By BRENT STUBBS
LAST week I sort of scratched the surface in calling for some permanent fixture to be erected to keep the memory of a number of our former sporting personalities alive or to give them flowers while they are alive.
The list drew a lot of comments as persons forwarded a number of inquiries of sporting personalities from the various sporting bodies, which leads me to the point that maybe there should be more consideration given to honoring our icons.
The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture is in the process of planning its third annual National Sports Awards, which will be held in conjunction with the National Sports Heritage Month in November.
At that time, the ministry will recognise those athletes who performed exceptionally well during the course of the season and those athletes who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame Class of 2017.
There’s a long list of sporting personalities who should be inducted and so it will be interesting to see who will be the latest inductees.
While the Hall of Fame is important, I still think more attention must be paid to recognising those persons who have excelled at the international level among the best in the world as champions or medallists.
And talking about medallists, Steven Gardiner and Shaunae Miller-Uibo have returned home virtually un-noticed after their stellar performances in winning the country’s only two medals at the IAAF World Championships in London, England.
There were no celebrations, but at least the Bahamas Sailing Association along with the Bahamas Olympic Committee and the Ministries of Sports and Agriculture joined forces to honour Gavin McKinney when he came home as the fourth Bahamian world sailing champion.
Although it was late in the evening, a number of sporting dignitaries, along with sailing enthusiasts and McKinney’s family and friends were in attendance at the Lynden Pindling International Airport for the ceremony.
And even though we were coming out of the destruction left behind by Hurricane Irma, the celebrations came right in time to help to ease the tension that was taking place. It was indeed a “silver lining” in the midst of the storm.
Mission accomplished for the men’s national softball team. They went to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and qualified for both the Central American and Caribbean Games and the Pan American Games.
Despite the fact that they had some issues getting out of the country because of the passing of Hurricane Irma, the youthful team got the job done as the top finisher in ECAST, the English Caribbean Confederation with a 3-4 win-loss record.
Team manager Perry Seymour indicated that had they had a chance to participate in more games or tournaments before they went to the Dominican Republic, the result could have been better.
No doubt the saying “proper planning prevents poor performance” comes to mind as Seymour said they went to the tournament hoping to develop the synergy among the players that they lacked before they left home, not having a chance to play together as a unit.
Hopefully as they prepare for the CAC games in Barranquilla, Colombia next year and the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru in 2019, Seymour said they intend to put the necessary measures in place with the support of corporate Bahamas.
The team will certainly need all the help they can get to play at the next level.
I wish to express my profound condolences to the family of the late Barbara Brooks, who passed away on Sunday.
Brooks was a prominent figure in the Bain Town Flyers when Neville Wisdom served as a coach. She assisted many athletes, including myself, in their time of need. I remember being introduced to her by Olympic triple jumper Frank Rutherford and spending time with her son, Lynden Sands, who was also one of the country’s elite jumpers. May her soul rest in peace.