By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
WHILE they are still waiting for the final roster for Team Bahamas, the Bahamas Olympic Committee has announced that Derron Donaldson and Emily Lowe will serve as the Chef de Mission and Assistant Chef de Mission respectively for the sixth edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games.
They were introduced to the media yesterday by BOC President Wellington Miller, who outlined the roles that they will play when the CYG is held here July 19-23.
“They will have 180 persons (from the Bahamas) to manage and we are sure that they are going to do a good job,” said Miller, who serves as the chairman of the Local Organising Committee.
“We have faith in them because they are dealing with their peers. This shirt I have on has all of the islands of the Bahamas and we are doing this for all the Bahamas. These games are for you, all over the Bahamas.”
More than 1,500 athletes from at least 70 counties within the Commonwealth will be coming to town to participate in nine different sporting events.
“The horse is out the gate. We have about five more weeks before the games are held and our jockeys are riding the horses,” Miller quipped. “Our horses are fresh and the jockeys are fresh, so we look forward to everybody coming out to the stadium for the opening ceremony.”
Miller said they wanted to present a fresh young look as the team’s official leaders and they couldn’t ask for a better duo than Donaldson and Lowe.
“They will have the responsibility of managing the Bahamian team,” Miller said. “They will have to make sure that they get to the games on time, make sure that they get back to the hotel on time, make sure that they eat on time, they go to bed on time, they wake up on time and they get to the site on time. Everything has to be on time.”
Donaldson, a first vice president of the BOC and a former president of the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association as the youngest ever elected, said it’s an honour for him and Lowe to be in a position to manage the biggest delegation that the Bahamas would have ever assembled.
“The good thing about this is Emily and I could get to practice this because one day we could be the future Chef (de Missions) of the Olympics when we could carry a big delegation,” he said. “We are hosting it here at home and so I feel we will have the support and a huge support staff.
“The coaches, in most cases, know what they have to do. I don’t have to worry 100 per cent about our Bahamian coaches getting lost. That’s the fear when travelling. Persons getting lost and not getting to their venue on time because they may have gone the wrong way.
“We all know where everything is. The incoming countries will have to worry about that this time. We are now the host, so the ball is now in our court and we hopefully will perform.”
Donaldson, a married father of two daughters, aged 7 and 2 years, said coming from tennis where he’s served as a coach and president in the past, said once he can develop a good rapport with the managers, physio’s and doctors on the staff, they can relate to the athletes.
Lowe, on the other hand, said she’s also excited about her role.
“When I was first offered it, I was very excited and I immediately jumped at the opportunity to participate in this,” she insisted. “I’m into organizing and making sure that everything is managed and I’m quite excited about working with younger children.
“In the youthful eye, we do have a younger connection with them and we know what’s going on in the social media, so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Lowe, 18, has been riding horses every day since she was five years. She noted that her outgoing personality would definitely help here in her new role.
Although there are some names already submitted for Team Bahamas, Donaldson said they have to wait on the other national federations to complete their final trials before they can announce the official team that will represent the Bahamas.
During next week before the schools are closed for the summer, Donaldson said he and Lowe are expected to visit them to provide an update, distribute free tickets and inviting them to come out and to attend the games.
The Bahamas was selected to host the games after Saint Lucia withdrew in 2015, citing financial difficulties. The competition will be held in Aquatics, Athletics, Beach Soccer, Judo, Rugby Sevens, Tennis, Beach Volleyball, Boxing and Cycling.
“All of the venues right now are on schedule and we’re looking forward to all of the improvements to be done,” Donaldson said. “But we’re looking forward to after the games where these athletes will have state of the art facilities to train in.”
Team Bahamas is expected to occupy most of SuperClub Breezes, while the visiting teams will be housed in Melia. The visiting teams are expected to arrive in town on July 16 and 17.