Colebrooke gives sports perspective-Part II
The Chief Sports Recreation Officer in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture advocates a more realistic approach generally to the importance of the national sports program. Kevin Colebrooke who just recently concluded a 10-month stint as Acting Director of Sports was straightforward in an exclusive interview for this column series.
“Sports amount to big business. For some reason, the program is taken lightly by some but when you factor in the great contribution of sports and the positive impact on a society, you understand the huge value,”he said.”We are a blessed nation. Yes, we are the mightiest nation per capita in sports but there is much more we can do. There needs to be greater appreciation for sports and the different programs should all include going throughout the Family Islands and all of New Providence to find the talent. For sports in The Bahamas to attain the true potential the untold amount of talent in the Family Islands and New Providence must be tapped. We must tap into the talent in every sport from a very early age.”
He suggests putting young teams together in every discipline for a building process that would lead to older quality athletes for national teams.
“We have to get the little boys and girls early and get them into programs-put teams together and let them travel inter-island and out of the country so that they can get accustomed to the spirit of the competition and understand the need to be the best at what they do. When this happens on a broad basis, our senior national teams will be that more productive,”said Colebrooke.
He referred to Cuba and Jamaica, Caribbean sister nations which both place a heavy concentration on their respective national sports programs.
“Look at Cuba. Nothing much else has been happening in Cuba for years now, other than sports. Cuba has been synonymous with high production in sports. The focus on sports was a saving grace for that nation. That’s just about all they have, but, they have done so much with sports and for that, there is worldwide respect, and then, there is Jamaica. They have a terrific sports program. They go up against the largest nations in the world and do equally as well or better. This is fantastic. It’s all because they understand very well how to tap into their talent resources in sports. It’s been a constant approach of Cuba and Jamaica to prioritize sports,”said Colebrooke.
His points are sound ones. It’s good to have someone of the sports status of Colebrooke weighing in on a subject so near and dear to me. Today, despite the many achievements of the athletes who represent The Bahamas each year, about another 50 percent of raw talent remains untapped. Colebrooke’s words of wisdom represent a strong challenge to the nation’s sports organizations.
(End of part two of this series. To respond to this column, kindly contact [email protected])