Monday, Jul 22, 2019
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Another milestone for Mike Sands

Last Tuesday, regional sports stalwart Mike Sands achieved another in a still-growing list of milestones.

He captured the single majority of votes during the election for a new North American, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) president. Sands got 14 votes compared to 12 for Haiti’s Alain Jean Pierre in the second round of voting, to replace Victor Lopez who did not put his name in the hat this time around.

Accordingly, the National Hall of Fame member immediately became the Bahamian with the most notable sports portfolio beyond our borders.

That’s huge and he is to be highly commended. Sands defeated the late Kevin Johnson in 1971 to become the national sprint champion. Over the subsequent 48 years, he evolved as the holder of the 100, 200 and 400 meters (m) national crowns jointly; the record holder for the two longer sprints; a Pan American Games 200m bronze medalist; the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) president; and arguably the most consistent presence within the national track and field development sector.

Now, he is on another sports pathway and the nation should wish him well. He represents us all. Just as he should keep that factor in mind as he functions, going forward, in the high-profile sporting position, all and sundry who are a part of the national sports landscape ought to seek to boost him however possible.

It is actually a tribute to the country that representatives of sister regional nations considered Sands the best for the job at this time. He has thus enhanced The Bahamas’ sports brand.

Go forth Mike and make us all proud. The NACAC organization could have a greater and more comprehensive outreach. Regional solidarity should be addressed.

Sands is challenged to justify those who supported him with votes and encouraging words.

He operates from a backdrop that afforded him a lot of sports administration knowledge. He should know what he must do to propel NACAC and, also, the roads he ought not travel.

Best wishes Mike!

• 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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