ON THE MOVE: On his tour of the various sporting disciplines on day one of The Bahamas Golden Jubilee Games, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg paid a visit to volleyball at the Kendal G L Isaacs Gymnasium.
Photo: Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Culture- Department of Sports
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
AFTER watching the first five days of competition in the sixth Bahamas Games, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg said he’s impressed by what he’s seen so far.
And although they have been faced with some challenges, Rev Harrison Thompson, chairman of the Games Secretariat, said there were some issues they were faced with, but they are working through them.
The games, making its return after a 21-year hiatus, got started on Friday, July 7 and will wrap up on Saturday, July 15.
As of yesterday, some disciplines were already completed, some were in the process of winding down and the others were just getting started.
“The crowd is beginning to swell at all of these facilities as we move towards the semifinals and finals of events still going on,” said Bowleg, as he and an entourage toured the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium for the completion of volleyball.
“We are now starting softball and basketball, where some of the greatest rivalries take place with some of the Family Islands coming to compete for bragging rights.”
On Monday, the sloop sailing competition wrapped up in Montagu Bay where Long Island dominated the competition. Grand Bahama, however, is leading in the gold medal rush on the chart overall, while New Providence has achieved the most medals.
Bowleg said it’s still a long way to go to determine the overall champions for the games, which is a part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the nation’s 50th anniversary of Independence.
He said he was particularly pleased to see how the younger generation of athletes, who would have not had the pleasure of competing in the previous five games, are reacting.
If it’s any indication, he noted that the games has served its purpose of uniting the country through sports. He anticipates that as the games wind down with competition in basketball, softball and track and field, that more Bahamians will come out and show their support for the nation’s top athletes.
Thompson, in his capacity as the chairman of the Games Secretariat, said they encountered some challenges, but there was nothing that they couldn’t handle.
“As we face them, we are overcoming them,” Thompson said. “Our theme says Challenges are Chances for the Courageous and because we are courageous, we will overcome any challenges.”
With more athletes coming in from the Family Islands for the games than they had accounted for, Thompson said the Games Secretariat was challenged to find the additional accommodations for them.
He also noted that they had to make some adjustments with Bahamasair in getting some of the athletes, especially out of Eleuthera, into the capital, but he noted that they have been able to sort things out.
“We don’t want to disenfranchise any athlete, so we are trying to accommodate all of them,” Thompson said. “We are working through each challenge as we face them and we’re getting through them.
“At the end of the day, we want to ensure that we put on the best games possible and that all of the athletes, the coaches, officials and the fans enjoy the Golden Jubilee Bahamas Games.”