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Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? B.B.C. World News

By D’Arcy Rahming

Remember how I’m always writing the importance of stories in marketing and the value other people put on them. I just spent a weekend with a film crew from BBC World News. BBC World News is viewed by some 74 million people in over 200 different countries, some 81 airports, cruise ships, etc. They were in town for the Queen’s Baton Relay and they were looking for a story. The Queen’s Baton Relay travels from country to country is a way of linking the stories of the Commonwealth. They try to capture a story about a sport in a country that is making some kind of difference or at least has an interesting angle.

Now the Commonwealth Games Association, which is also the Olympic Committee, put on a really great event. A welcoming reception, a run through the streets involving many Federations culminating in a reception at Government House. It was there I learned that our very own immediate Past President Sir Arlington Butler was responsible for having the name change from the British Empire Games to the Commonwealth Games. But this was not the story BBC was looking for.

A BBC Executive Director contacted me a couple of weeks before their arrival, because in their research on the sporting culture of our country, they saw that my family was deeply involved in Judo. Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve done a pretty good job of telling the story of Bahamas Judo both nationally and internationally. They also saw that through the Olympic Committee we were doing work in inner city areas, providing free programmes for kids who could not afford it after school. So they wanted to find out what was the linkage between elite level athleticism and grassroots level development. That was the story.

The film crew insisted on seeing all of the programmes in action. Although it was Easter, the staff at the Carmichael Athletic Center, Mr. Clayton Fernander and Gamaal Cooper rounded up a few kids and parents and gave a demonstration for the BBC. I do not think that it was what they were expecting. The kids were great and the Athletic Centre well maintained. I think from their questions they expected poorer circumstances. I guess the Bahamas is wealthy compared to some of the other countries they have visited. So they asked me “Why this centre - what social ills are you trying to address?”

My response was that we are 40 years old as a nation and to be competitive we have to elevate everyone’s standards. The best way to do that is initially through sport which has international standards. The skills of discipline and teamwork that are necessary to win in sports are the same skills that will help them in other areas of life. I was pleasantly surprised when the parents who were interviewed later said they like the discipline that the kids were getting in the programme.

The film crew got it. They worked well as a team. We travelled around to the main training centre where they filmed the host taking some Judo lessons and being tossed around by my daughter. They also spoke with some more of the students and parents. Later we had a nice meal at my home with the crew. The segment will air on BBC News on Wednesday April 23rd. I hope they got my good side on camera.

• D’Arcy Rahming holds a MBA from the prestigious Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. A Lecturer at the College of the Bahamas, Rahming has clients in General Insurance, retail, health and medical fields, sports federations and Financial services. He is also Treasurer of the Bahamas Olympic Committee. To contact him he can be reached at DArcyRahmingsr@gmail.com.

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