The Ford family, of patriarch Percival, long ago, became synonymous with quality sports. All of his boys and one of his two girls demonstrated athletic skills beyond the average, in a variety of sports.
Somehow, Corey, unlike her sister Linda, missed the Ford Family’s sports train. Linda of course went on to become one of the top five softball hurlers, of all-time, in The Bahamas.
All the boys, Wenty, Eddie, Wardy, Keith, Mario, Leighton, Kevin and Andy enhanced the Ford sports brand. From the 1960s all the way forward to the last decade, the Ford name was still prevalent in Bahamian sports, although the family presence did become greatly diminished.
Several of the boys, Wenty, Wardy, Leighton and Kevin, died. Eddie retired from mainstream competition. So did Linda. Keith and Andy dropped under the radar. Mario stayed with it for a longer period in primetime softball, but not in baseball.However, in a particular role he took on some 30 years ago, Mario continues to hold up the Ford name strongly in sports, by mentoring inner city youngsters in baseball. It is to his everlasting credit, that Mario has virtually steered scores upon scores of youngsters from his Windsor Lane (Windsor Park) base of operation into quality adulthood.
Parents of children who reside in the immediate Windsor Lane community and surrounding areas wait eagerly for the Mario Ford Baseball Camp every year. They appreciate the few weeks of being able to rely on Mario Ford to mentor their children in baseball and social interaction.
Such a forum is of great value to inner city young folks who often find themselves in challenging situations, on a day-to-day basis.
Mario will begin the 32nd camp next week Saturday, February 24, with sessions running from 9 a.m. to noon at Windsor Park, for boys and girls ages 5-15. They will be offered instructions on fundamental baseball skills.
Mario’s baseball camp is yet another of the annual initiatives of sports leaders throughout the country. It is important to showcase those who contribute to nation building through sports, such as Mario, in order for others, especially the central administration, through the Ministry of Sports to be constantly aware of capable partners.
In this light, of course, Mario and others like him are ideal to be incorporated in the National Sports Academy. So, on this occasion, I applaud Mario.
Best wishes for another successful and inspirational camp.
• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org or on WhatsApp at 727-6363.