There is much more to the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) than being the prime engine that drives the investment/economic machinery in the island.
There is of course, the sports passion.
Over time, particularly through the late patriarchs Edward St. George and Sir Jack Hayward, the GBPA has been a strong advocate of sports development. Organizations and individuals have prospered and gone on to achieve greatness and provide Grand Bahamians many proud moments, as a direct result of gestures made by the GBPA with the consent of St. George and Sir Jack, and their personal attention.
The trend continues with Sarah St. George as the point executive for the GBPA. Case in point, is the sponsorship of the coverage of the Carifta Games that took place in Curacao this past Easter Weekend. The Carifta Games, the largest and most notable junior track and field event in the Caribbean, has long been one of the centerpieces of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) national program.
The GBPA sponsored the travel of Freeport News sports reporter Shayne Stubbs to bring coverage for Grand Bahama.
As is traditional, a meaningful percentage of Grand Bahamian athletes made up the national team and corporate entities like the GBPA, are to be congratulated for recognizing the importance of contributing to the island-wide sports development initiative, directed by a variety of organizations and dedicated mentors.
It is at times like these, when the CARIFTA Games and the upcoming World Relays are major topics in the country, that it becomes clear to those who are not directly connected with sports development, just how essential the athletes, coaches, administrators and organizers of the island’s sporting arena are to Grand Bahama life.
It must be pointed out though that through the years, the assistance in producing CARIFTA caliber young athletes has fallen off. There was a time, during the high-flying Errol Bodie CARIFTA era when Grand Bahama athletes rivaled their New Providence counterparts in producing gold medals.
The achievements of Lucy Russell, Elmer Smith, Rickey Moxey, Beryl Bethel and others will live on in Bahamian CARIFTA history. The glory of yesteryear can be recaptured indeed, we think.
Thus, the continued focus of Grand Bahama companies is imperative.
So, we applaud the GBPA in this instance for putting a high profile on the CARIFTA Games, and others within the island’s corporate community who operate likewise.
We encourage them also to revisit budgets to see just how much more can be done.
Congratulations to the GB athletes who made the CARIFTA 2017 team and we extend best wishes to the ones who will be on the world stage later this month at the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) Third World Relays, to take place in New Providence at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, April 22-23.