The track and field community in The Bahamas is throwing its support behind Drumeco Archer in hopes of having some representation on the new executive board of the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC). The election of officers is set for this Saturday at 7 p.m. inside the Paul Farquharson Building at the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) Headquarters.
For the first time in the Olympic movement in the country, athletics didn’t have a representative on the board of the last administration – primarily because four from athletics vied for the same position at the last elections, and after a post-mortem, it was determined that they split the vote. This time, Archer will be the only candidate, in any of the positions, from athletics.
Archer, the president of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA), is vying for one of six vice president spots on the BOC. There are 17 candidates who have offered themselves, including all six incumbents. Archer said this is an opportunity for track and field to sit at the decision-making table for Olympic sports in the country, and it is an opportunity that he is not taking lightly.
“I think that track and field should be given the opportunity to participate in the development of the universality of sport. While there has been a measure of success from this federation, the focus of being a part of the Bahamas Olympic Committee extends far beyond the limits of track and field,” said Archer. “The impact of making strong representation on the BOC through the lens of track and field opens up deeper discussions and opportunities that may be available to young kids at every age group. If I should be successful, I look forward to seeing young Bahamian athletes from every sporting discipline having the best opportunity for advancement in their personal lives and to further the development of themselves as individuals to experience the world in a way that they might have had an opportunity to do so before, and to be able to take advantage of educational opportunities.”
The BAAA has endorsed Archer as its candidate of choice for one of the vice president spots, as the executive team threw its full support behind Archer at that body’s conclave over the weekend. The other candidates for vice president are Gina Rolle from golf, Robert Butler from taekwondo, Brian Cleare and Moses Johnson from basketball, Joseph Smith from volleyball, Algernon Cargill from swimming, Theodore Sweeting and Shane Albury from baseball, Cora Hepburn from gymnastics, Catherine Ramsingh-Pierre from equestrian, Sean Bastian from handball, Clarence Rolle from wrestling, Lori Roach from triathlon, Roy Colebrook from cycling, Vincent Strachan from boxing and D’Arcy Rahming Sr. from judo.
Each of the member federations of the BOC carry a vote. Archer feels that his body of work in athletics speaks volumes for the contribution he is able to make to the executive team of the BOC.
“The BOC is comprised of 23 member federations, and in this instance, there are 17 positions for vice president. While it is my hope that people will identify the best candidates, I appreciate the tribalistic approach to elections of this kind where everyone will seek to protect his or her own interest. However, at the same time, we must be conscientious of one fact, and that is when we reflect, we should consider persons who will provide the continued growth and development of the Olympic movement,” he said. “It is my hope that our counterparts and other member federations accept the contributions of track and field as being a major contributor to the Olympic movement. Having just one person from track and field this time around, it is our hope that support can be channeled in one direction.”
Archer is in his second term as BAAA president and has never served on the executive board of the BOC. He was unsuccessful in his bid four years ago and is comfortable and confident in his candidacy this time around.
“Our engagement in sport makes it possible for persons, rich and poor, to all compete on a leveled playing field. This invariably gives us an opportunity to change the lives and circumstances of a very large demographic of Bahamians, whether they be people who live in grassroot communities or persons who might not have an opportunity to pay for college education,” said Archer. “Personally, I would like to see more funding be made available to all member federations, not necessarily from the BOC, but a collective effort where we could impress upon international organizations or local corporate communities and the local citizenry to deposit more into the development of sport. This could only happen through an aggressive approach by the leaders of this movement.”
Mike Sands, president of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC), one of six area associations under World Athletics, has also thrown his support behind Archer, so much so that he said he would have withdrawn his name if it was offered for nomination. Sands is a former vice president of the BOC. He is in his second term as NACAC president, and is the only Bahamian to lead an area association of a global body in sports.
Archer said he wishes all of the candidates the best, and win, lose or draw, collectively they must find a way to continue the work of a strong Olympic movement.
“I’ve seen a lot of stability and growth from the current Olympic committee – one that shows an increase in financial bottom line, and within the season we have seen large returns as it relates to results at the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games and other events,” said Archer. “There is much to brag about, but as we continue to grow, the expectations will expand greatly. I am hopeful that I could be a part of the ambitions of this new administration, uniting all member federations. It only bodes for a stronger Olympic movement.”
A total of 17 are vying for six vice president spots, but the positions of president, secretary general and treasure will be unchallenged as Romell Knowles, Derron Donaldson and Dorian Roach, run unopposed for those positions respectively. Jennifer Isaacs Dotson, Ramsingh-Pierre and Oria Wood-Knowles are running for the assistant secretary general’s position, and Isaacs Dotson, Adam Waterhouse and Vincent Strachan will contest the assistant treasurer’s position.
Archer has received an overwhelming amount of support from the track and field community, and is now looking for support from the membership of the BOC as well.
For years, athletics has been the most represented sport for The Bahamas at the highest level of sport in the world – the Olympics. The last Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, was no different as 13 of the 15 members of Team Bahamas were from athletics. The other two were swimmers.
Given that backdrop, and with the continued success of Bahamian athletics regionally, internationally and worldwide, Archer said it’s imperative that the sport gets some representation on the board of the governing body of Olympic sports in the country.
The 2024 Summer Olympics, officially the Games of the 33rd Olympiad, is set for July 26 to August 11, 2024, in Paris, France.