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.
THE Back to School Regatta in Montagu Bay over the weekend turned out to be quite an interesting exercise.
It provided more awareness to the Optimist sailing that is currently being conducted by the Bahamas Sailing Association’s National Sailing School.
The regatta, which also featured the C Class sloop sailing, was held in honour of Sir Durward ‘Sea Wolf’ Knowles, who has made a significant contribution to the development of both aspects of sailing. Knowles was also one of the major sponsors of the two-day regatta.
The Optimist sailing provided an opportunity for the public to see the young sailors in action up closer than they normally do as their races are usually held further out in Montagu. The younger sailors participated in the regatta so they didn’t go out as far as the more experienced sailors did.
And with the atmosphere of the regatta setting to compete in, it bodes well for the young sailors as they had a live audience to watch them compete.
The National Sailing School, headed by Robert Dunkley, has been making inroads with more of the grassroots competitors mixing and mingling with the more affluent Bahamians. It’s the kind of collaboration that Knowles welcomes as he’s been working tirelessly as the chairman of the One Bahamas to bring Bahamians of all walks of life and colour since its inception in 1992.
And with the Optimist sailing designed for international competition, it would be good to see some of those competitors advancing to the level where they get a chance to represent the country as Knowles has done at the highest level, winning an Olympic gold and bronze medal.
They may not be ready for that level of competition yet, but with the way they are being groomed right now, I’m sure that we could be looking at our future international stars. The Bahamas Sailing Association, headed by Laura Lowe, must also be commended for the role they play in providing the avenue for the competitors to train in the school system.
The Commonwealth American Football League finds itself in a dilemma.
Who will head the organisation?
The CAFL called its election of officers last month, but after a question was put to the floor on whether or not proxy votes will be accepted. While no definitive answer was given to the team that came prepared to vote by proxy, a ruling was made that the election for the top spot will be deferred to a later date.
Mel Ferguson, who served as the commissioner of the league during the last administration and Anthony Ferguson, a former executive of the league, had put their names on the ballot sheets and it would have been the only position that was contested as all of the other positions went in by acclamation.
However, it’s understood that because a definitive ruling had not been made on the proxy voting, the election for the new president had been deferred. But so far, no date has been set and it seems as if this could be another long, drawn out election progress to determine who will be the next president.
The CAFL has had its turmoil when they last attempted to hold its election and subsequently a steering committee conducted the affairs of the league with Ferguson, in his capacity as commissioner, assumed the majority of the decision making in the absence of the administrative board.
There’s a clear indication that the CAFL, like every other sporting body, needs to have its administrative team in place in order to make the kind of impact with its members.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The CAFL is not the only body experiencing its share of problems at the top, but so is the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association.
The GSSSA has yet to start its 2015/16 season because they still have some internal matters to deal with from the administrative level. Noted basketball coaches Kevin ‘KJ’ Johnson and Mark Hanna, the president and treasurer respectively, were the only two officers who were left functioning last year.
The others either resigned or just simply refused to continue to function.
Now one of those officers, who resigned, Penial Bain, is offering to run for president whenever the elections are held.
It would be good to see one of the physical education teachers who is not so deeply and directly involved in coaching any sporting discipline, stepping forward to serve. At least that person will be impartial and has the opportunity to make decisions that won’t just affect one particular sport when there are so many others to consider.
Starting on Thursday, the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island should be flooded with some big bodies who will be in town to compete in the Central American and Caribbean Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships.
The host Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation, now headed by Joel Stubbs, will be hosting the event for the first time since 2008. There is expected to be between 20-30 countries coming to compete with the Bahamas fielding A and B teams with a mixture of youth and experience.
If that’s any indication, the Bahamas could be in a position to secure another title.
The organising committee has been working extremely hard and public relations officer Leonardo ‘Nardo’ Dean has promised that they will put on a show that will be second to none. He has vowed that both the competitors and the spectators will be in for a real treat from the weigh-in to the actual competition.
It’s a show you don’t want to miss.