Sports ministry continues salute to big contributors
This past Saturday, the Ministry of Sports paid tribute to another set of major contributors to the country’s sports development process. The latest inductees to the National Hall of Fame included sports figures who performed at a level of excellence in the competition arena as athletes, coaches and administrators.
It was a really nice cross section that included those who contributed mightily to the local program, others who also carried the Bahamian banner substantively abroad, and a former noted magistrate and a governor general who were passionate about sports despite their other duties.
With Charles Maynard as the minister responsible for youth, sports and culture presently, this particular government arm faces a lot of challenges. Accordingly, fingers are pointed at him mostly. Although permanent secretaries are actually the real bosses of ministries, government ministers are often the targets of criticism. Minister Maynard has gotten his share.
This is an occasion, however, when Minister Maynard, Sports Director Tim Munnings and the entire team responsible for organizing the grand sports happening, should be congratulated.
The inductees, like those who were so honored before them, functioned with a passion for the sport as the driving force. For them it was a labor of love as they persevered and operated with dignity and great desire to uplift their country through sports.
The National Hall of Fame is fantastic in the sense that it provides an avenue for those nation builders who would ordinarily be forgotten, to have their efforts cemented in the pages of history. Although some 50 persons have been inducted in the National Hall of Fame since the initial ceremony way back in 1989, there are many more who deserve to be lifted up and saluted for their part in the development process of this nation.
That’s why the Hall of Fame forum is so important. As it continues, more and more sporting individuals who long ago slipped way under the radar will be brought back to center stage and honored accordingly. There has been good consistency in staging the induction ceremony in recent years. This is good and hopefully the “powers that be” in the ensuing years will continue this noble gesture, annually.
The 2011 inductees include: Margaret Albury (volleyball), John Antonas (tennis), Anita Doherty (multi-sport), Godfrey Kelly (sailing), Austin ‘King Snake’ Knowles (softball), Martin Lundy (multi-sport), Gladstone ‘Moon’ McPhee (basketball) and Derrick ‘Bookie’ Nesbitt. (basketball), Frank ‘Pancho’ Rahming (athletics), Glenroy ‘Flo’ Saunders (multi-sport), Wilfred ‘Sudgy’ Culmer (baseball), Sir Gerald Cash (multi-sport), Prince McIntosh (basketball) and Justice Maxwell Thompson (multi-sport).
Congratulations to those inductees who are still among us, and the families of the ones who have passed on!
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com)