By this time, the Government Secondary School Sports Association’s (GSSSA) soccer season is usually in full swing. Instead, schools have been closed from March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and its effect on The Bahamas and school sports has halted as well. Schools are set to reopen on April 14, following the Easter holidays.
According to the president of GSSSA, Varel Davis, the soccer, softball and baseball seasons have been postponed. They must get the “all clear” sign from the Department of Education before resuming the GSSSA sporting calendar.
“A decision is pending,” Davis said. “As soon as school reopens and we get the ‘all clear’, then we will resume with the last two sports which are soccer and softball/baseball. With the national examinations approaching – BJC (Bahamas Junior Certificate) and BGCSE (Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education) – we usually try to be finished with our sports by then so the kids could focus on their exams.”
The soccer season was set to begin on Monday, March 16 with regular season play then playoffs at a late date. That was the first day that schools were closed. Instead, Davis said they are looking to have a tournament play for soccer, softball and baseball.
As for the willingness of the coaches and athletes to play if allowed, Davis said they want to play.
“Speaking with a few of the coaches, they and the kids would like to continue. Whatever the decision is, the coaches just want some type of play for the kids. We are hoping and praying that things work out. The reality is that we don’t know what is going to happen when schools reopen. If we can’t continue with the after-school sports then we have to accept that decision,” Davis said.
Davis and her team are optimistic that through God, they will overcome this setback and resume play.
The GSSSA had just completed its track and field championships with the C.H. Reeves Raptors and the C.R. Walker Knights winning the junior and senior championships respectively.
In addition to completing track and field, the GSSSA was able to finish its volleyball, cross country and basketball seasons.
On the private schools side, the Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) was in the midst of its soccer season when everything came to a halt. According to soccer convener Vandyke Bethel, it will be difficult to complete the season when school resumes. The final sport on their calendar is volleyball.
They too had just completed their track and field championships and the St. Augustine’s College (SAC) Big Red Machine came out victorious. The BAISS was able to complete its softball and basketball seasons earlier in the school year.