Silence prevails regarding sports facilities’ restoration
Hurricane Matthew, the storm that left monstrous damage on Grand Bahama, New Providence and Andros, has been gone for several weeks now. At the outset, Prime Minister Perry Christie acted in accordance with the mindset of most Bahamians.
He was proactive in speaking to restoration and recovery. He established a minister for recovery and hurricane relief to work with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and all signs were go. The national process, however, seems to have stalled and does not compare favorably to his initial utterances of urgency.
Bahamians are becoming disconcerted. As for sports, the restoration regarding the national facilities is slow off the mark. In fact, no timelines have been announced by the National Sports Authority (NSA) for the beginning of restoration works nor projected completion dates.
A prime example is the Grand Bahama Sports Complex (GBSC). The NSA had a presence in Grand Bahama at the complex, shortly following the hurricane, to survey the damage. The problem observed was extensive. There has been no schedule of work announced regarding construction. This delayed situation is of concern and many share the feeling.
Coach Gladstone “Moon” McPhee manages the GBSC and when contacted and questioned as to the start of repair work, he had no positive information.
“I can’t tell you. I announced shortly after the hurricane that the complex was closed due to the
damage and that’s all I could do. The NSA visited and knows of the damage. I suppose they will take it from there,” said McPhee.
He sounded helpless and quite unsettled. Coach McPhee should be. The closure of the complex is understood. There is acceptance in the country that all and sundry must be prepared to ride out the storm and the after effects. To a large degree, Bahamians are demonstrating patience.
I emphasize here, though, that communication and an updating procedure, should be the order of the day. It is so much easier to weather tough situations when one can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It gives at the very least, a glimmer of hope.
When nothing much is forthcoming from the authorities, agitation sets in. The sports communities in the country deserve detailed information regarding the prospect of a return to operation of the national sporting facilities that were damaged.
Unfortunately, silence prevails in the land when it comes to the restoration of sporting facilities and otherwise. Bahamians are generally holding strong. The government of The Bahamas, however, is challenged to put fire under the various agencies mandated to engineer the different aspects of restoration and recovery.
Don’t forget the sports facilities!
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org)