MINISTER of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg last week met with the staff of the National Sports Authority at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium.
Photo: Eric Rose/BIS
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior SPORTS REPORTER
WITH the relaunching of the “Sports in Paradise’’ campaign, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg wants to make sure that his staff is prepared for the challenge ahead of them.
Last week, Bowleg met with his staff and the National Sports Authority at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium where he got a chance to ascertain their concerns and needs as they move forward under the Progressive Liberal Party administration led by Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis.
“The whole idea was to meet with them and to get an understanding of there concerns and to see how best we address those that we can and to put things in place to make life better for them and to improve their working conditions,” said Bowleg.
The NSA is responsible for the management of the facilities in the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre, including the TAR National and original track and field stadium, the Betty Kelly Kenning Swim Complex, the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium and the National Tennis Centre.
Also included is the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex, which houses the Bahamas Golf Federation’s Driving Range, the Roscoe Davies Developmental Soccer Center, the Bankers League softball park, the four recreational softball fields, the national boxing gymnasium and the Andre Rodgers Baseball Stadium that is still under construction.
Bowleg, who would have had contact with the NSA prior to his appointment as the Minister through his association as the past president of the Bahamas Basketball Federation, said he was quite pleased with what transpired at the meeting.
“The staff expressed their feelings and there were certain matters that were brought up and we will be addressing those matters, but the whole idea was to become acquainted with the staff and for them to become acquainted with me,” Bowleg said.
“We want to be able to improve the morale around the ministry and around the NSA so that we could work together in harmony for the better good of the promotion of sports in the country.”
As they move forward from the meeting, Bowleg said he would like to see more activities staged in and around the facilities operated by the NSA on a monthly basis as soon as possible.
“We want to be able to draw the attention of local and international athletes to bring in some form of revenue for the NSA,” Bowleg said.
“Those facilities are there to be utilised and the best way to do that is to make them up to standard and to maintain them.
“Once that is done, we would like to invite all federations to think outside of the box and outside of the country by inviting their various divisions, whether it’s college or professional groupings, to come into the country to utilise our facilities during their offseason.”
By the end of the year or the beginning of 2022, Bowleg said they hope to see the re-emergence of “Sports in Paradise” with quite a number of events on the drawing board becoming a reality in the country through the NSA.
“I think this administration believes the impact that sports has on a country and economically and the positive impact on the youth of the nation through the development and involvement in sports. It’s extremely important that we bring greater exposure to our young people through sports.”