Roberts’ challenging goal for dominoes
By FRED STURRUP
NG Columnist/Sales Executive
Jeff Roberts has been on a mission for a very long time. He has always wanted to propel the game of dominoes into the mainstream of Bahamian sports programs. It was always a mystery to him that dominoes could be so very popular socially but there was such a difficulty in regulating it.
In 1992 for a number of reasons, one of the main ones being the controversies that developed over”personality issues”, he resigned from the Bahamas Dominoes Association. His passion nevertheless still burned deeply even through the long hard years of rehabilitation from a stroke. He is still far from his former state of physical vibrancy. His illness was crippling and would have dampened the spirit of most. Roberts was different.
We had a chat a few years ago. He told me of his physical difficulties and also of his continued love for the game and a desire to ultimately, properly structure dominoes. I remember thinking that perhaps it was the fire that burned so deeply in Roberts for dominoes that gave him the determination to rise about the ravages of the stroke.
He still walks with a pronounced limp, but it is a determined Jeff Roberts who re-emerged on the dominoes scene last year as president once again. He has rebounded despite the hardship of moving his limbs. Bahamians from all walks of life, in all fields, sports, business, etc. can use Roberts as the ideal role model in perseverance.
Roberts these days, for the most part, puts his physical situation in the background as he strives to propel dominoes. When he returned to the presidency of the sport Roberts vowed to push a vigorous membership drive.
His primary objective is to bring the excitement of the popular eras of dominoes back into league play. Then ultimately, he hopes to establish a dominoes federation. He is a strong advocate for the inclusion of the Family Islands into the system.
I support that position. In every island, the game of dominoes is one of the top pastimes. In bars, restaurants, under trees, along roadsides of island settlements, they love to slam the chips. It is surely an uphill struggle for Roberts to obtain his objectives.
Thus far, since his new stint began, there has been no noticeable resurgence. Don’t count Jeff Roberts out though. He has grappled with a debilitating”brain attack”. The symptoms from the stroke couldn’t keep him down. It is therefore very likely that he will equally rise to the challenges of taking his beloved game of dominoes into the Bahamian mainstream of popular, organized sports.
Roberts is a champion in his own right. Be encouraged. This is a good time for a focus on mind sports. Over in the Bahamas Chess Federation, Kean Smith is working to project that sport. I met Rodney Heastie recently and he showed me some very old clippings of milestones in checkers. He yearns for the”old days of good checkers”to come back.
Roberts is giving his best efforts again, in dominoes. Best wishes to him.
(To respond to this column kindly contact Fred Sturrup at [email protected])