Making the case for 2021 IAAF World Relays in The Bahamas
Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) President Drumeco Archer, prior to the November 24 elections that vaulted him into the powerful chief executive position, listed as one of his future priorities a return of the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Relays.
He is well-positioned now to make official contact with the IAAF. My understanding is that he has and there has been at least one preliminary conversation about The Bahamas bidding, through the BAAA, to host the international relays, once again, a little over two years from now.
He has bitten off a whole lot.
The big task for him, regarding the World Relays, is making a case for the event to take place in this country.
Earlier this year, under Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, the government of The Bahamas made yet another error when it took the 2019 hosting of the World Relays out of the national schedule. In reflection, the view held here is that the case for the World Relays was not made emphatically enough to Dr. Minnis and his Cabinet.
The responsibility to do so rested on the shoulders of former Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Michael Pintard. Indeed, after he flew into London for the World Championships in 2017, the track and field family and certainly many other sporting observers felt the deal was sealed.
I certainly thought so. In talks previously (many times) with Minister Pintard, I never felt that there was a problem. When the bombshell came from the government that the $5 million fee was too steep, it was shocking to many more than a few.
Obviously, Pintard as sports minister, did not make a strong enough case with his colleagues in Cabinet.
BAAA chief Archer is not in the Cabinet of The Bahamas, but he should seek the opportunity, with that body, to present a new case for the World Relays.
Crunch time has come right away for Archer. Indeed, right out of the gun, he is expected to deliver on a huge priority item.
To be fair, after consideration, perhaps the significance of the IAAF World Relays taking place in The Bahamas did not register with Dr. Minnis.
It could be that the many positive factors of being synonymous with such an important global event were not detailed to him.
Maybe he deserves the benefit of the doubt.
So, it falls on Archer to make the case to the prime minister and to grab the attention of the Cabinet of The Bahamas.
The suggestion here is that Archer requests an audience with the PM, through the now Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle.
Archer crafted an excellent campaign. He certainly talked the talk.
Now, it is time to walk the walk!
• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org or on WhatsApp at 727-6363.
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