Two-time Olympian sprinter, Iram Lewis, who was appointed the minister of youth, sports and culture on Tuesday, wasted no time as he released a statement yesterday stating that he is ready to get to work.
He first thanked the Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis for showing confidence in him by appointing him as the minister. He then went on to thank the former minister, Lanisha Rolle, for the work she did at the ministry. Rolle, who served as the first female to hold that portfolio, resigned on Tuesday morning.
Lewis served as the minister of state for the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction from September 2019 up to this ministerial appointment.
Lewis expressed his excitement to work in this ministry that encompasses three key components of the Bahamian society.
“As a former athlete, a constant supporter of our young people and their potential, and as someone committed to our creative cultural communities, I am excited to take on this responsibility,” Lewis stated.
He continued, “I look forward to engaging with the cultural and creative arts community in the ongoing development and promotion of Bahamian arts, culture and heritage. Because the development of our young people is at the heart of national development, I will be a champion for Bahamian youth and young adults. I also understand the vital role that sports plays in the holistic development of young people and our communities.”
Lewis is looking forward to the reintroduction of the Bahamas Games that started in 1989 and ended in 2001. The Bahamas Games featured several sporting disciplines such as track and field, baseball and basketball. Athletes represented their respective island and competed against other islands. In some cases, some diamonds in the rough were discovered. If reintroduced, it would be a step in the right direction for Lewis and his team.
“The Bahamas is a great little country. Our people have so much talent. My focus will be on helping nurture that talent in a spirit of unity and togetherness,” Lewis stated.
He continued, “I pledge to work in a spirit of respect and courtesy with those in my ministry and the various youth, sports and cultural groups with whom we engage. I will listen to advice. I will work to bring people together to advance causes that help our athletes, young people and cultural groups.”
The member of Parliament for Central Grand Bahama was a strong sprinter in his heyday, running personal best times of 10.20 seconds in the 100 meters (m), and 20.64 seconds in the 200m. He also has under his belt a windy sub-10 seconds 100m (9.95). Lewis participated in the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics as a member of The Bahamas’ men’s 4x100m relay team, and is a former relay national record holder.
Lewis will serve as the country’s third minister of sports under the current FNM administration.
A communication sent out by the Cabinet Office on Tuesday stated: “Certain matters have been brought to the attention of the prime minister and are under investigation,” in regard to Rolle. The prime minister thanked Rolle for her service.