Friday, Apr 26, 2019
HomeSports ScopeCARIFTA results could cement downsized trend with squads

CARIFTA results could cement downsized trend with squads

One of the smallest number of selected CARIFTA athletes in years, is one of the big statements made thus far by the Bahamas Association of Athletic Association (BAAA) executives who came to office just in November of 2018.

BAAA President Drumeco Archer promised changes, and a decision to downsize the 2019 CARIFTA team, compared to past representative squads, is a test for him, and indicative of his management style. Archer inherited a broken organization and expressed concern from the outset. It is therefore understandable that he would be inspired to cut costs wherever and whenever possible.

Twenty less athletes to cover cost for, is considerable. Normally, the 50 athletes ratified by the BAAA would be around 70. Archer and company have engineered a big dip in expenses by limiting Team Bahamas to one of the smallest number of athletes in recent times. Head Coach Ali Rolle is totally supportive.

“I recall once, I had seven athletes qualify and we got eight medals out of that group. This is the kind of results we want. Why would you send a huge team and just a small percentage of those who go, are capable of winning medals. We need to gauge the situation better,” said Rolle.

There is agreement from this forum, for this particular mindset of Archer and Rolle. However, it must be acknowledged that several responses to Sports Scope indicated that there are those who still have a preference for sending large teams, even though the bulk will be traveling for exposure and experience only.

I just don’t see that method as the best building plan, if at some point in the near future The Bahamas is to become truly competitive with Jamaica, which stands head and shoulders above its sister Caribbean nations in junior track and field.

Proof is in the eating of the pudding, nevertheless. That must be acknowledged. Accordingly, we, the proponents of smaller, quality teams would be on the short end of the discussion if our 2019 team does not, at least, end up second to Jamaica.

Rolle believes the gold medal count will be surprisingly high for The Bahamas.

“We will do well. The gold is the thing. No other medal counts toward points. I expect that we will do fine in that category. By the standards reached, we can win a good amount of gold medals,” said the confident head coach.

His enthusiasm is noted and hopefully, an appreciable amount of gold medals are indeed to be garnered by Bahamian athletes. Is this a watershed moment for the BAAA administration? I think so, and, submit that a solid showing by Team Bahamas this April 20-22, the Easter weekend, in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, will be quite a turning point for track and field in The Bahamas.

Go Team Bahamas!

• 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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