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‘Papa’Smith’s new sports academy set

One of the main reasons The Bahamas’national sports program has advanced immensely over the years, is the collective devotion of former prime time players, dedicated administrators and fully supportive parents, guardians and sponsors.

The ex-athletes, in particular, have been great pillars in the development process. A few have developed special programs to further compliment the growth within the sporting landscape.

In that light, soon, one of our true icons will be starting a sports academy. He is as ideal an individual as any to craft a structured program to work with young boys and girls.

I refer to the legendary Fred’Papa’Smith. The National Hall of Fame member has informed that he is working hard to get the Fred Smith Sports Academy going around mid-March, in another two weeks or so.

“You know the sports arena has basically been my life. I grew up in sports, gave a lot to sports, got a lot from it and have always desired and tried as best as I could to give back, in particular to youth development. I feel with my sports academy, I can do a bit more in helping the national programs in basketball, softball and baseball,”said Smith.

His sports background is extensive.

It all began for’Papa’at the Priory Grounds when he developed into the finest youth basketball player in the nation’s history. His basketball talent and savvy were well beyond his years. He became the best point guard the country ever produced and one of the most successful coaches in junior and senior basketball.

In baseball, he is in my view, one of the top 20 players all-time in this country. He is one of the few Bahamians who could have excelled at every position on the field if he wished.’Papa’earned a lot of respect for his play behind the plate and the unique ability to handle pitchers.

At third base, he made the hot corner look easy. He was a gem of an outfielder and of course with his wisdom for the game he could have been a superb pitcher, I think. He belongs to the Bahamian pro baseball players club.

Smith was equally as comfortable playing with the bigger ball in the game of softball. In these three disciplines he will focus on teaching attendees at his academy. What makes the Smith Academy so special is the fact that he intends to concentrate on the inner city young boys and girls who otherwise would not get such an opportunity.

Accordingly, his base of operation will be the Southern Recreation Grounds. It is proposed that beginning Saturday, March 19,’Papa’will add this latest dimension to the national program. Eligible for the camp will be boys and girls in the 8-14 age category. The sessions will be conducted from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. each Saturday.

This is a worthwhile cause. Hopefully’Papa’will get the full support of Corporate Bahamas.

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