SPORTS TOURISM PUSH: Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg speaks during a press conference earlier this week ahead of Team Bahamas’ game against Venezuela in the FIBA Americas Cup Qualifier at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium tonight.
Photo: Moise Amisial/Tribune Staff
By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
AS the government aims to push for sports tourism in Grand Bahama, Sports Minister Mario Bowleg revealed that another sports event is in the pipeline for the first quarter of 2023.
While he did not disclose any details, the minister indicated that they are looking at the month of March.
“We have a few events just for track and field to come, and one is in the pipeline for March, but I would not want to make mention what that is yet,” he told The Tribune at the NACAC Championships, which closed out on Sunday.
The Minister indicated that there are plans to further develop the Grand Bahama Sports Complex to attract other sport disciplines.
Close to $300,000, according to Mr Bowleg, was spent to get the track (complex) back up and running for the Anita Doherty NACAC Area Open Championships held August 19-21.
“At the end of the day, we are going to make sure we maintain it, and we are going to continue to develop this whole complex,” he said.
“We are going to have many activities that can come about from the world sporting disciplines, and so I am hoping in the next 36 months that this complex will be something even greater when people come here. “Again, GB is an island that cannot be compared with Exuma, Bimini, or New Providence on how they are able to maintain visitors to the island. It is an industrial island and I believe, speaking to Minister for GB, we believe and all our colleagues that it can be the entertainment, sporting capital.”
“If we can build the facility they will come, he said. And you can get professionals, college teams, and world teams and lead athletes to come here and perform during the off season and get them ready for the season.
“And this is why the plan is to build an indoor (swimming) pool, and a multi-purpose facility with some tennis and racquet courts to get professional tennis players in here. That is just a few, and a baseball diamond - all of those are going to be coming in phases,” said Mr Bowleg.
“And so, we are in discussions and hopeful we will do this with a public private partnership, and get it done. And we want it to be maintained. If we can get sports tourism to come here then it makes GB the destination for sports tourism,” he said.