By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
In a bid to assist athletes get over the coronavirus pandemic, the Bahamas Olympic Committee has decided to form an Athletes’ Welfare Commission.
The commission, whose responsibility will be to assist athletes in whatever they need to move forward, will be headed by one of the BOC’s vice presidents, Roy Colebrook.
“The commission will be in direct contact with athletes who are Olympic bound and their federations to see what assistance they require,” said BOC president Rommel Knowles.
“We know that the majority of athletes will be looking for financial assistance and for those athletes that do, we will assist as best as we can.
“But we also know that some of the athletes might need physiological training to get through this pandemic. Some might just need someone to talk to. Maybe they might need to speak to a fitness expert to ensure that they are staying fit. Whatever the needs are from the Welfare Commission, we want to be able to be there for them.”
The commission, fully staffed and managed by a committee, will function directly out of the BOC’s Secretariat on Soldier Road.
Knowles, however, said they are vetting the other members who will be considered for inclusion on the committee. Once the list is completed, he said a more formal announcement will be made by the BOC.
Colebrook, who has served as the chef de mission for a number of national teams, including the past two Olympic Games in 2012 in London, England, and 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as well as the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia, said he’s ready for the task of assisting the athletes as best as he knows how.
“The commission will be formed to assist the athletes in those tough times,” Colebrook said. “What we plan to do with the athletes’ commission is to form the bylaws as it pertains to the assistance that we will be able to give to the athletes.”
The commission, according to Colebrook, is a work in progress, but he’s eager to work with the elite athletes again as he has done in the past.
“I want to encourage the athletes to stay safe and just remember that this pandemic will not last forever,” he pointed out. “This pandemic will last for a while, but the athletes have to stay focused and stay committed to their training because when we come out of this, everything will be on. So we want our athletes to stay focused and committed to their training.
“We will get through this and the Bahamas Olympic Committee want to make sure that they are there to lend them a helping hand in the process.”
Colebrook, a businessman and former hotel union executive, also serves as the president of the Bahamas Cycling Federation, a member of the BOC.
In October, 2018, he was also the latest Bahamian to earn his master’s degree in sports management at the IOC’s Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.