The Grand Bahama Youth Olympic Games is a phenomenal undertaking. Iram Lewis, once one of the country’s finest sprinters, has had to move around more quickly than ever before, in a short space of time, to get the event properly planned.
His worthy assistant and the anchor person for the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) Secretariat in the island, Kelley Albury, has been working minor miracles, networking with the various partners and role players, all the time, with the June 24 start to the sports extravaganza as the primary focus.
The event is huge for Grand Bahama and important in the history of sports in the country. The keen interest of the BOC to stretch the Olympic Movement over the entire country is evident in the decision to firstly open an office in Grand Bahama to cater to the entire Northern Region and then to come up with the initiative of the Youth Games.
“I have been given my mandate from the BOC. The time frame was very short, but I can say that the people I’m working with, especially Kelley Albury, stepped up and applied themselves and they are committed to organizing a successful games. We wanted to have quite a few more disciplines.
“I know the president (BOC Chief Wellington Miller who is also the head of amateur boxing), wanted boxing on the schedule. Volleyball was talked about as well, but we were given a small window of time and could only do so much,” said Lewis.
There are other disciplines that are ready to get on-board. Also included in the probable group for Olympic Youth Games II are judo, wrestling and sailing.
Miller seems to be in his finest element during this second tenure of BOC presidency.
“Everything is in hand. We are representing the country very well and respect for The Bahamas is mounting in world Olympic circles. This Youth Games, these are the steps we are directed by the IOC (International Olympic Committee) to do.
“I am so happy to see how Iram and his team are working together. What I see here, “ he noted in the committee meeting on Wednesday, “ is something similar to what the San Antonio Spurs did to the Miami Heat. They used great teamwork and it seems to me that Iram has in place an excellent team.
“I am very proud to be president at this point in time for something like this to be happening. I wish you all the best,” added Miller.
The first set of basketball games are actually scheduled for Tuesday June 24 at the Jack Hayward High School Gymnasium and competition there and at St. Georges High School Gym will run through to Saturday, June 28. The age groups for basketball are 15-under and 18-under as of January 1 2014.
Softball will begin on June 25 in a six-team double elimination format. The competition will continue through to June 28 at the YMCA Field. The age group for softball is 18-under as of January 1, 2014. Baseball, in the same format, will begin also on June 25 at the YMCA Field with the championship games set for June 28. The age group for baseball is 18-under. Soccer will be played at both the YMCA Field and the Grand Bahama Sports Complex. The first set of matches will take place at the YMCA on June 24.
Tennis action will begin on June 25 at the Grand Lucayan Tennis Facility. The age groups are 14-uder boys, and girls and 18-under boys and girls. Athletics will take place at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex, June 28-29. The events for U-14 and U-16 boys and girls are: 100M, 200M, 400M, 800M, 1500M, long jump, shot-put, 4 X 100 and 4 X 400. The U-18 boys and girls compete in the 100M, 200M, 400M, 800M, 1500M, 3000M (open), long jump, shot-put, 4 X 100 and 4 X 400.
The swimming competition will take place on June 28 at the Bishop Michael Eldon Pool on June 28. The age groups are 13-15 and 16-18 as of January 1 2014.
The Youth Games competition represents a historic milestone for the BOC and Grand Bahama. Lewis is confident. He said despite the fact that the “organization has been tightly done in a relatively short period of time” success will be the end result.
Published Thursday, June 19, 2014