Monday, Nov 18, 2019
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BAAA chief travels to Grand Bahama to launch nationals

Clearly the new concept Drumeco Archer wants for the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) is a work in progress.

The BAAA president flew into Grand Bahama on Monday to network with stakeholders and to officially launch the 2019 BAAA Senior National Championships. The national track and field classic is scheduled for the Grand Bahama Sports Complex (GBSC), July 25-26.

There is a cost factor that has to be met in order to successfully stage the nationals and Archer is aware of the challenge. Thus, going forward, the president admits to being on a mission to solidify the BAAA financially to be able to have continuity of a national development program, outside of government grants and what comes in from corporate entities.

The BAAA is a prime product. Indeed, Archer and his executive colleagues have in their hands a commodity that, if marketed properly, could revitalize the entire national feeder system of primary athletes, throughout the junior and senior stages, all the way to the elite world level.

The view held here is that, in The Bahamas, there is enough raw talent for each core discipline to have several athletes in the elite world circle. I insist that this is the case for all of the major sports programs in the country. It stands to reason, though, that because of the great steps that track and field has made in recent decades, athletics is a cut above its peer sporting bodies.

Accordingly, as thrilled as Bahamians are over the performances of Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Steven Gardiner and Donald Thomas, there should be, at this moment in time, more Bahamians capable of winning or finishing in the top three consistently in events laced with the best talents in the world.

This is the backdrop from which Archer operates. The expectation is for him to guide track and field in The Bahamas to being even more respected the world over than the country presently is.

He seeks to broaden the stakeholder base, inclusive of all generations, to foster a greater national vested interest in propelling Bahamian athletics.

So far, Archer has been good at talking about what he would like to see evolve for track and field. As the BAAA top executive, he is the one who has to lead the way forward, totally away from the reticent mindset of his recent predecessors. Past BAAA administrations were led by executives who seemed determined to guard their dealings. A lot went on that the masses of the track and field fraternity knew nothing of. There are still financial reports that have not been fully communicated to the track and field family or the general public.

It is from such a place that Archer finds himself making efforts to restructure and make the BAAA more palatable to businesses and staunch track and field fans in Grand Bahama, New Providence and across the archipelago.

While the BAAA is a high-level product, Archer faces the huge task of functioning so that those who supported his GOAT (greatest of all time) BAAA executive slate, continue to have confidence that a new day has dawned for Bahamian track and field.

The interaction in Grand Bahama seemed to go quite well for Archer.

Let’s see what follows. The BAAA National Championships will be a huge test.

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address sturrup1504@gmail.com or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.

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