By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
AFTER the uncertainty over whether or not any of the two Thomas A Robinson Track and Field Stadiums would be available, Foster Dorsett said their T-Bird Flyers Track Club was forced to take their track and field classic to Grand Bahama this weekend.
The event, held in conjunction with the Golden Eagles Track Club, headed by Dwayne Jennings, is scheduled to begin at 7pm Friday and wrap up after a noon start on Saturday at the Grand Bahama Sport Complex.
“We couldn’t get a confirmed date for the use of the track. We were not sure when the old track will be closed (for renovations) and if we would have been able to use the new one,” said Dorsett, who serves as the president of the club. “We had to make a decision. Now we know that we could use the new one, but it’s too late.”
Dorsett, who also serves as the second vice president for the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations, whose portfolio is Family Island Development, said it might be a blessing in disguise that they are taking their meet to Grand Bahama this weekend.
“It’s good for track and field because Freeport is a track town,” Dorsett stated. “So I think we will have good support down there.”
Although it’s going to cost the athletes based in New Providence, Dorsett said they have gotten a good rate from Bahamasair of $140 round trip and the Royal Islander is $80 per night. So they are trying to make it as affordable as possible for those who wish to make the trip.
“The athletes here can now get to understand and see how the Family Island athletes feel when they have to make the trip here to compete,” Dorsett said. “It’s kind of the shoe on the other foot. But we understand that a number of coaches here are expected to be taking some of their athletes there to compete in the meet.
“I think we will have a decent representation from New Providence because the coaches here have been real supportive in what we are doing.”
The meet is the first official one on the BAAA calendar, although athletes got a chance to wet their feet in the Odd Distance Track Meet that christened the new Thomas A Robinson Stadium, due to the renovations being done to the old Thomas A Robinson Stadium.
The old stadium is getting prepared for the Carifta Games that is all set to be held at the new stadium over the weekend of March 29-31. While the new stadium will be used for the actual competition, the old stadium will be the venue for the practice and warm-up site for the games.
Excited about taking the meet to Grand Bahama, Dorsett said athletes will have an opportunity to attain the qualifying standards for Carifta as well as the IAAF World Championships in Athletics August 10-18 in Moscow, Russia.
“We believe that we will have the same level of competition that we will have here down there because we know the calibre of athletes that they produce in Freeport,” Dorsett said. “That’s why I’m not worried about the competition level because we know they have it down there.
“Whenever they come to Nassau they show that they are on par with our athletes. So for those who are going down there, we will know that they will have the competition.”