Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle has launched National Sports Month which will encompass a number of activities during the month of November.
The launch was made at a press conference held at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture on University Drive yesterday afternoon.
According to Rolle, the month was designated for a specific purpose of recognizing contributors in the sporting community, both past and present, as a sustainable path to the development and success of future athletes and athletic programs.
The month was named ‘National Sports Month’ through a proclamation by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.
The theme for the month is ‘Champions Among Us: Locally Grown, Globally Known’.
“For decades, The Bahamas has excelled in a range of endeavors around the world,” said the minister yesterday. “We have produced sailing world champions, track and field champions, NBA (National Basketball Association) professional basketball superstars, Major League Baseball (MLB) stars, world-ranked softball teams and scores of Olympians. In all cases, ladies and gentlemen, the root of this international success can be traced to the fundamental skills of each sport nurtured right here on these Bahamian shores.”
In attendance at the announcement were representatives from local sporting federations, current and past athletes.
Several activities are planned throughout the month, including fitness sessions, the Sports Awards Ceremony, the National Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony, a walk-a-thon, a church service and a health and wellness week.
The minister added that the events are designed to encourage the participation of many, and the general sporting community can be a part of any one of the events during sports month.
The Hall of Fame Class of 2019 includes 11 former athletes and a track and field coach. They are Ali Culmer (softball), Basil “The Kid” Sands (basketball), Stancil “Stoney” Ferguson (basketball), Paul Wong (bodybuilding), Raymond Tucker (bodybuilding), Ray Whylly (bodybuilding), Ronald Cartwright (track and field coach), Jackie Conyers (volleyball), Dr. Linda Davis (basketball), M. Ambrose Gouthro (golf), Prince Zorro Stubbs (golf, posthumously), and Walter Callender (track and field, posthumously).
The inductees include two females – Davis and Conyers. Three Grand Bahamians are included – Gouthro, Sands and Whylly.
The Sports Awards Ceremony, which is set for Friday, November 21, at the Atlantis Crown Ballroom, will feature 17 categories including ‘Best Team’ and ‘Athlete of The Year’.
According to Rolle, nominations were invited from the sporting community and a select committee will identify the winners in the various categories.
On Monday, November 25, the renovated South Beach Pools will be reopened. The ‘Swim Bahamas National Learn to Swim Program’ will be launched in January 2020. Persons will be trained to swim free of charge by instructors.
Rolle invited the entire Bahamas to join her ministry in this period of celebration of the athletes and sports champions.
It is a busy three months for the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture. October was ‘National Youth Month’ that culminated with a youth march this past Sunday. In December, Rolle and her ministry will celebrate ‘National Culture Month’ that fits in with the two Junkanoo parades during the Christmas season.