Saturday, Jun 6, 2020
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Volleyball gets into medal success mix

On my regular visits to Grand Bahama, I chat often with Donald Cornish. He is the Government Administrator in Freeport and indeed is a busy man. Recently, he talked about a particularly hectic day, inclusive of meetings, one-on-one interactions and even a wedding service.

Indeed, his administration plate is full, but there is much more to this man Don Cornish.

From a sports perspective, he has been one of the great contributors to the national development process over the last decade or so. From an Abaco base, he once headed the basketball and volleyball programs.

On a national level, he has served very well as the president of the Bahamas Volleyball Federation(BVF), and he is also one of the vice presidents of the Bahamas Olympic Committee(BOC). His passion however, runs deep for the sport of volleyball.

No doubt, he is gleeful over the success of the Bahamian team of Renaldo Knowles, Byron Ferguson, Prince Wilson and Muller Petit, who this past weekend captured the eight-country North American, Central American and Caribbean regional Olympic beach volleyball qualifier gold medal in Trinidad.

It was a milestone achievement for volleyball in particular, but also Bahamian sports in general. This is a sign of the sport locally, climbing the ladder back to the point it was among the best in the region during the 1970s.

That was the era when sports icons Dr. Norman Gay, Tom Grant and Caswell Thompson made Bahamian volleyball the toast of the Caribbean. I can recall the match-ups with Haiti, Trinidad etc., in the Caribbean and the performances in Florida.

Yes, that was the period when the late Carl Minns became the best individual player in the Caribbean region. The veteran Garnett Lockhart(also deceased), Leroy Fawkes and other top male players helped to lead the way.

Among the ladies, Barbara Smith, Margaret Albury, Celestine Wilson-Albury, Hattie Moxey, Daisy Hanna, a very young Jackie Conyers and a few others provided the spark. It was a glorious period for volleyball in The Bahamas.

It looks like we are set for a revisit of that brand of high-level volleyball. Congratulations to the successful quartet. Hopefully, Cornish will be able to stick around a bit longer and work steadfastly with his executive associates to propel the sport even further.

BEC probing if shant