Sports put on back burner once again

It perhaps wasn’t planned.There could be a very good, understandable reason why the 2019 National Hall of Fame induction night was changed from the final weekend in this month to Tuesday, December 3. The truth of the matter though, is that Governor General C.A. Smith won’t be available until December 3, it’s been announced.

This is an out-of-the-norm occurrence. In past years, other governors general have reveled in the moment of being able to interact in that special environment on Mount Fitzwilliam at Government House. It is something quite special. Former Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Daniel Johnson enhanced the affair and the presence of such as Dame Marguerite Pindling made the occasion epic, thrilling and quite memorable.

Inductees, their family and friends were able to plan and schedule their Christmas-period travels around the special moment in time. It was one of the best happenings of my entire life, five years ago, when Dame Marguerite helped to adorn me with my National Hall of Fame jacket, at the appointed time. My plans and those of my classmates were not interrupted.

This time around, it is different. The complaints are low-key, but I have been contacted, indeed.

A particular collective example sums up flight arrangements having been made for attendees on behalf of an inductee, time agreed to for being away from the job; hotel accommodations; a rental vehicle; and the accompanying funding. So, this is an expenditure that will have to be doubled; or that goes for naught if those who wished to have a presence to support inductees are unable to reschedule.

What might seem to some like a small issue, could in fact be much more significant than at first glance. In the big picture, I wish to point out the reported callous approach to inductees, as I was told. No detailed explanation was given, other than the governor general would not be available for the first scheduled date.

This speaks to the lack of importance generally attached to sports in this country. I don’t know the true reason for the change of dates. It is my view though, that the fact, that most or all of the inductees would have made plans associated directly with next weekend, was not taken fully into consideration.

Sports on the back burner again? This just seems to be the culture and is a matter that ought not be glossed over. The inductees are owed a full explanation, and those who have committed expenses should be apologized to, at the very least.

The suggestion here is that C.A. Smith address this situation to the satisfaction of the inductees, ensuring that they feel respected and not cast aside for reasons deemed much more important.

The sporting community is very important to the overall make-up of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The stalwarts, all of them, down through the years have done yeoman’s work, at great sacrifices (in many cases) to contribute to nation building through sports development.

Let’s never forget that.

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

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