From Coach To Parliament

FROM left, new members of Parliament Mario Bowleg, Wayde Watson, Bacchus Rolle and Leonardo Lightbourne.

FROM left, new members of Parliament Mario Bowleg, Wayde Watson, Bacchus Rolle and Leonardo Lightbourne.


Senior Sports Reporter


THE basketball was bounced around the political court on Thursday and when the game was over, the Progressive Liberal Party’s rookie coaches of Mario Bowleg, Wayde Watson, Bacchus Rolle and Leonardo Lightbourne were all victorious.

The quartet joined the 32 members of the PLP, led by Prime Minister Philip ‘Brave’ Davis, who ushered in a “New Day” over the outgoing Free National Movement and former Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, whose slogan “It’s About Your Future” came up on the losing end.

And now the big question is: Who will get the post of Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture?

Bowleg, the new Member of Parliament for Garden Hills, along with Watson, the Member of Parliament for Bains & Grants Town; Rolle for South Beach and Lightbourne for North Andros and the Berry Islands, said he’s just delighted to be able to continue to offer his service to the community.

“I’m very happy and elated. It’s a great feeling,” Bowleg said. But just like everything that I put my hands on, I put strategic plans in place to ensure that I got the victory. That’s the utmost importance for me.

“Your work should speak for you and I believe that those works that I have done over the years and those that I continue to do would have been the reason why I won my seat the way I did.”

Looking back at the campaign trail, Bowleg, who also serves as the president of the Bahamas Basketball Federation, said it was most of the most difficult journey that he had to endure.

“Bahamians have to understand that when you put yourself up for public service, it’s a sacrifice,” he pointed out. “It’s not an easy road when you encounter over 5,000 people with different opinions and all sorts of problems.

“We have to try and find a way to assist them. I know that we won’t be able to please everyone, but I want to thank my wife, Dianna Bowleg, who was the backbone of my campaign. along with all of my campaign team and the office staff and the marketing team. They all played a role in the success of my campaign.”

Having had what he called a “burden” lifted off his shoulders for now, Bowleg said he can start to begin the work that he was elected to do and that is to provide the “relief and hope” for some many persons who are hurting in the country.

“Just knowing that I have an awesome responsibility to continue that for the next five years and beyond is going to be a tremendous challenge for me, but we, as a new governing party, will ensure the people that we will deliver on the promises that we preached about,” he stressed.

“We want to ensure that wealth become common in this nation and I’m sure that under the leadership of Philip ‘Brave’ Davis and Chester Cooper, and my collegiate, we will do all that we can, not just to be in power for one term, but keep our word and make life is better for everybody.”

As for his collegiate in basketball, including Vaughn Miller, who came over from the FNM and retained his seat in Golden Isles, Bowleg said he encouraged Watson, Rolle and Lightbourne to prepare themselves just as they did when they getting ready to play in a game or to coach a team.

“We wanted to make sure that we approach the elections the same way that we did for a game,” he pointed out.

“On game day on election day, we knew that we prepared ourselves and we went out there and allowed the voters to decide if we were fit for the job.

“I think all of us did that. We made sure that all of our I(s) were dotted and our T(s) were crossed and on election day, we knew that the spoken and they gave us the mandate to become Members of Parliament under the PLP.”

Now that the elections are over and done with, there’s the question of who will become the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Bowleg, one of the names surfacing as a possible candidate, said the ball is now in the court of Davis.

“We have a very, very diverse team and I believe that whatever decision he make, it would be in the best interest of the country,” Bowleg stressed. “We’re all for whatever decision he make.

“I believe that God will guide his mind in making what he believe will be the best choice for this administration to be successful. No matter who is elected, I believe that we have someone who will be capable of getting the job done.”

Until those decisions are made this week, Bowleg will also have to decide his fate as the president of the BBF.

“In short order, once I receive a posting from the Prime Minister, whatever it is, I will then reside as the president of the federation,” he said., “Our constitution speaks to that, as to who will become the new president.

“In this case, it’s Eugene Horton, the first vice president and everybody else will move up. I’ve already


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