Coach McPhee calls for new Bahamas Games’ structure
Politicians think they are the authorities on everything.”
So said the notable coach Gladstone “Moon” McPhee on Friday while commenting on the absence of the Bahamas Games since 2001
He prefaced his remarks by emphasizing the important role played by the Bahamas Games in “pulling sporting bodies and people from all over The Bahamas together.”
“It was a very good event, but my thing is that the Bahamas Games should be much better planned than the event was in the past. My opinion is this. When we do it again we have to plan it properly. The Government of The Bahamas, through the Ministry of Sports, is responsible for putting in place something that can work,” said McPhee.
He was frank in emphasizing that in the past, the Bahamas Games did not serve the intended purpose “all together.” McPhee, a proponent of a lot of attention being given young and female athletes, exposed a major shortcoming of the five versions of the Bahamas Games held between 1989 and 2001.
“Now, this is my opinion. This is how I saw it. My view, a strong one, is that previously the Bahamas Games was more of a party for the older athletes from all over The Bahamas. We must, when we do this again, make sure that more young athletes are given the opportunity to showcase their talents,” McPhee further stated.
The coach pulled no punches. Acknowledging that the concept of The Bahamas Games is excellent, he said a lack of planning diluted the impact. He pointed to the school campuses being used to house incoming athletes from the Islands and the problems that resulted.
McPhee was adamant that a good start would be for the authorities to recognize that
“they do not know it all.”
“I find that politicians think that they don’t need advice. All of a sudden they know all about everything and they don’t involve the real sports leaders who understand the development process. There are those of us who have been contributing to the development process by finding our own funding and not depending on the government. If we could do it without any, or much government help, you can imagine how successful we would be if we were asked to contribute to the planning of the Bahamas Games and were fortified by the government. But, then that is another thing. The politician and others must first appreciate those who have proven able to organize sports programs for years and approach them,” said McPhee.
McPhee and I are singing the same song.
The Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Sports are working hard on the sports tourism product, and as I have expressed in this space, they have been quite successful. They have crafted a fantastic brand.
It must be noted though, that domestic sports tourism has not gotten much attention, in comparison.
A properly structured Bahamas Games would bring all of The Bahamas under the sports tourism brand.
• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at [email protected].
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