Ministry of Sports’ outreach should connect all programs

SPORTS CONCLAVE – National Director of Sports Timothy Munnings will be coordinating a major Sports Leaders’ Conclave, beginning today at the National Stadium in New Providence and continuing through Saturday.

The sports programs, in general, in every inhabited island of this Commonwealth of The Bahamas, ought to be monitored, guided and empowered by the Ministry of Sports.

The Sports leaders’ Conclave that begins today at the National Stadium in the capital island of New Providence is full proof that under Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Michael Pintard, there is going to be a push to connect those who have assumed significant roles in nation building through sports development.

“It is our hope that our sports leaders use this opportunity to help us improve the level of service we as a ministry deliver. We welcome suggestions and open dialogue. We also hope that through this forum, (participants) will be informed on a variety of areas that impact us all. We recognize that there are some common challenges that are faced, but we also know that through discussions, resolutions can be achieved,” said Director of Sports Timothy Munnings in an “invitation” communication.

I see the conclave as quite an important initiative, but note also that the same ought to be provided for sports leaders throughout the archipelago. Many of them operate at great disadvantages. It’s a pure labor of love on their part. Understandably, the Ministry of Sports would be hard-pressed to find the funds to accommodate sports leaders from across the country to a true national sports conclave in New Providence.
Therefore it is suggested that in the spirit of fairness, Minister Pintard and Director of Sports Munnings should now plan to go into the various other areas of the country, and network with sports leaders who are unable to benefit from events staged only in the capital island.

For instance, there could be a Sports Leaders’ Conclave for the Northern Region, hosted in Grand Bahama, with some travel and accommodation assistance given to those coming in from Abaco, Bimini, The Berry Islands and North Andros. The same could be the case in other geographical strategic sectors.

This New Providence-centric approach has never been ideal for the country. We will never be able to come near maximizing the true sports potential in the country by catering primarily to the sports leaders and programs in New Providence. The country is much larger than New Providence and the sports leaders and their programs in other parts of The Bahamas are just as entitled, to whatever benefits are afforded, through the Ministry of Sports by the respective central administrations.

So while the forum this weekend is a most worthy effort, the concept has to be expanded.

The topics arranged for the conclave are on point. Attendees will be given insights to, and have the opportunity to engage in dialogue about the following: Good Governance in Sports; the Bahamas Olympic Committee; the Role of Sports Liaison officers; Child Safeguarding; Sports Tourism; Doping In Sports; the Introduction of Sports into High School Curriculum; Disabled Participation in Sports; The Mental Game of Sports; Event Planning; Strategic Planning/Public Relations and the National Sports Authority.
The aforementioned should indeed lend a comprehensive outlook to the national sports picture.

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com or on WhatsApp at 727-6363.

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