In keeping with his current administration’s “Blueprint for Change”, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg announced in the House of Assembly on Wednesday that his ministry is looking to put in a bid to host the 2025 World Athletics (WA) World Relays in The Bahamas.
He said that his ministry has started early discussions on what is needed to get the event back in The Bahamas.
“We have begun preliminary discussions on steps to be taken that will be necessary to secure the return of the WA World Relays to our shores. We have learned that the next opportunity to host these exciting races is not until 2025,” Bowleg said.
The year 2025 gives The Bahamas some time to properly formulate a bid to bring the event back ‘home’.
“… We should have sufficient time to assess a feasibility study of the venture and if satisfied, devise a strategic plan capable of guaranteeing not only our success in submitting a winning bid, but ensuring its cost effectiveness to the government and people of The Bahamas,” Bowleg said.
The Bahamas had the privilege of hosting the inaugural event back in 2014 at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium in New Providence. The country then hosted the next two editions which were held in 2015 and 2017.
The latest edition of the event was held in early May of this year at the Silesian Stadium in Chorzow, Poland. Prior to that, the World Relays was moved to Yokohama, Japan in 2019. The move came about after the Bahamian government pulled out of hosting it, citing too large of a price tag. Initially, five million dollars was budgeted, but the country decided that the price tag was too hefty at that time and withdrew its host status 10 months prior to the start of the relays.
Bowleg is looking to bring more international sporting leagues to the Bahamian shore to utilize the facilities.
“In our ‘Blueprint for Change’, we talk about revitalizing and re-establishing the ‘Sports in Paradise’ brand. A brand which so easily describes the fantasy of playing any sport here in The Bahamas,” Bowleg said.
He will be looking to partner with the local national sporting federations, the National Sports Authority (NSA) and the Ministry of Tourism to help bring even more events to The Bahamas.
The Bahamas has won three medals in the WA Relays, formerly the International Association of Athletics Federations World Relays – one gold and two silvers. The gold medal came in the 4 x 400 meters mixed relay that featured Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Michael Mathieu, Anthonique Strachan and Steven Gardiner in a at time of 3:14.42.
According to the World Athletics site, the bidding application deadline for hosting the 2023 World Athletics Relays passed in June 2021. The host has not been revealed as yet.