There is none other, more enthused about track and field than Kermit Taylor. Some years ago, he approached me and spoke passionately about the need for a stronger link between the parent body of track and field (athletics), young Bahamians and the population in general.
He felt track and field was a product that was not maximizing its potential and was without a meaningful outreach program. Taylor took on that mission single-handedly through Bahamas Athletics, an entity which has become the prime projecting vehicle for the sport.
Taylor had his challenges for sure. Although assisted to a degree by the Ministry of Tourism, this all-important organization that profiles track and field extremely well, has been a burden due to lack of sponsors and support from the executive branch of the sport he loves so very much. They verbally patronize him for his ambitious outlook which has him travelling all over the globe to regional and international track and field competitions.
The contracts deserved, though, have not been forthcoming.
Yet, the stalwart pushes on. Recently, he was elected to head the public relations/marketing arm of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA). The BAAA Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations has started out with a bang.
Last Saturday, at the old Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in the capital island of New Providence, the BAAA opened the 2019 season with an odd distance meet and Taylor was the architect of a program that fueled early enthusiasm for the sport. Noted disc jockeys were brought on board to add a special dimension to the proceedings and it made for much excitement.
“Let me tell you. We are ready for the season. It was fantastic. The fans who attended, connected very well to what was going on and the expectation is that we will have many repeat patrons to our local events. They loved the music angle. We are going to ride this experience and take the track and field spirit throughout the country,” said Taylor.
He is extremely motivated by the National Track and Field Championships having been scheduled for Grand Bahama, this year.
“We are having the nationals in Freeport this year and we will utilize the same spirit displayed on Saturday at the Old Thomas Robinson Stadium, going forward,” Taylor added.
The decision to stage the premier national event for the sport in Grand Bahama is a good decision. In recent decades Grand Bahamians have supported sporting events much more than their peers in New Providence.
Accordingly, they can be counted on to flock to the Grand Bahama Sports Complex on track and field “nationals” day.
The portfolio Taylor has with the BAAA suits him. It’s a good marriage, he and the BAAA have.
Look for athletics in the Bahamas to have a much stronger link to the general public, with Taylor inspiring a transformed culture that will lead to residents having a greater vested interest in the sport.
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com or on WhatsApp at 727-6363).