The Grand Bahama Secondary School Athletic Association recently paid homage to its 2019-2020 champions of the Churchill Tener-Knowles/Michael Moss High School Softball League.
The Tabernacle Falcons - juniors boys champions; Sunland Stingers - junior girls champions; Bishop Michael Eldon Warriors - senior girls champions; and St. George’s Jaguars - senior boys champions; were all recognized by the league patrons, and Minister of State for Finance, Senator the Honorable Kwasi Thompson this past Friday, May 21 at the Jack Hayward Gymnasium.
In his keynote address Minister Thompson paid homage to the league’s honorees, Tener-Knowles and Moss, for their lengthy contributions to sports and community building. He further congratulated the athletes on a job "well done" and encouraged the students to continue working hard not just on the field, but in the classroom and in life.
“I’ve known these gentlemen for most of my life and know the contributions they made to Grand Bahama, not just in sports but through their business contributions, national building and the contributions they made in their church and family.
“They’ve been good examples for young people.
“One of the things sports taught me was the lesson, that hard work pays off. For you young people who are in here today, I want you to embrace the lessons of sports.
“Those kinds of lessons will last throughout your lifetime. Lessons that I learned on the softball field, tennis court, even from running distance are lessons I still apply to my life today.
“That’s what life really will teach you, that nothing worth having in life comes easy. You can do well in life but nothing worth having is going to come easy, and you have to work hard, and that principle holds true in sports.”
District Superintendent in the Ministry of Tourism Ivan Butler expressed that he was glad softball was able to be completed before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the country to be placed under emergency orders. He also pointed out that schools returning to the face-to-face format was significant.
With hopes of reigniting sporting activities, Butler disclosed that he, GBSSAA schedule coordinator Oswald Simmons, and former head basketball coach of the Falcons, Norris Bain have discussed possibilities in helping with that quest.
“Mr. Bain, Mr. Simmons and I have been brainstorming about how we can have more activities for our children during this summer break. We didn’t get a chance to have some physical activities during this school year.
“So, over the summer we want to have lots of summer programs whereby we can play softball, basketball - all the sports our kids were denied this year because of COVID-19.
"We’ll be talking to people, for their support financially, and in person as we are able to put on many programs for our students this summer. The Ministry of Education will do all it can to ensure our kids stay in school and look forward to their development physically and educationally,” said Butler.
Moss offered his congratulations and motivated the players to remain humble in victory.
“No matter how good you are, you should always bear in mind a degree of humility. There is no need for boastfulness. I encourage you to give your best and prove your best in your academics and your sporting endeavors. Congratulations to you, teams.”
Tener-Knowles was pleased to be honoring the teams with his long-time friend, Moss. He has spent years paving the way for softball as an athlete and an executive and witnessed when The Bahamas was ranked third in the world in the sport of softball.
He used those past accomplishments to illustrate just how far a softball player can go with the right push.
“Our little country, in softball, in 1980 won the bronze medal in the World Games. We had players from Eleuthera, Grand Bahama, Nassau, New Providence, Long Island and Exuma.
“In 1981 our ladies won the bronze medal at the World Games in Santa Clara, California. So it goes to show you what sports can do for you. I encourage you to continue with your commitment to softball and sports. And like the Minister said, put God first in your life,” he concluded.