in Kissimmee, Florida,” Strachan said.

#“We are looking for growth in our national teams with the addition of boxers in the USA, hosting regular boxing events in Grand Bahama, Inagua and other family Islands and hosting international events, including professional boxing.”

#Strachan said the IBA introduced professional boxing during its Congress in Abu Dhabi in November, amending its constitution at that congress to pave the way for professional boxing by the International Boxing Federation (IBA) and its members.

#IBA president Umar Cremlev, according to Strachan, declared that there is no amateur boxing but boxing from top to bottom and he intends to host similar events in the Bahamas at the professional level.

#“I will also host boxing events for peewee and elite boxers including international and regional boxers,” Strachan said. “We will embark on vigorous fund raising events to ensure regular participation outside of the country by all of our boxers, coaches and officials.”

#Training of boxers, coaches and officials in the rules and regulations of boxing throughout the country will also be conducted and Strachan said they will conduct a search for suitable buildings for gyms and an office for the federation as they also seek to find ways to develop boxing in the schools and prison and host educational forums for the media, public and others to help promote boxing throughout the country.

#“We want to invite former and current professional boxers to speak at such forums and prepare our boxers for junior world, junior Pan American, Central American Games, Pan American Games, Elite World Games and the Olympic Games,” Strachan said.

#“We also want to establish regional regular boxing competitions with the Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica and others at all levels including professional boxing,” Strachan said. “We will also continue the organisation of associations throughout the country and amend the constitution and hold election of officers.”

#Bahamas Cricket Association

#BCA president Greg Taylor Sr said the Bahamas will focus immediately on international competition.

#“We are preparing our national team to travel to Argentina to compete in the ICC 2024 World Cup in Argentina in February,” Taylor Sr said.

#“The first three teams from this tournament will go on to Bermuda in August to play for the one spot to be in the World Cup. Andy Moulds from South Africa, who took us to the qualifier last year in Antigua, will be coaching the team.

#“In March, the BCA leagues and the Nations Cup, which is also a T-20 Tournament, will be played.

#“In July, we will have our AGM of our youth camp. At the end of January, our new youth camp of development will be coming in from South Africa to take over the programme.

#He will be concentrating on women’s cricket and the under-19 and so we’re looking to get that started.”

#And after playing in the Cayman Islands last year, Taylor Sr said they will have a returned T-20 international match here to play in a series of matches.

#After losing all of their matches played in the Cayman Islands, Taylor Sr said the BCA is looking to return the favour at home.

#Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association

#Despite the problems they experienced off the court, BLTA president Perry Newton said they are still pressing forward for an exciting 2023 season.

#“We expect to see growth this year fuelled by our Play Tennis Programme on the island of New Providence as well as the growth of tennis on the Island of Grand Bahama, Abaco, and Eleuthera,” he said.

#“The BLTA will have its full complement of tournaments being kicked off this month with our U14 and U16 New Year tournament. This is the first year that this tournament is being held this early but it allows us flexibility with our tournament going forward.”

#Next the action will move to Grand Bahama for the GBTA hosted junior tournament.

#“As I stated earlier growth has always been a focus of the BLTA and this will be displayed by the introduction of a High School Tennis Championship and the hosting of a sanctioned tournament on the island of Abaco,” Newton said.

#“It will definitely be a busy summer with the Bahamas Games being hosted this summer as well as the return of our two international tournaments which we intend on hosting this year.

#“Notwithstanding the many obstacles, the BLTA was able to meet all of our obligations and send off eight teams in 2022 that represented the Bahamas. We are looking forward to another year of success with our national teams this year.”

#Newton said they expect to see a continued growth in their tournaments at both the junior and adult levels.

#“All our success can only be attributed to God as he has touched our sponsors to support our cause to provide a safe, affordable environment for our new students both young and old,” he said.

#“We continue to invite persons to take advantage of our Play Tennis Programme where we now offer introduction lessons for kids between the ages of 5-17 for a registration of $1 and persons over the age of 18 for $5.”

#At the end of the year, Newton said the BLTA will host their awards banquet where they highlight the success of their athletes and honour those persons who made contributions to the development of tennis throughout the Bahamas.

#Bahamas Bodybuilding Federation

#Federation president Joel Stubbs said they are prepared to embrace 2023 as they give thanks to God for allowing us to behold another year of new beginnings with renewed energy.

#“2022 has ended with a bang for many of our athletes as they were granted opportunities to compete on the international stage accomplishing their professional pro card status,” said Stubbs, one of the first Bahamians to achieve the feat.

#“Many others were intrigued by such performances and started the 2023 journey “quest to be the best” immediately thereafter.

#“We are very excited and hopeful that we will see stellar performances once again.

#“There is an elite group of athletes that appears to be very hungry and ready for whatever challenge lies ahead.”

#As they launch their 2023 calendar, Stubbs revealed that the focus will be placed on the return of their Novice Championships on May 20 at a venue to be announced at a later date followed by the spectacular Northern Bahamas show in Grand Bahama.

#From July 8-13, the federation will be back in New Providence for the return of the Bahamas Games and the National Championships.

#“An explosion of events that will bring all fitness athletic individuals together to compete for their native island,” Stubbs said.

#“From this event, our national team will be selected to represent the Bahamas at this year’s CAC games to be staged in August in Oranjestad, Aruba.

#“Our sport is a vibrant one, attracting many fitness individuals with opportunities to compete in 18 different events, ranging from a fit model to all the physique makeup categories to hardcore bodybuilding,” Stubbs revealed.

#“We encourage and invite you, our fit viewing audience who have been training but curious and tempted to compete, to get on board, find a trainer, a knowledgeable friend who knows the sport that will assist you in making this 2023 year a next level fitness reality.”

#Stubbs summed up that they are looking forward to once again getting the support from the corporate partnership and sponsorship along with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture’s support, in making this fitness year a success.

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