By BRENT STUBBS
IT IS 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 local sports, highlighting the highs and the lows, the thrills and the spills and the successes and failures.
THE National Sports Authority has been in a transformation mode over the past few months under the leadership of chairman Lynden Maycock.
The NSA recently unveiled a $5 million upgrade to several sporting facilities in and around the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre, which will make the area the most comprehensive to host so many activities at the same time in the region.
The Kendal GL Isaacs Gymnasium got a massive facelift with a new maple floor placed inside and new scoreboards and a proper public address system. There is also expected to be new seating arrangements made.
And Jeffery Beckles, the general manager of the NSA, said there would be a $800,000 refurbishment on the field at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium. The old grass has been dug up and workmen are busy putting down the new surface.
Next year, the NSA has announced that there will also be some renovations made to the Betty Kelly Kenning Swim Complex.
Since taking over, Maycock and his team have been doing a fantastic job in the transformation of the facilities at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre. They have been putting their money where their mouth is, so to speak.
One can see the vast improvements made and the way it has gone so far, there are some good things in store for the NSA and the QESC.
Beckles said the renovations should come right in time for the hosting of the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl in December and the IAAF World Relays in May.
But the Bahamas Olympic Committee will stand to gain a lot from the renovations with the hosting of the Commonwealth Youth Games in July.
The games come on the heels of the Olympic Games that was staged in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August.
More than 70 countries have been registered to participate in the games that will offer competition in at least seven disciplines for boys and girls.
Facilities are normally one of the key aspects of such events and with just about all of the venues inside the QESC, the Bahamas should be in an ideal situation to stage a successful games.
Based on what has transpired at the QESC, the Commonwealth Youth Games should be a smash hit, just as the World Relays and the other international events, which continue to make its return to the country.
So let’s commend Maycock and Beckles and their staff for the tremendous work they are doing at the QESC. It’s starting to shape up to be one of the finest facilities in the region.
THE WEEK AHEAD
THIS weekend, Buttons Formal Wear is spearheading a celebrations for Team Bahamas for the 2016 Olympic Games that was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August.
Some say it’s a little too late, but there are others who believe that it’s better late than never.
Some of the athletes, who are eager to return home, are encouraging the public to come out and show their support for their accomplishments, not just for those that won medals, but the entire team.
The Olympics only comes around every four years and there’s a lot that goes into getting ready to compete in the biggest event on the planet.
So whenever they have a chance to be celebrated, the athletes indicate that it makes a world of a difference.
While it was understood that only the medals and those athletes that made the final were originally scheduled to be celebrated by the ministry, Stubbs took the initiative to try and bring in all of the athletes.
The gesture was well received by the athletes, including the track and field athletes’ representative Leevan ‘Superman’ Sands, who indicated that the celebrations at the Melia Hotel will also serve as a fundraiser.
So they are encouraging the general public to come out and give them the same type of support that they felt when they competed in Rio when they come home for the celebrations set for 3pm on Sunday.
For those who can’t afford to purchase a ticket that starts from $50, they can take advantage of a motorcade that will end at the Fish Fry. It’s finally time for Team Bahamas to celebrate.