By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
AS we welcome in 2018, many sporting bodies are looking forward to the New Year with great expectations.
• Here is some of
what's on their agenda:
With an old deputy moving up as the new sheriff in town, immediate past secretary general Romell 'Fish' Knowles will begin his first full four-year term as the president of the top sporting body in the country.
Elected in November to replace Wellington Miller, Knowles said one of their first objectives is to assist their member federations in any way they can to make them more successful and to work with the government to improve the facilities in the Family Islands and for an increase in the grants provided to the federations and the subventions for the athletes.
The BOC is working feverishly at this time to get Team Bahamas ready for participation in the Commonwealth Games to be held in the Gold Coast, Carrara, Australia from April 4-15.
"During those games, we hope to get a couple of sports to make their debut on the international stage," Miller projected. "Triathlon and table tennis are two of the possible sports that we hope to include with swimming, athletics, cycling and boxing.
"And we will also begin our preparation for the Youth Olympic Games where we will be focusing our attention on youth. We are now in negotiations with an international player to provide scholarship opportunities for deserving kids. And we will provide as best as we can, opportunities for our Family Island kids to attend the University of the Bahamas."
Later in the summer, the BOC will also be responsible for the team going to the Central American and Caribbean Games, July 19 to August 3 in Barranquilla, Colombia.
Having just served as the chairman of the LOC for the Commonwealth Youth Games that was held here last July, Knowles said he understands the rationale behind the decision when government has to make a financial contribution. For the Commonwealth Games, Knowles said the Bahamas' quota has been reduced by the Local Organising Committee, due to financial constraints, but he advised the public that the BOC will take the best team possible to ensure that the country makes its presence felt.
While he still holds onto the reigns as president of the federation, Wellington Miller said his days are numbered and that's only because they are waiting on the International Boxing Federation to sanction the date for their election of officers.
"We hope to have the elections early in January," said Miller of the anticipated date of Saturday, January 6. "We have to wait until we get clearance by IABA. That's the way our constitution is set up. I have informed them and I'm just waiting for them to come back and approve the date.
"It's crazy, but they have to approve the date and they have to approve the candidates before we can hold the elections. That is the only international body that does that. I don't know why, but that is what IABA has stipulated in their constitution."
If they don't have any approval before Saturday, Miller said they will have to once again postpone the elections, which they had intended to stage last year, but was called off because they didn't get any names at the time to submit for approval.
With no desire to continue as president, Miller said they are anticipating a three-way battle for the top spot whenever the elections are held. The list includes Vincent Strachan, Ikenna Johnson and Michelle Minus.
In the meantime, the former president of the BOC said he's confident that sports in general is in good hands and he's excited about what they will do in this coming year.
"I want to encourage all of the federations and associations to start preparing their athletes," he said.
In the continuation of being one of the more buoyant sports in the country, the BSF is looking forward to going to Kingston, Jamaica over the Easter holiday weekend to begin their international trek to success this year in defending their title at the Carifta Swimming Championships. "We are going to have a very strong team in Jamaica," BSF president Algernon Cargill predicted. "That's the position we are looking at for the rest of the year with the other big meets like the World Indoor Championships and the Commonwealth Games and the CAC Games.
"What's so special is that Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace will be returning to competition in 2018 and Joanna Evans has also confirmed that she will be travelling to the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in 2018."
The year will close with the World Championships in China December 7-11 and Cargill said they expect that Vanderpool-Wallace, Evans and their other elite swimmers like Elvis Burrows and N'Nhyn Fernander will all be around to carry the banner for the Bahamas. "We expect to have a great 2018 year," Cargill said.
Bahamas Association of
Having already kicked off their 2017/18 season with their Odd Distance Track and Field Meet in December, the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations will start this month off during a worship service.
Having forged a relationship with the French Television Channel 7, which has a viewing audience of 1.7 million, the station was in town to cover the Odd Distance Meet and featured some of the top athletes and coaches.
"It's a part of what we wanted to do to change our image," Carey said. "We wanted to expose the BAAA to high heights and we believe that we have done that with the partnership of the French Television. They got to capture what we do as an explosive country. We will be exposed all over Europe, so we are excited for that opportunity."
With the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, England first on the international agenda from March 2-4, Carey said they have their work cut out for them as the hosting of the Carfita Games here for the eighth time will follow over the Easter holiday weekend, March 30 to April 2.
"The Bahamas will have the distinction of hosting the most Carifta Games. Barbados and Jamaica has hosted seven, but the Bahamas will host the most when we host it in March," she revealed.
This year's games will be significant as it will revert back to the under-17 and under-20 divisions, which will enable the Bahamas to put its best foot forward in trying to dethrone perennial powerhouse Jamaica as champions.
Following the Carifta Games, the biggest junior regional meet, will be the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Carrara, Australia, April 4-15.
Carey said the local focus will be the various national championships, including the Age Group Championships June 1-2 for the under-15 athletes, the junior nationals June 7-8 and the senior nationals June 22-23. "All of our championships will be held in New Providence this year," Carey stressed. "We instituted the crowning of our national champions last year and that will continue this year. We know that our athletes train tirelessly to be the best, so they deserve the honour of being crowned the national champions."
Competitors at the junior nationals will be vying for spots on Team Bahamas that will compete at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Finland in mid-July and the senior athletes will have another long championships as they prepare for the NACAC Senior Championships in Toronto, Canada, August 10-12 where they will compete for cash prizes.
"For 2018, the big thing for the BAAA will be the elections and annual general meeting that will be held in November," Carey said. "What is important about this election is that no executive or council member would be allowed to vote. The only persons who will be allowed to vote and to cast one vote only would be the registered and financial clubs."
Carey has already indicated that she intends to serve another four-year term in office.
As the New Year rolled in, Glen Archer has stepped aside to usher in the new president of the Bahamas Golf Federation.
Lenford Neil Miller, who is employed as a pilot with Sky Bahamas, has taken over the helm from Archer during the federation's annual general meeting and election of officers last year. His vice president is Anthony Hinsey, employed at Odyssey, while Georgette Rolle will remain as the secretary general.
In leaving office, Archer said he anticipates that the new administration will continue on with the projects that he left in place and improve on them as they look at introducing some new initiatives for the golfers.
"One thing I can say as I go is that I'm leaving them in the black financially," Archer boasted.
"There are lots of things that I expect them to continue and they seem to be keen about doing that. They seem to be very cooperative, they are anxious and they are zealous.
"They are also young people, who are young professionals. This is a young professional golfing team that is leading the BGF. They are connected to the properties, which is good. In one way, it might be bad and in another way, it may be beneficial with them being a part of the properties. They are connected with some influential people, so I expect some good things from this group."
Archer said he expects that the federation will also link up with the professional golf tournaments that come to the Bahamas, starting with the Pure Silk Women's Tournament this month at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island and ending with Tiger Woods' Hero World Challenge at Albany in November.