By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
THE next elections will see a number of sports figures vying for constituencies.
Among the list are Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations president Drumeco Archer and Bahamas Basketball Federation president Mario Bowleg.
While Archer will be running for the FNM in Fort Charlotte, Bowleg will contest Garden Hills for the PLP.
As a candidate, Archer said he’s eager to serve at the highest level, just as he did when he his G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time) team won the BAAA’s elections and he was ushered in as the new president.
“We’ve had other persons from organisations over the years, who would have had political involvement without any interference from its member federation,” said Archer, as he dispelled any suggestions he should resign as the BAAA’s president.
“Our constitution doesn’t preclude me from having personal ambitions, as long as it doesn’t affect the federation. I could hardly believe that any federation would be disenfranchised by any government, FNM, PLP, or DNA or otherwise.”
Archer is a former sprinter who graduated from St Augustine’s College before he earned his bachelor degree in economics at the University of Central Florida and his LLB from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados.
Archer, 49, a lawyer by profession, said he’s going full steam ahead with his campaign, just as he did when he went to the polls for the presidency of thed BAAA.
“I pour myself into everything that I do. That is why I took this on,” he insisted. “I am not your traditional politician. If I have a conviction and if I believe it makes sense, I will pour myself into it. This is no different.
“The country’s future is at stake and more importantly, the direction of young people’s lives is at stake. That is why I am doing this. I am doing this for the young people of our nation.”
He said he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to be the next MP for Fort Charlotte.
As a bipartisan organisation, Bowleg said he doesn’t feel his nomination for the PLP will have any adverse effect on the BBF either.
“My decision was only made based on the present situation in the country and what needs to be done to uplift the youths and improve the sporting activities in the country,” Bowleg said.
Bowleg, a former player for the AF Adderley Fighting Tigers when they were a secondary high school competing in their own Hugh Campbell Basketball Classic, has moved to coach both the St Andrew’s Hurricanes and CC Sweeting Cobras senior boys’ basketball teams.
He also coached both the New Providence Women’s Basketball Association and the New Providence Basketball Association and on the BBF national team before he took over as the president.
“If you watched my tenure in anything and everything that I’ve done publicly, I would have always been in a position to train persons to take over,” said Bowleg, a banker by profession.
“That trend continued. I believe that the persons I am leaving behind in the federation, has the knowledge and understanding and commitment and ability to enhance what I would have left in place.”
Bowleg, however, said as he moves on to his next venture in life as his steps are “ordered by the Lord”, he doesn’t feel the need for him to resign from the BBF because his season “isn’t done yet” as he continues to make policies that benefit the sport.
“I don’t have any reservations about accepting the nomination. I will continue to be me and continue to do my part in the federation,” he insisted.
“I will continue to fight for the greater good of the people in this country and the youth of the nation as I have done over the past 25 years, I want to continue to see our youth grow and become productive citizens when we move off the scene.”
Aged 47, Bowleg said the campaign has been going quite well and he looks forward to the challenge.
“I’m quite confident and comfortable that the work that I’ve done and continue to do in the community and the country at large will continue to speak for me,” he stressed.
Bowleg said he’s just as confident that the people of Garden Hills will elect him as their next MP.