Wealth of potential in Family Islands to boost BAAA brand
The Golden Eagles Track Club, coordinated by Aliey Rolle and Derek Wells, staged a track and field meet this past Saturday at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex (GBSC).
I checked out the event, mostly to get a feel for the mood of those in attendance, participants, officials and supporters. As expected, the sport of track and field is a high-interest commodity with much of the potential untapped. There were track clubs in town from other Family Islands and excitement was in the air.
Former Grand Bahama Amateur Athletic Association (GBAAA) President Kem Stuart was in place as always, a point of reference for all and sundry. I interacted briefly with Grand Bahama-based Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) 1st Vice President Ravanno Ferguson; and connected also with my old friend Vogel Williams. He, the head of the Green Arrow Track Club in Abaco, was a notable presence.
Williams personifies the mentor concept and long became established as one of those capable of greatly aiding in the national development process of track and field, from the less affluent areas in the Family Islands.
Sadly though, hardly, through the years, have they gotten the opportunity to sit around the BAAA table to chart the destiny of the sport they love so dearly. Williams is in the early planning stages of his annual cross country all-comers race, set for November, and it was heart-warming to see Stuart networking with him regarding that event.
There is this richness of knowledge, compassion and devotion to athletics, to be found in the likes of Stuart and Williams.
The challenge therefore goes out to BAAA President Drumeco Archer to positively lean on the expertise of track and field coaches/trainers of the ilk of Stuart and Williams, in meaningful discussions about the way forward for national athletics. There is an incredible wealth of track and field potential in the Family Islands.
Yet, year after year, in recent times for certain, BAAA leaders have downsized the talent pool by leaving stalwart contributors such as Stuart and Williams out of the mix of the national planners. Why the BAAA hierarchy members have opted to direct the course of athletics, by networking primarily with the New Providence element, is mystifying.
It is my view actually, that in general, the mindset of most of the leaders of the sport in the Family Islands, is more in line with the spirit of togetherness and they operate without being burdened by personal agendas.
The time is ripe for President Archer to reach out across the Bahamaland, in order to benefit from the track and field minds of the mentors who are working tirelessly against great odds to maintain forums for the development of young boys and girls.
This is definitely the ideal way to boost immensely, the BAAA brand.
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