With only four weeks remaining to the sixth edition of the Bahamas Games, a common question remains: ‘What are the Bahamas Games?’
After more than two decades of being dormant, this is a question that many young millennials and others who have yet to have an opportunity to participate in or see the games, may ask.
The Bahamas Games, established in 1989 under the then sports minister Peter J. Bethell, was the first of five sets of multi-events games. The following games occurred in 1991, 1995, 1998 and 2001.
The prevailing national conviction was that the extravaganza of the games was a unique factor in nationalizing the tremendous benefits of sports throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The games also allowed for the discovery of new talent among Bahamians who had the potential to become World and Olympic-level athletes.
The games incorporated various sporting disciplines, enabling athletes from the different sporting federations across our islands or groups of islands to participate and come together. The Bahamas Games were intended to be a joyous national event, meant to uplift, unify and uphold the primary spirit of athletics and sports, encouraging camaraderie through competition and courage.
Just as prominent and more abstract was the reflective evidence that the games generated a sense of national unity and a greater appreciation of the collective charisma among residents of our scattered islands and island groupings. Realizing that while each island possesses its unique brand, it remains grounded in all that makes Bahamians a unique collection of people and proud members of an intimate family of islands.
The Bahamas Golden Jubilee Games will be held from July 7-15. The opening ceremony will be held on Saturday July 8, leading into our national 50th Anniversary of Independence celebrations.
These games will incorporate 16 sporting disciplines held at 16 different locations, enabling persons to enjoy and support the teams and sports of their choice.
The 10 teams forming the individual islands or grouping of islands include: the Abaco Survivors, the Andros Chiccharnies, the Bimini and Berry Islands Marlins, the Columbus Isles Arawaks (Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador), the Eleuthera Adventurers, the Exuma & Ragged Island Navigators, the Grand Bahama Lucayans, the Long Island Sheep Runners, the MICAL Flamingoes (Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins and Long Cay) and the New Providence Buccaneers.
The Bahamas Games’ style of competition is modeled after the Olympics. The games will be held over a week, with various events occurring sequentially or simultaneously. The overall score collectively will determine the winner of the games. However, each sporting event will still be awarded based on a first to third-place finisher, with those teams or their representatives being awarded gold, silver and bronze respectively.
One of the important events included with the Bahamas Golden Jubilee Games is the baton tour, which has already started its journey, beginning in Exuma and then to Grand Bahama. The baton will continue to touch each island or a representative island for a grouping of islands until it ends its journey returning to New Providence for the start of the Bahamas Games 2023.
The passing of the baton from one island to the next acts as a signal to all the islands that the Bahamas Games will begin shortly but also acts as a catalyst to inspire both supporters and athletes to bring their ‘A’ game, whether participating or cheering. The baton also reminds Bahamians of the national pledge of allegiance, “…one people, united in love and service”, which is reflected in the Bahamas Golden Jubilee Games’ slogan, ‘Our Nation, Our Islands, Our Games’.
The excitement for Bahamas Games 2023 is building, and everyone can participate and learn more about the games by going to the Bahamas Golden Jubilee Games website: thebahamasgames.org or following, liking and subscribing on social media for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @thebahamagames or TikTok and YouTube @thebahamasgames.
Every Tuesday, at 6 p.m., the public is encouraged to tune into the ‘Hype Tuesday’ show streamed live on the Bahamas Games’ Facebook and YouTube channels to represent their island and team and show their support who they feel will win the upcoming games.
For more information on how to participate in the games or general information on the games, interested persons can call (242) 322-1029/69 or send an e-mail to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.