OPM Office in GB begins outreach sports funding

An innovative and much-needed sports funding program was initiated earlier this week in Grand Bahama (GB) by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).

Minister of State in the GB Office of the Prime Minister Senator Kwasi Thompson on Monday past held a press conference to announce grants processed for tennis, junior golf and softball development.

It’s an outstanding dimension, put in place by the GB-OPM, and indeed timely. Minister Thompson, Permanent Secretary Harcourt Brown and Clothilda Whymms have been diligent in networking with sports leaders in Grand Bahama, in the interest of getting the sports grants program on stream.

Minister Thompson expressed appreciation for, and encouraged the organizations that, despite the devastating and fatal Hurricane Dorian, persevered and continued with their scheduled events to boost sports in Grand Bahama.

He pointed out that the gesture being made by the GB-OPM is part of the recovery effort in general. He praised the sports leaders responsible for organizing events that grow individual disciplines, and one got the impression that the sports funding program is something that Minister Thompson and his OPM associates would like to, not only continue, but expand, if an appropriate financial allotment is made available, annually.

Minister Thompson’s inclusion of sports development and enhancement, in the general recovery category for an island, seeking to bounce back to normalcy, is admirable and proves that his ministry’s outreach is broad, meaningful and balanced.

The softball program in GB is thus empowered and according to representatives, will plan more events, including one to honor the late iconic softball administrator Greg Christie.

Tennis, which is one of the more vibrant arms on the Grand Bahama sports landscape, will continue in that mold, I’m sure. The stage is thereby better set for a few more like island greats Roger Smith and Larikah Russell to evolve.

As for junior golf, the northern region has been working closely with the Grand Bahama Sports Promotion Association (GBSPA) to have the young swingers included in events. To that end, the GBSPA plans to add a special segment to its Edward St. George Memorial Invitational next year, to showcase junior golfers, and also enable them the opportunity for closeup observation of senior golfers in action.

Also, the GBSPA is closely associated with the African-American Golfers Hall of Fame (AAGHOF) organization, which is based in West Palm Beach, Florida, USA. An exchange program is in the making, whereby young golfers from Grand Bahama will interact with their West Palm Beach counterparts, yearly in two tournaments.

Of course, the role being played by the GB-OPM makes the aforementioned much more feasible.

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.

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