Who will it be?

Trio of presidential candidates hopeful ahead of BAAA elections on Sat.

It’s crunch time in the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) as a trio of qualified candidates makes its final push to the respective clubs looking to obtain the necessary votes to be elected as president at this Saturday’s election of officers.

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) and election of officers of the BAAA is set for this Saturday at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, and a number of candidates have stepped forth to offer their services in the various positions. For president, incumbent Drumeco Archer will be challenged by immediate past president Rosamunde Carey and veteran throws coach Dawn Johnson.

Archer, who orchestrated a very detailed and comprehensive “More with Meco” campaign, said he is focused on more inclusion, more productivity, more communication and, ultimately, more success for Bahamian track and field athletes on a global scale.

“I am filled with the passion of doing more because of what this sport has given me,” said Archer. “The athletes are my product and the way we shape them is the way we treat them every day. Sports creates a leveled playing field, and every day, I am doing my part to let them know that this is their way out, particularly for the ones with humble beginnings. I have a passion for track and field. It’s all about talking to them, it’s about reinforcement, it’s letting the athletes know that there are others watching who can help take them to that level where they aspire to be. I’m committed to doing more. The more we work together, the greater we’ll be.”

Carey led the BAAA from 2015-2018, covering the Rio de Janeiro Olympics period and the 2017 London World Championships. She was defeated by Archer in a re-election bid in November of 2018.

“The work of the federation is multi-faceted and time consuming. Understanding these dynamics, we have assembled a cohesive team of individuals who are highly skilled, efficient, dedicated, focused and are innovative professionals in their own right. They are determined to work for the betterment of our sport,” she said in one of her promotional videos.

Johnson, the newcomer to the presidential race, said she is a student of the sport of athletics and is committed to working for the betterment of the local athletics body on behalf of all stakeholders.

“The foundation of my platform is people, culture and good governance with core values of inclusion, innovation, integrity and excellence,” she said in one of her promotional videos. “My presidential plan focuses on three pillars – transparency and accountability by improving communication and the flow of communication to all stakeholders; be accountable for all actions and decisions taken by the executive committee and advocate that all pathways be athletes centered, coach driven and science based; commercial, thereby rejuvenate the BAAA brand with corporate Bahamas and other stakeholders to encourage greater investments and increased participation; and finally, sports for all – eliminate barriers to allow access to all and create pathways to all citizens.”

Running for first vice president are Foster Dorsett, Rupert Gardiner, Carl Oliver and Ednal Rolle. For the second vice president spot, John Ingraham, Sandra Laing and Ravanno Ferguson are offering their services. For the vice president of finance, the candidates are Laketah Charlton, Philippa Willie, Shakena Demeritte and Darius Ferguson. 

Running for the position of vice president of public relations are yours truly Sheldon Longley, Verna-McIntosh Bonaby and Tanya Woodside. For the position of vice president of business operations, Pharez Cooper, Damarius Cash and Cedricka Rolle are offering their services, and finally for the position of vice president of technical operations, the candidates are Tito Moss, Bernard Newbold and Alexis Roberts.

Also, there will be six council spots up for grabs, and those positions will be decided from Robert Ayton, Dionne Britton, Fritz Grant, Andrew Tynes, Latesa Kemp, Stephen Murray, Jason Edwards, Jason Larrimore, Nikito Johnson, Daphne Saunders, Emmitt Higgins, Kennard Mackey, Mikhilo Strachan, Patrick Adderley, Jacqueline Davis, Ramon Miller, Ray Hepburn and Everette Fraser.

Veteran administrator Foster Dorsett said he is committed to working with all stakeholders to develop, promote and support the federation’s goals and objectives.

“I want to promote cohesion and have a great working relationship with all stakeholders,” he said. “The goal is to plan and undertake a comprehensive program leading to further development of our Family Island members resulting in the establishment of additional Family Island member associations. I intend to strongly assist and support the president during the term. This includes, on the absence of the president, being ready and willing to take the lead as the second in command, thereby ensuring that the vital functions of that office goes uninterrupted and is continuous. I am looking forward to being an excellent role model who will promote the very high standards of the federation’s principals,” he added.

Technical operations candidate Tito Moss himself ran a very extensive and detailed campaign. He said his four key areas are working hard, remaining focused, being a team player and being goal oriented. 

“Upon being elected, I would like to put together a database with all of our high school, collegiate and professional athletes which will help in the selection of national teams,” said Moss. “Also, for all national teams that travel, I believe the coaches should have a refresher course. I want to set up a system where we can file protests and deal with technical matters as they arise, and also deal with some of the basic rules when it comes to international meets. In local meets, we have to be more inclusive of the multi events and the pole vault competition – have those events more often, particularly for those meets that are two-day meets.

“I also want to make an appeal to the NSA (National Sports Authority) to allow the clubs of the federation to use some of the older equipment and return them back once they are done. With this being a CARIFTA year, CARIFTA coming to The Bahamas, the NSA will get new equipment, so the older equipment can help prepare the athletes for junior meets. I want to make sure that we are in a good space as a federation and make sure that we have the best technical space to ensure that we experience the best success.”

There is less than a week remaining and all of the candidates are making their final push to the various coaches and club officials in an attempt to garner support. The incoming officers are expected to serve in the respective positions for the next three years.

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Sheldon Longley

Sheldon Longley joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2001 as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 2008. Sheldon has an extensive background in sports reporting. He covered three Olympic Games and three world championships, along with multiple smaller regional and local games.

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