By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
FOR another four years, Algernon Cargill will serve as president of the Bahamas Swimming Federation.
During the BSF’s annual general meeting and election of officers on Saturday at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Cargill went in unopposed for his fourth term as president. He was joined by John Bradley, elected unopposed as first vice president, William Russell as second vice president and Steve Thompson as third vice president.
Alexis Wells is the secretary and Rochelle Bastian is the assistant. Nicholas Rees was also returned as the treasurer, assisted by Erald Thompson.
Cargill said while he believes that an executive job in any sporting federation is sometimes underrated and not always appreciated, regardless of whatever strategy is pursued, there will always be dissention and a better way to build that mousetrap.
“I’ve been fortunate to always have a cohesive executive team and the shared vision we have had has resulted in many successes over my tenure,” he told The Tribune. “I’ve attempted to move the Federation forward, to apply good Corporate Governance Strategies, and to advance the branding of our Federation, and to create a swimmer friendly environment that creates a positive and productive outlet for our young people.
During his tenure in office, Cargill said he also focused my efforts in ensuring that the federation is one of the better managed organizations in our region.
“This is what motivates me to continue and contribute and I guess the work we are doing, particularly when our federation won the National Federation of the Year during the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture’s inaugural event, and I was fortunate enough to win the National Federation President of the Year, is being recognized and appreciated by our members and could be one of the reasons why the position was not challenged this year,” he said.
“So, in summary, I recognize that I will not do this job forever and as long as I am lucky enough to serve as the President of the BSF, I will continue to give 100% to the continued development of our program.”
With a mixture of new and returning officers on board, Cargill said he’s excited with the slate of officers, all whom he called industry professionals, who will collectively contribute to the success of the federation.
“Of course, I was disappointed that people I knew well were not successful and persons who I know are hardworking and focused on some of the same goals I have did not win,” said Cargill, who admitted that he didn’t have a slate and was willing to work with whomever was elected.
“In situations like this, we have to accept the results and move on and I’m not taking anything away from the successful candidates, but am confident that although the learning curve may be steep in the initial months, that the business and professional acumen that they have, the love for the sport, as well as the continuing of several of the seasoned executives will not cause any bumps in the running of our Federation.”
Now that they have their executives in place, Cargill said their focus will now switch to their immediate plans, which are to prepare for the hosting of the Carifta Games in April and the Commonwealth Youth Games in July.
“From an administrative perspective, I am excited to start working with the new executive team and map out our strategy for the new four years as there’s lot to be done and I strongly believe we will do it,” he said.
“We are focused on regaining the Carifta title we narrowly lost in Martinique - not only because Carifta will be in Nassau, but moreso because we have an excellent team that is capable of rising to the top again. We won for two consecutive years in 2014 and 2015. We know how it feels to win and how it feels to narrowly lose and I can tell you that winning feels a whole lot better than losing.”
As for their long term goals, Cargill said they are gearing for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan when they hope to not only take more than three athletes they carried to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil last year, but to win the country’s first medal in swimming. In addition, there’s more of a biggest picture for him to fill as an executed at another level of competition.
“We are attending the Hungary World Championships where I will begin a four year term on the FINA BUREAU, one of 22 persons to be on this BUREAU in the world,” he revealed. “I’m excited about this opportunity and will certainly use it to promote Aquatic Sports in our region and of course, highlight the excellent achievements we are making here in the Bahamas.”
Cargill expressed his gratitude to corporate Bahamas for the relationship they have developed over the years and change the false perception that swimming Is an elitist sport
“This is just wrong on so many levels and really stereotypes our athletes negatively and also I think results in reduced support from corporate Bahamas,” he stressed. “We are grateful to long terms sponsors like the Royal Bank of Canada, BTC, Subway Bahamas, CIBC, Morely Realty, Sun Oil (Shell) and Cable Bahamas - organizations that have supported the progress of our Federation and can see the strengths and growth of our program.
“Additionally, we are also pleased with the Corporate Governance processes that we have implemented, the fact that we have Financial Statements that are prepared by an Accounting Firm and have been provided to the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture for our last Financial Year.”
But Cargill assured the public that none of their achievements would have been possible without the hard work of the volunteers and executives, whom he’s had the pleasure of serving with since 2003. He said their partnership have resulted in almost 1000 swimmers being registered with the federation.