North Andros track initiative carries tourism expectation

BOC ASSISTANCE—Wellington Miller is presently winding down his second stint as president of the Bahamas amateur boxing movement. He is an associate of the Bahamas Olympic Committee and is capable of leading the development strategy to aid the amateur boxing program.

Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) President Wellington Miller, a native Androsian, calls the North Andros Track Project, “one of the most satisfying happenings in my time thus far as a sports administrator.”

A long-time president of The Bahamas Boxing Federation (formerly Amateur Boxing Association of The Bahamas) and now a multi-tenure BOC chief, Miller was instrumental in the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) making available $200,000 for the track in North Andros to be outfitted with a high-tech Mondo top.

For Miller, the gesture will “open a major avenue” for economic growth in the laid-back north sector of the largest island in the country.

“This is big. So many things can come out of this gift from PASO. Now, once the two phases of construction are over, North Andros will have one of the finest tracks in the region. That means, combined with our weather, the area will be attractive for lots of schools from North America, the United States proper and Canada to come to Andros to train.

“There is the labor force benefitting from new employment. The Mondo Surface folks will bring in their specialists to ensure that the work is done properly and up to world certification, but there will be a good amount of Androsians hired.

“The community will feel an economic boost. Motels and hotels will be able to cater to the workers, especially the foreign ones and there are bound to be Bahamian workers who would need somewhere to stay, while working on the track project.

“This means also, that from a touristic point, we must start thinking in accordance with what the project means. If we are to entice student athletes to come to North Andros to train, then there must be fitting accommodations for them. The Ministry of Tourism, the group that promotes North Andros, they all now need to digest the situation and maximize this opportunity,” said Miller on Friday.

While, a roof, bleachers and a concession area are to be “handled down the road” as disclosed by Miller, initially along with surfacing the track, will come the construction of the infield to accommodate soccer. It is the intent, also, for the soccer field to be constructed in line with international standards. This means that once the field is completed, North Andros would also be able to host Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) endorsed events.

“We have to officially contact The Bahamas Football Association (BFA). I must have a talk with Anton Sealey (BFA President) and discuss the process. They will guide us in getting all of the necessary specifications put in place,” informed Miller.
Congratulations are in order for Miller and his Olympic associates. PASO is one of the world bodies that funnels money into strategic areas for sports development on behalf of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). PASO has jurisdiction over North America, the Pan American zone and the Caribbean.

It is my view that this extended outreach by the BOC is important. I have long advocated for the BOC to make a more meaningful contribution through its PASO connection to national sports development.

Actually, all National Olympic Committees are mandated by the IOC to foster growth and development in their respective countries, in particular of youthful athletes.

The BOC, under Miller is proving equal to the task.

Miller will be seeking another term in office when the BOC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) takes place in November. He is favored to continue on in the highest sports administrative post in the land.

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

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