National sports facilities need attention

DISREPAIR – This file photo depicts the shabby condition of the one full-size track and field complex in Abaco.

There has been great neglect of sporting facilities in the country and no doubt, the major culprits have been the recent central administrations that have had jurisdiction over the National Sports Authority (NSA).

It is deplorable, the state of facilities throughout the Family Islands, and to a bothersome degree in the capital island of New Providence. When one goes through the country and takes notice of how well kept and organized, sporting facilities operated by private concerns are, in comparison to how governments, through the NSA, have been functioning, it is a national disgrace.

Just recently, for emphasis of this point, I disclosed in this space, with photos, the shockingly abysmal state of the one full-size track and field stadium in Abaco, in the precinct of the Patrick J. Bethel High School, formerly Abaco Central.

No public statement has come forth regarding such disrepair.

Today though, there is rhetoric being hurled between the Official Opposition Progressive Liberal Party and the Governing Free National Movement, with the unfinished Andre Rodgers National Baseball Stadium as a primary focus.

A whole lot of “talk” is going on, but meanwhile, the next construction phase of the Rodgers Stadium still seems to be in limbo. The athletic complex in Central Abaco, I understand, has not been touched in the way of repairs. Work has been halted on the sports complex under construction in Moore’s Island, Abaco.

All over the archipelago, in areas of Government/NSA responsibility, young aspiring athletes have to make do with shoddy or no facilities at all.

Yes, the government and its sports point person Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Michael Pintard inherited what they met in place. It’s been eight months of governance now though and the time has passed for pointing fingers. The dedicated sports leaders in this country, many of whom sacrifice personal finances to continue contributing to the development of young athletes, are not concerned with comparisons about what the PLP did wrong in sports and what the FNM now says needs to be, and will be rectified.

Get on with the job at hand!

The nation’s sporting facilities are no longer among the national failings the kicked-out PLP politicians are tasked with.

Minister Pintard has this load, along with his associates, to deal with for the government in the interest of the Bahamas Sports Brand.

What is the plan?
Spend millions on completing the Andre Rodgers Stadium while the track and field facility in Central Abaco and other similar sporting areas under the purview of the Government/NSA are left in a dilapidated condition?

Certainly, there is no argument here against continued work on the Rodgers Stadium. However, let it be known that there should never be a “commitment” for baseball over any other discipline.
The neglect of sporting bodies in the past and apparently now, to some degree, leaves a wide body of work before Pintard and the government.

Get on with it!

Pay meaningful attention to the national sports landscape!

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

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