Going into an election year, Bahamian president of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Mike Sands said he is satisfied with the work that they would have done, and when the time comes, the body’s membership will judge him and his executive team on their four years in office.
As to whether or not he will offer himself for reelection, Sands remains non-committal, simply stating that he will make the decision in due course. He said that the regional body enjoyed another successful year in 2022, despite the challenges brought forward with the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, and he is optimistic about what lies ahead in 2023.
“There are always thoughts in my head, but I really don’t look that far ahead,” said Sands in terms of offering himself for re-election in 2023. “There is a lot of work to do, and you would hope that the work you already did, speaks for itself. If you are consistently doing what you were elected to do, then there is no need to scurry later on when it comes times for re-election. I do what I do and I like what I do. As long as persons believe I am capable of making a contribution, then the choice is theirs.”
Sands further said that he’s thankful to be occupying the position of NACAC president and he hope to continue for as long as they would have him, thereby hinting that he would indeed run again in 2023.
“I feel reasonably satisfied with what we in the NACAC executive have done in our term in office. I feel as if we did an amazing job,” said Sands. “We have not received any negative feedback as to our performance and we are in constant communication with our members. I have a personal one-on-one relationship with each and every one of the members. We have open communication on a regular basis and there has been no negative feedback that we’re not doing what they expected us to do. We also have sessions with them to find out exactly what is happening and how we in NACAC can help. It speaks to the platform that we have developed,” he added.
There are 31 full fledged members of NACAC including The Bahamas, the majority of the Caribbean, and North and Central America. There are five other associate members.
In terms of some of their accomplishments in their time in office, Sands said participation at global meets remains above board and stellar, there have been the continuance of the NACAC Senior Championships, the implementation of a kids’ athletic program, and the staging of technical courses, coaching seminars and multi events camps just to name a few.
“NACAC had a very strong year in 2022. Our participation at the world athletic championships, and at other global meets, was top notch as usual. There were several world records broken in 2022 and NACAC athletes certainly had its share in that,” said Sands. “There was the return of the NACAC Senior Championships despite the challenges that we would have faced with COVID-19, and then there is the just completed kids’ athletic program in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in which 19 member federations took part. Also, there are five women from the NACAC area taking part in the gender leadership workshop in Poland.
“We continue to be at the forefront with what is happening in our sport. While there were challenges throughout the year, with COVID and everything else, NACAC never stopped working and recording top performances. We continued to move forward.”
The CARIFTA Games, which is owned and managed by NACAC, will be coming to The Bahamas in 2023 to coincide with the country’s 50th Golden Anniversary Independence celebrations and the 50th anniversary of CARICOM.
Sands said they expect a grand cultural display in the hosting of the 50th CARIFTA Games next year.
Sands said he is looking forward to representing the region at the next World Athletics Council meeting in Rome, Italy, where he will continue to beckon on behalf of the NACAC region at the highest level of world athletics.
“I am pleased to sit at the table and represent the NACAC region and lend my expertise and views to the decisions that will be made,” said Sands. “All of the views that I will present are done on behalf of NACAC, so it’s not my position but it is a representation of the views of the member federations.”
The 2023 NACAC elections are set for next summer, prior to the staging of the 2023 World Athletics Championships, the 19th edition of that global meet, which is set for August 19-27 in Budapest, Hungary.
NACAC produces a weekly newsletter, designed to keep the 36 member federations informed as to what is taking place at an administrative level on a regular basis as well as updates on competitions, meetings, seminars and negotiations for contracts to name a few of the items on the agenda. The information is also posted on the NACAC website, and is distributed to the member federations on a regular basis, making them totally aware of every event and item that is on the table.