By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
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 Week That Was
SO the Bahamas Government has given the financial backing for Chris ‘Fireman’ Brown to host the second edition of his Bahamas Invitational Track Classic.
It’s scheduled for April 16 at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium and is expected to be bigger and better than the initial meet in 2013.
While it wasn’t disclosed exactly how much the government is pumping into the meet, or what figure Brown anticipates it will cost to pull it off, the fact that it’s back on the local sporting calendar is more important.
And for Brown, he can now breath a sigh of relief as he prepares for the road to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August.
It’s always a tough role for any athlete who has to train and work on a project as significant as this one. Normally athletes venture into the promotion of meets after they are done with their careers. Brown is not done yet and he hasn’t shown any signs that he’s ready to hang up his sprints, albeit because of his age factor, this could be his swan song at the Olympics.
It takes a great toll on one’s body to maintain a high level of standard to stick around for four years. Thank God, he has had 18 years competing as a high profile athlete coming out of Wemyss Bight, Eleuthera, where he is considered to be a living legend who is held in high esteem in the community.
The fact that Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr Daniel Johnson has placed his stamp of approval on the CBBI makes a whole lot of difference for Brown, who was quite disappointed after the event was pulled in 2014 because of the resurfacing of the track and then cancelled last year because there was no agreement reached between the two parties.
All systems are now a go and so it’s just a matter of Brown and his local organising committee to put the logistics in place. From all indications, with the amount of athletes expected to come to town to compete, the one-day meet should be an exciting one. Brown has already gone on record to say that it will definitely be bigger and better than the initial one.
Let’s mark the date down: April 16. Venue: Thomas A Robinson National Stadium. Time: 1pm. And let’s show our support for this living sporting icon as he hosts the second version of the Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational Track Classic.
DID I hear it right?
The last we heard of the mini-Olympic style sporting event was in February, 2006, when the then Minister of Sports Neville Wisdom revealed in the House of Assembly that because of the construction of the new stadium, the sixth Bahamas Games that was originally set for July, 2006, has been rescheduled to a date to be announced.
On Monday as he endorsed the government’s support for the second edition of the CBBI, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr Daniel Johnson said the Bahamas Games will be back in 2017. But he would only say that the games will be one of the 17 major events that his ministry through the government will be pushing over the next two years.
The year 2017 is a significant one. It’s the Bahamas Government’s general election so it will be interesting to see how the ministry mobilises itself to pull all of the entities together, especially those in the Family Islands, at such a critical period. One thing is for certain, the local sporting calendar could benefit from the infusion of the games again.
The games, which featured athletes representing 10 islands or grouping of islands in 14 disciplines when the fifth edition was held in 2001, provided an opportunity for the country to come together in a festive occasion like never before to compete in some wholesome activities.
With the escalation of crime, this will be a good avenue to ease the tension and get the country back on track going into the general election. It’s a proven fact that there are two things that motivate our young people - music and sports.
The latter could definitely make a difference right now in our development. Let’s bring on the sixth edition of the games.
The Week Ahead
GEORGETTE Rolle, one of two Bahamian professional golfers, will be swinging her clubs at the Ocean Club Golf Course as she participates in the main draw of the Ladies Professional Golf Association’s Pure Silk Golf Tournament.
It’s a major achievement for Rolle, who returns to mix and mingle with some of the top female touring pros as they come to town after she missed out on the opportunity last year. That distinction was given to Racquel Riley, who unfortunately experienced some illness and wasn’t able to complete the first two rounds to make the cut for the final day of competition.
Riley, beaten out by Rolle in the Bahamas Golf Federation’s playoffs in December, will get a chance to advance to the main draw when she tees off in the qualifying round on Monday. If she is successful, it will mark the first time that the Bahamas will have two competitors competing at the same time on Thursday.
It’s no easy feat to accomplish because we have to take into consideration the fact that our players are limited in their activities on the pro circuit and their rivals are coming in having had the experience and the exposure competing on the circuit. But for such a small nation, it’s an achievement in itself that both of them will get a chance to compete in some aspect of the tournament.
If you have the time, I would encourage you to go on Paradise Island and view some top notch competition from these women on the pro circuit. The tournament, which offers $1.3 million in prize money, tees off at 7am from Thursday to Sunday. The good thing is it’s free of charge.