By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
SO we have survived 2012.
Two weeks into the new year and sports is already starting to click, even though there are some mingling items that have been left undone from 2012.
New Thomas A Robinson
Track and Field Stadium open
With the repairs to the old Thomas A Robinson Track and Field Stadium in preparation for the 2013 Carifta Games, the National Sports Authority has made the new Thomas A Robinson Track and Field Stadium available not only to the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations, but also some of the schools for their inter-school track and field meets.
It’s ironic that the BAAA got to christen the new stadium with the hosting of the Odd Distance Track and Field Meet on Saturday. The meet officially kicked off the new stadium and was used as a dry run for Carifta, although the International Amateur Athletic Federation has not yet given its international certification for the hosting of any major international meets.
BAAA president Mike Sands was quite pleased to have been allowed the use of the stadium, but they were not able to draw enough fans to fill at least half of the 15,000 seats. But Sands said he’s not too concerned because once they factor in the Jamaican and Haitian diaspora, he’s confident that they will get the numbers as was the case for the free opening ceremony in February, 2012.
Looking at the infrastructure, however, there appears to be a number of repairs that should keep the maintenance crew quite busy leading up to the weekend of March 28 to April 2 when more than 500 athletes from over 20 countries in the region will converge on our shores for the top regional junior track and field meet.
Will the stadium be ready?
Sands said while they are hoping that provisions will be made by the end of the month to bring the stadium up to certification to host the meet, they’re hoping that government will do whatever is necessary over the next two months to make the necessary repairs to the new stadium as soon as the workmen are done with renovating the old stadium.
The old stadium was closed for repairs, thus allowing the BAAA to go to the new stadium. The T-Bird Flyers, headed by BAAA second vice president Foster Dorsett, were uncertain about the availability of both stadiums, so they are taking their track and field meet to Grand Bahama this weekend.
Only time will tell if the new venue is will be ready. One thing is for certain, the landscaping on the outside is shaping up to be a site to behold.
BSF host international
women’s tourney in GB
It’s a pity that the Bahamas Softball Federation has been forced to take the prestigious English Caribbean Ladies Softball Championship and World Games Qualifier to Grand Bahama.
While it’s going to be a big economic boost for the nation’s second city when the event is staged January 23-27 at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex, I’m sure that there are a lot of people here who would have liked to have been afforded the opportunity to watch some top notch competition between the Bahamas and the visiting teams from Jamaica, the British Virgin Islands, the Turks & Caicos Islands, Aruba and Belize.
The BSF got good reviews from the National Championships that was played at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex in November. However, the BSF had no other choice but to move the ECASC tournament to Grand Bahama as they were not guaranteed of the necessary upgrade to the facilities here.
I’m sure that the people in Grand Bahama will be very hospitable to our visitors as they are known for the tremendous support that they have provided to sports in general and the softball fraternity in particular.
It should be an exciting tournament and if our team plays up to their expectations, they could be looking at securing a berth to play in Colombia in July in the next round.
User fee for use of f
acilities at the QESC
After being re-elected to serve as president of the Bahamas Swimming Federation, Algernon Cargill said they are disappointed that the National Sports Authority is going to be charging the federations and clubs $300 a day to host their meets and $5 for each swimmer to practice.
While the costs in some cases have been waived, NSA’s chairman Leroy Archer said he met the policy in place by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and he is only enforcing what’s on the books. He said there is a user fee in place for the Thomas A Robinson Track and Field Stadium as well as the Kendal GL Isaacs Gymnasium.
Archer said that unless the other sporting bodies are prepared to follow the lead of the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association by leasing the National Tennis Center, they will have to put some fees to the NSA, which is designed mainly to help with the maintenance of the facilities.
There are many who argue that they should not be allowed to pay for the use of facilities that have been donated to the people of the Bahamas, but one has to agree with Archer that some “fees” have to be paid in order to ensure that the facilities are in good working order.
Based on the conditions of some of the facilities, it seems as if the fees are badly needed.
However, as we head into 2013, we will see a better management of and proper maintenance of all of the facilities, not just the TAR, but both the Betty Kelly Kenning Aquatic Center and the Kendal GL Isaacs Gymnasium, all of which are in dire need of repair.
Hopefully we can get it right in 2013. Happy New Year.