SHOWN (l-r) Renee Davis, Dwayne Davis, Mike Sands, Nikita Thompson, Stephanie Rahming-Taylor and Simone Robinson-Walker.
Photo courtesy of Laura Charlton
In the spirit of giving back during the Yuletide season, Mike Sands took the time out to express his gratitude to the many persons who helped him to secure the presidency of the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC).
A light-hearted reception was held yesterday in the NACAC office at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium as Sands said thanks to all of his team members.
“It’s just a way to show our appreciation for their support from our inception to this point,” said Sands, who was elected as the NACAC president in July, 2019.
“We look forward to their continued support as we strive to make NACAC the model area association with the support of those persons who assisted us.”
The “us” who Sands referred to were Renee ‘Sunshine’ Davis, who was seconded from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture to serve as the office manager and Nikita Thompson, the accounts manager.
Joining the full time staff in providing various services to NACAC are Dwayne ‘Bayshore’ Davis, who heads the IT department, along with Donovan Gray and Trevor Moss from the National Sports Authority, Simone Robinson-Walker, the daughter of the late Tommy Robinson, who heads the interpretation department and Stephanie Rahming- Taylor, who works in the technical area. With the continued support of a number of people from the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA), the Bahamas Association of Certified Officials (BACO) and friends, Sands said he’s looking forward to 2021 in the new norm expected as a result of COVID-19.
“As you very well know, a lot of events were postponed and cancelled, so we’re watching the pandemic very closely,” Sands said.
“There is a level of cautious optimism as a result of the vaccine that seems to be making the waves. But our biggest challenge at the moment is our first event, which is the CARIFTA Games scheduled to take place in Bermuda in the first weekend in April.”
At their last executive meeting, Sands said they canvassed their members with the view of getting their feedback with the way forward due to a spike in the coronavirus in Bermuda.
“Cancellation is not an option that we are considering,” he said. “We’re trying to find ways to host the games in the best environment.
“What we have done is we have canvassed all of our member federations, Carifta members in particular, that in the eventuality it cannot host Carifta on the weekend schedule, what options would they like to consider.”
One of those options is to move the date with several new dates recommended. The Carifta members have until the second week in January to make their choice for consideration by NACAC.
“We will pool the results with the Carifta family and the NACAC family and make the best decision for the Carifta Games, if in fact, we have to change the date,” Sands said. “I think the only other time that Carifta was not held in 1988 or 89 over the Easter holiday weekend because the country was unable to host it, so we moved it to another country around July that year.”
It’s not a guarantee that the Carifta Games will be pushed back again, this year it was postponed because of the spread of the coronavirus.
But Sands said based on the general consensus from its membership, they will make the final determination on when and where Carifta will be held next year.
So far, since taking office, Sands said it’s been a very challenging process because in NACAC, they have to deal with snowfall, hurricanes and earthquakes, but no one was prepared for Covid-19. “COVID-19 has put everything out of whack and so we have to re-strategise and reorganise a lot of things,” Sands said. “So that made it that much more challenging, but also that much more exciting.
“So it causes you to think outside of the box. The plus side of Covid-19 is that we have been able to establish a line of communication with our member federations that would not have normally happened to the extent that it has happened as a result of Covid-19.”
By next year, Sands said they are confident that they will have a very good year in 2021, especially with the vaccine as a promising remedy for Covid-19.”