#By BRENT STUBBS
#Senior Sports Reporter
#IT’S not how you start, nor how you get there. Most importantly, it’s how you finish.
#• The Finish Line, a weekly column, seeks to comment on the state of affairs in the local sports scene, highlighting the highs and the lows, the thrills and the spills and the successes and failures.
#It’s unusual to start this column off this way, but it was an unusual occurrence this week as we mourn the loss of two sporting legends.
#On Sunday at St Agnes Anglican Church on Baillou Hill Road, members of the Bahamas Olympic Committee and the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations said their farewell to Bernard Livingstone ‘Winkie’ Bostwick, who has been credited with having the longest tenure in office as an executive.
#Whether you liked him or not, Bostwick carried out his role as secretary of the BAAA for 30 years and as the assistant secretary of the BOC for just about that same amount of time with distinction.
#On Monday morning, the shocking news came of the death of the Rev Enoch Backford, the last surviving member of the first team to win an international medal in track and field for the Bahamas. Backford, 77, would later go on to serve as president of the BAAA and a vice president of the BOA.
#It’s a humbling feeling when anyone dies, but it hits home harder when you have to reflect on the life of those persons who have made invaluable contributions to society. Both Bostwick and Backford have done just that, not just in the athletic arena, but in religion as well.
#During his eulogy, the Venerable Archdeacon Ranfurly Brown highlighted the fact that Bostwick was just as dedicated to St Agnes Church just as he was to athletics. Backford’s commitment is documented, but he also left his footprints in the sand of time, having last served as pastor of Mt Carey Union Baptist Church, Fox Hill, where national coach Frank ‘Pancho’ Rahming has been a long-time parishioner and choir director.
#Although they were both no longer serving as executives, they will be missed for the contribution that they made.
#And I liked what Brown said in his message that it’s time for those persons who have performed at the national level be given the accolades they so rightfully deserve by having their portraits placed at the new Thomas A Robinson National Stadium. Bostwick and Backford are definitely two of those candidates.
#It’s not a bad idea to erect a memorial wall where those deceased persons, who served with distinction like Bostwick and Backford, could be remembered. It’s a good way to express our gratitude and appreciation to the men and women who have performed exceptionally during their sojourn on earth.
#While I offer my own personal condolences and that of The Tribune Sports Department to their families, I would also like to say: May their souls rest in peace.
#Who Gets The Money?
#In the ‘Incentive Grants to Elite Athletes,’ the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture is expected to award some $50,000 to three athletes for advancing to the final at the 15th IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, last month. However, two other athletes are not expected to get anything because they finished outside of the top eight spots in their respective events.
#For the record, Leevan ‘Superman’ Sands made the final of the men’s triple jump, which took 12 competitors. Trevor Barry made the final of the men’s high jump, which also carried the top 12 competitors. Unfortunately, they both came in 10th place, outside of the top eight that went on to compete for the medal.
#But at least you can’t take away the fact that they were listed as finalists.
#It should be noted, however, that the IAAF, in its incentive payout to the athletes, only the top eight athletes earned a cheque that ranged from $60,000 for first place to $4,000 for eighth place. There was no cash offered to those athletes who finished from ninth to 12th place, regardless of the field events where 12 athletes competed.
#In the field events, athletes compete for eight spots to contest for a medal.
#So that might be the premise that the ministry has agreed to only award Shaunae Miller $20,000 for her silver medal in the women’s 400 metres, Jeffery Gibson $15,000 for his bronze in the men’s 400m hurdles and Donald Thomas $5,000 for finishing sixth in the men’s high jump. Under the arrangement, the gold medallist earns $30,000.
#An explanation was given by Timothy Munnings, director of sports, and even though it didn’t sit well with Sands, it’s documented in the sports policy and can only be changed on the recommendation of the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr Daniel Johnson.
#It will be interesting to see if Johnson makes any adjustment to the policy to award the two athletes.
#The Week Ahead
#The New Providence Softball Association has gotten its final round of the regular season underway in the Banker’s Field at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex and now with no team left undefeated, it’s going to come down to an interesting showdown for the playoffs and the championships. The keenly contested games are being played every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights, starting at 7pm.