Family Islanders make appeal for better baseball facilities


Tribune Sports Reporter


FAMILY Islanders are making a special appeal to the government for better baseball facilities on their respective islands.

Family Islanders from Cat Island, Abaco and Bimini all expressed concerns about the state and lack of sporting facilities that exist on each of their islands.

Mike Holmes, chairman of the Cat Island Sports Council, talked about the dire need for baseball facilities. “We have no facilities on the island to play baseball on and all of our facilities are not functioning, and run down,” Holmes said.

Although facilities are being built for basketball, softball and track in the northern and southern parts of Cat Island, none of them are functioning at this time for children or adults to be able to use them.

The chairman of the sports council said the issue is not a lack of talent on the island, but the kids simply need a chance to expose their talents.

“Baseball or any other sporting discipline would greatly enhance the development of the kids and adults on Cat Island. The kids can’t wait for something to do on the island. Any sporting complex, facilities, and discipline will enhance the development of our kids greatly,” the chairman said.

Troy Deanza Feaste, president and founder of the Abaco Youth Baseball and Softball League, talked about the state of facilities on Marsh Harbour, Abaco.

“I think the lack of facilities is having a serious impact on bringing in more talented kids. The hazardous conditions like not having a backstop, proper fencing around the field, dugouts are not properly protected, it’s a lot of things that can be improved to make the field better,” he said.

Currently operating from one field - for softball and baseball - on the island is not enough, according to Feaste.

“I think if we had better facilities we could bring in more kids. I don’t think that one field is sufficient to build a proper programme because we have softball girls using the same facility as baseball.

“So we have to share the field [and] there are sometimes 80-120 kids out there all learning the sports,” Feaste said.

Despite the dilapidated state of the two fields in Cooper’s Town and Murphy Town, they were recently informed that the latter would transform into a ‘state of the art’ baseball field similar to the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex.

“That is a collaboration between the government and a non-government organisation. We are waiting to see if that is going to materialise soon,” he said.

Jeffrey Davis, former sports administrator, said although Bimini has a decent baseball field, more can be done to develop the sport on the island. “The game needs revival among the youth. Bimini needs a little league park on South Bimini and a track and facilities,” Davis said.

“Our sports council is functional but no one works for the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Culture (MOYSC) in Bimini. The Family Island MPs have been grossly negligent in securing adequate school and community sports facilities, as small as Bimini is we built our own facilities.”

The representatives of Abaco, Cat Island and Bimini all have the common plea of wanting better development and improved facilities for sports on their respective islands.


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