I had a chat with Bahamas Olympic Committee President Romell Knowles the other night. He is looking forward to the 2019 Pan American Games enthusiastically. It wasn’t a conversation about predictions, but in his eyes, was the determination to use that quality regional sports forum as a boost to the Bahama Sports Brand.
His demeanor in the face of a lot of controversial issues circling within the national sports fraternity is encouraging. He is after all, the lead figure in national sports administration. Much, regarding solidifying national sporting efforts, hinges on just how he functions as the chief of the Olympic Movement in The Bahamas.
So coming up next, as the major item on the agenda of the BOC is the XVIII (18th) Pan American Games.
Lima, Peru is the designated host city for one of the biggest sporting events in the Western World outside of the Olympic Games. The opening ceremony is scheduled for July 26, 2019, and on August 11 the competition will end. The Bahamas has never made a big run at winning the Pan Am Games. The United States have dominated, while Cuba and Mexico have been huge performing nations through the years. We are not in that league.
The view here though, is that this is an opportunity for the country to make its most meaningful effort.
In swimming, track and field (athletics), judo, beach soccer (if that is on the Pan Am schedule) and boxing, if we prepare appropriately and fortify camps, The Bahamas could do well. The suggestion is that the BOC networks with the federations of the aforementioned disciplines and collectively generate revenue through soliciting of sponsors and a government grant, to focus on 2019 Pan Am Games preparation.
If this is done, there is the realistic possibility of seven medals from track and field; three from swimming; and three or four others. Yes there is the capacity for The Bahamas to win 14 medals in Lima, next year.
That would be a landmark accomplishment.
The team will be that of the BOC and the leading sporting organization in the country should now relate to paving the way for a majestic showing by Team Bahamas. Firstly, it is important that the BOC convene a conclave, geared to bring about togetherness within the national sports fraternity.
Such a forum is essential, as the first order of business towards our best performance ever at the Pan Am Games.
All of the sports stakeholders in the country are thus challenged to be on call and ready, and willing to accommodate the BOC, in the interest of really heightening the Bahamas’ Sports Brand in Lima next year.
Solidarity of the national sports landscape is attainable.
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org or on WhatsApp at 727-6363).