By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
The Bahamas Cycling Federation, the Bahamas Swimming Federation and the Bahamas Olympic Committee jointly expressed their condolences on the passing of former competitor, parent and executive Keith Lloyd.
As he celebrated his 50th birthday on Friday morning, Lloyd died at home of an apparent heart attack. He left to mourn his wife, Petrell, and three children, Keith Jr, Keitra and Keiron, all of whom followed in his footsteps.
New Providence Cycling Association president Barron' Turbo' Musgrove said he remembers when Lloyd made his debut into the sport as a competitor from 1983 when he went on to win the interschool cycling championships in 1985.
"It's a very, very hard blow for cycling in the Bahamas on a whole," Musgrove said. "For the federation, it's a big blow because he was our financial director and he headed many committees. He's been involved in cycling for at least 25 plus years.
Lloyd, according to Musgrove, was a team-mate of his on a number of national teams, including the CARIFTA Games before he suffered an injury to his right arm in a car accident that forced him to cut short his cycling career.
"He later became a consultant, working along with many of the past cycling executives, including the late Bertram 'Cowboy' Musgrove," said Musgrove of his deceased father, who was a long-time president of the BCF.
"He continued to work in the federation up to his death. He will definitely be missed. He was the director of the recent Commonwealth Youth Games, which was very successful. It was the biggest sporting event ever held in this country and Keith Lloyd was the driving force behind the cycling aspect of it."
Musgrove said as a federation, they will work on assisting his family as best as they can before they come up with a fitting tribute to keep his memory alive.
Bahamas Swimming Federation president Algernon Cargill said Lloyd's death hit home hard.
"He was a very strong supporter of swimming. His family was very much involved into the sport," Cargill said. "He will be missed significantly."
Cargill said they will miss hearing Lloyd's voice as he served as the announcer during their meets and he served as a volunteer on all their committees and was a member of their council.
"It will be very hard to replace him, if not impossible," Cargill stressed. "He generally loves what he did. When I talked to his wife, she reminded me about how he always talked about me and about swimming.
"I think he would have been involved whether or not his children were involved. His children were members of several national teams and I think his commitment to the sport helped them to get even better. I just can't believe he's gone."
With his death so sudden, Cargill said they have agreed to work closely with the family in whatever they have planned for his home going celebrations.
"We will assist them, not only financially because he is no longer here, but in whatever way we can because he played an integral part in their success as a federation," Cargill said. "I just can't imagine working without him. So we will be there for the family."
BOC secretary general Rommel 'Fish' Knowles said it was a bitter moment in the office Friday morning as they heard the news of Lloyd's death right after they were reflecting on the passing of their immediate past president Sir Arlington Butler.
"There were a lot of teary eyes around here this morning," Knowles said. "We just finished the Commonwealth Youth Games and Keith was an integral part of organizing the Bahamas Cycling Federation part of the meet.
"Cycling received high marks from our international guests and from the Commonwealth Games Federation. Keith really took cycling to another level. If you would have visited the venue, it would have looked like we were in another part of the world."
Knowles commended Lloyd for how he spearheaded the transformation of the Clifton Heritage site in a venue that brought out the best in the Bahamas.
He also noted that what was so shocking to them was the fact that the night before, Lloyd and BCF president Roy Colebrooke were together and Lloyd also got a chance to speak to a number of persons regarding sports.
The sporting bodies all say that Lloyd will be sorely missed and they offered their condolences on his sudden passing.
May his soul rest in peace.