Strong sports development  focus now, in Grand Bahama

Grand Bahama Sports Complex

The Government of the Bahamas’ decision to include the Lucayan Reef Golf Course in the body of renovation works earmarked for the Grand Lucayan properties is most encouraging.

Hopefully, the intent is a meaningful approach, beyond just 12 golf carts. The entire golf course needs attention. Cosmetic renovations would not suffice. In any event, those within the golf fraternity in Grand Bahama and the wider Bahamas are waiting to see just what Lucayan Renewal Holdings Limited has in mind for the Reef Course.

On the surface, addressing the Reef Course’s need is positive and speaks to the sports development focus in Grand Bahama. It would be fitting for the government to recapture the enthusiastic outlook its Tourism Department once had for sports in Grand Bahama. The GB Ministry of Tourism, decades ago, worked hand-in-hand with the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) to feature some of the world’s finest events.

The GBPA still maintains a vibrant sports promotion sector, fortunately. In fact, with GB Tourism diluting its output for sports, the presence of the GBPA has been significant in sustaining a modest level of sports growth in the island.

Corporate Grand Bahama, in particular, the Industrial Center, has been stepping up to the plate as well, to provide sports development assistance.

I can report too, that a major investor has committed to a sports focus in Grand Bahama.  Reference is to none other than Oban Energies, the proposed investor of an oil refinery/storage facility in East Grand Bahama.

Oban Energies, in a recent release, promised to contribute in a big way to sports development in the island, with an emphasis on youthful programs. In January of 2019, Oban Energies, is expected to unveil a sports program with an outreach all over Grand Bahama, networking with youthful sports projects.

In the Heads of Agreement document, signed with the Government of The Bahamas, Oban Energies committed to $100,000 per year for community projects. Under national pressure, the government sought to go back to the table, on several items signed off on within the HOA. One adjustment requested of Oban, was an increase in the amount allocated by the investor for community projects.

It is my understanding that Oban has agreed to make the gesture of increasing the amount to perhaps $500,000. From out of that lot, the sports funding will likely come.

Of course, as the mega investment project is planned for East Grand Bahama, residents, especially the student population of that area, could look forward to sports infrastructure, refurbishing of present sports fields and courts, and the establishment of clubs for various sporting disciplines.

Oban will no doubt assist outside of East Grand Bahama, as well.

The inclusion of Oban Energies into the sports development in Grand Bahama is huge.

Indeed, the sports outlook for Grand Bahama is refreshing.

The government can provide another dimension that could heighten the sports development mood in Grand Bahama.
The Grand Bahama Sports Complex (GBSC), a multi-purpose facility, needs to be renovated and upgraded. Successive governments have done a poor job in maintaining the GBSC, a gift from the Grand Bahama Port Authority during the period when the late Edward St. George sat in the chairman’s office.

The complex has deteriorated through the years.

It needs a lot of work.
 
•To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturup1504@gmail.com or on WhatsApp at 727-6363.

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