By BRENT STUBBS
It’s not how you start, nor how you get there. Most importantly, it’s how you finish.
• The Finish Line, a weekly column, seeks to comment on the state of affairs in the local sports scene, highlighting the highs and the lows, the thrills and the spills and the successes and failures.
So they voted in Rosamunde Carey and ousted Mike Sands as president of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations.
And true to form, the change with the first woman president and first vice president in Tonique Williams was exactly what a lot of people had predicted, even though they were not eligible to vote.?
Sands, gracefully accepting his defeat, said he was “disappointed in the final outcome because not withstanding the membership has spoken and they made their choice, so we have to accept it. I wish the new administration well.”?
But he admitted that there were some things that went wrong during his administration and he has to accept the blame for the outcome of Saturday’s results at the BAAA annual general meeting and election of officers at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.?
“When you are working as a minority in a situation where there is a majority that feels that they want to go into a certain direction, you have to take charge of certain things and I have been accused of operating aristocratically, but the overall support was not there and obviously it showed in the results,” he said.?
Obviously, the majority of the delegates agreed and they voted him out of office.?
In comes Carey with all but two of her slate. Not elected were incumbent secretary general Carl Oliver and second vice presidential candidate Troy McIntosh. The two former quarter-milers would have joined another former elite athlete in Williams, who were all hoping to make a difference in restoring the level of confidence in the current athletes, who from time to time, have indicated their displeasure in the way they were treated by the previous administration.?
An interview of some of the athletes proved that they wanted a change and have every confidence in Carey and her administration to turn things around.?
Is Carey up to the task??
She certainly is. ?
“We have to let every executive know exactly what their portfolio is. We want to look at what is urgent, what is pressing,” Carey said. “Right now, our constitutional reform going into those elections and after all of the issues that we had at and after the elections, there is a need for the constitutional reform to be done immediately.”?
The BAAA has been the most vibrant sport over the last few decades, but it was surprising that the Ministry of Sports didn’t even consider them for a nomination for Federation of the Year during the inaugural gala banquet at the Atlantis resort. The Bahamas Swimming Federation moved to the top spot, winning the award.?
That stunned Carey, who vowed that her executive team will be out to ensure that the BAAA gets back to its usual spot.?
While you’re at the helm Carey, I have two requests for you and your administration.?
Can the BAAA look at the possibility of moving its headquarters out of what was once the VIP Lounge in the original Thomas A Robinson Stadium and into the new Thomas A Robinson National Stadium. ?
I still can’t understand why the IAAF could be given excess space to put on the previous two World Relays and the governing body for the sport is not even afforded the opportunity to occupy one single room.?
And secondly, why can’t the National Championships be held in the new stadium??
We’re talking about our elite athletes coming home to compete and they’re still subjected to running in the old stadium. Is the stadium only suitable for the international athletes and not for our local stars? We’re talking about one meet for the year. Let’s bring some parity to the sport by giving our athletes the same opportunity that is afforded the foreign athletes when they come to town.?
I want to commend Carey and her executives for their new beginning and will carefully watch their progress as they move forward.
It’s not often that I will comment on any international sporting activities because I think they get enough coverage locally through the media, television and or the social networks. ?
But this is no ordinary reference because we’re talking about the retiring of National Basketball Association player Kobe Bryant, who will call it quits at the end of the season, bringing an end to 20 glorious years with the Lakers in Los Angeles.?
Bryant, 37, did what any right thinking athlete would do when they realise that their skills are deminishing. Here’s what he had to say:?
“My heart can take the pounding, my mind can handle the grind, but my body knows it’s time to say goodbye. I’m ready to let you go,” he wrote. “I want you to know now, so we can both savour every moment we have left together. The good and the bad. We have given each other all we have.”?
I’m not a Laker fan, but I’ve always admired Bryant’s skills on the court. I’ve had the opportunity to personally meet him at the Olympic Games and he was not like some of the other superstars. He was so accommodating to both the media and the fans, who followed him.?
His farewell tour in the NBA will definitely be a memorable one.?
I know for me, it’s been a good start when he returned to his birthplace of Philadelphia and watched as the Sixers finally broke their jinx and won their first game for the season after a miserable 0-18 start, and 28 overall dating to last season - the longest losing streak in the history of major professional sports in the United States.?
As a die hard fan of the 76ers, I was happy that the record is over, but a bitter sweet to see Bryant put on such a dismal showing in his return home. But as they say, that’s the nature of professional sports.?
I only wish that on his tour or there after, Bryant will make a stop over to the Bahamas. I’m sure there are enough die hard fans who will put on a farewell tour for him that he would ever experience anywhere else. The Bahamas has and is still a paradise mecca for sporting personalities.?
This weekend, a number of the top sailors are in town to compete in the finals of the Star Sailors League in Montagu Bay and over at Albany, legendary Tiger Woods is entertaining a number of the top professional golfers on the PGA Tour in the 2015 Hero World Challenge.?
So we might as well get ready to embrace Bryant when his farewell tour is done.?
While we relish in the farewell tour of Bryant, locally we mourn the loss of Arlington ‘Puncho’ Stuart, who died after he collapsed last Thursday after reportedly watching the Battle 4 Atlantis collegiate basketball tournament at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island.?
Stuart, 58, was an advert basketball and softball player and coach. He frequented the New Providence Basketball Association with his long time friend James Price and was also involved in a number of softball leagues.?
Although he wasn’t one to raffle any feathers, Stuart was well known and well liked around the sporting community. He will be sorely missed.?
On behalf of The Tribune Sports Department, we wish to offer our condolences to his wife, Christine mother Madline Simmons and his children as well as those in the sporting community whose lives he impacted. May his soul rest in peace.?