Ronald Cartwright has been coaching athletics in The Bahamas for nearly 50 years, and this year, he is being recognized for his work, both locally and internationally.
This past weekend, the Inagua native was presented with an Omega watch by the Bahamas Athletic Association of Coaches (BAAC) in recognition and appreciation of his many years of service to the coaching community of The Bahamas. Cartwright moved to Nassau from Matthew Town, Inagua, as a youngster, and started in the coaching profession in his early 30s. He has developed some of the top athletic talent in the country through his club RC Athletics.
Cartwright will also be presented with an International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) Veteran Pin this year — given for long and meritorious service to athletics. It is customary for honorees to receive the pin during an awards ceremony prior to the start of the opening ceremony of the IAAF Congress – this year set for the Qatar National Convention Center in Doha, Qatar, but it is now being reported that Cartwright will receive the pin at the IAAF’s Athletic Awards in October in Monaco. In attendance at the IAAF’s Athletic Awards will be delegates from the 200-plus countries that compete in track and field worldwide, and Prince Albert II of Monaco himself is set to present Cartwright with the pin.
As for the 52nd IAAF Congress, that will be held over two days prior to the start of the IAAF World Championships, from September 27 to October 6, at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.
BAAC President Shaun Miller said that it was important to recognize Cartwright for his dedicated service to Bahamian athletes and the community at large, and they decided to do it on the eve of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) Senior National Track and Field Championships in Freeport, Grand Bahama, this past weekend.
BAAC President Miller, along with two of the country’s more outstanding senior athletes who competed at the nationals, made the presentation of the Omega watch to Cartwright.
Cartwright has coached a number of athletes to regional and international prominence, more recently athletes such as Jamal Wilson and Shaun Miller Jr. in the high jump. He specializes in the throws and the high jump.
“I’m humbled. It’s quite an honor,” said Cartwright. “There are thousands of coaches out there and to be among the few to be honored by the IAAF says a lot. It’s a great honor. I feel blessed indeed. Also, I’m grateful to the coaches association. They mentioned to me that they were going to honor me in Freeport during the nationals so I said to myself ‘that is a good gesture’. It’s a beautiful watch and I’m grateful.”
Cartwright was approved by the NACAC (North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association) Board on the recommendation of the BAAA executive board to be awarded with the IAAF’s Veteran Pin. He is regarded as a coach who dedicated most of his life to track and field and who has served with honor and distinction. He has assisted in a number of youngsters obtaining athletic scholarships to colleges in the United States.
Cartwright is one of three recipients from the NACAC region to be receiving this award this year, and is only the second coach from The Bahamas, behind Keith Parker, to receive this award. He credits Parker, who played a pivotal role in coaching him in the throws and jumps, with a lot of the expertise he garnered in coaching.
Cartwright said that he is looking forward to the occasion later this year when he will be recognized by the IAAF, and it is one that he will cherish for the rest of his life.