Failure to revive the Bahamas Games amounts to national sports tragedy
It was 15 years ago when the last version of the Bahamas Games took place, under a Free National Movement (FNM) Government, in 2001. It is indeed ironic, that the political party that gave birth to the Bahamas Games, which connected all of The Bahamas, more than any other event, has failed miserably to maintain the high standard set initially.
Reference is to the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Government that ushered in the Bahamas Games in 1989, under the leadership of the late Sir Lynden Pindling.
As the nation prepares for the advent of another year, it is natural that goals are set by all and sundry. Hopefully the Government of The Bahamas today, which happens to be, yes the same PLP, but led by Perry Christie, would cement plans for a revival of the Bahamas Games.
It is a national tragedy that the popular sports product has been ignored by all of the respective central administrations since the FNM of 2001. The present government has several months in front of it, during the present tenure, prior to the holding of the next general elections.
The National Budget for 2017-2018 is the responsibility of this Christie Government. Accordingly, the budget can be crafted to include the re-activation of the Bahamas Games. For sure, there would be those voters from the sports fraternity who would think more kindly of the PLP if the Bahamas Games became a priority once again.
The oversight of successive governments since 2001 is amazing. With sports being such a positive and dominant element of our existence, it would ordinarily figure that an event to unite the inhabited islands would be appealing to politicians. However, sadly that has not been the case.
Interestingly enough, although the Bahamas Games was the brainchild of the PLP, that government has staged just two versions (1989 and 1991). The FNM organized two Bahamas Games events during its first historic term (1995 and 1999) and one during the second FNM term of governance (2001 as aforementioned).
I throw out again the challenge for this government to put the Bahamas Games on the schedule. So often, the Family Islands are left out of major national happenings that take place for the most part, in the capital island of New Providence.
Grand Bahama, being the second-most populated and developed island, economically and otherwise, generates its own big-time events.
The Bahamas Games represents that avenue of all inclusivity for the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. On the previous occasions, the interaction of family members and friends in a sports forum was quite rich socially and competitively.
Indeed, the Bahamas Games turned out to be one of the great products in the history of the country.
Mr. Christie, let’s bring the games back!
• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at [email protected].
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