Bahamian Track and Field Hall of Fame to be revitalised?
By Andrew Coakley
FN Sports Editor
Plans are under way for revitalizing The Bahamas Track and Field Hall of Fame after a break of nine years.
The revelation came from long time track and field coach and organiser, Alpheus "Hawk" Finlayson, who also has much to do with the revitalization of the Hall.
"When the Hall was originally introduced, the intention was to celebrate the accomplishments and achie-vement of individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport of track and field," said Finlayson, in a recent report to the Bahamas Amateur Athletic Association.
"A committee has been selected to arrange the next induction which should take place in March of this year."
That Committee includes the likes of Alpheus Finla-yson, Stanley Mitchell, Kirk Smith, Sandra Smith, Lynette Thompson, Arnold Forbes, Harrison Petty, Phil Smith and Fred Sturrup.
There is also expected to be a representative designated by The Bahamas Association of Athletic Association to be a part of the committee.
The initial inductees to the Hall in November of 1993 were high jumper, Charley Major, sprinter Tommy Robinson, hurdler Danny Smith, long jumper Shonel Ferguson, along with coaches Charley Wright and Henry Crawford.
Wright died six years after his induction.
Other inductees (in 1995) included Mike Sands, Claudette Powell, Dr. Timothy Barett, Leonard Dames and Winston Cooper.
In 1997, inductees included Cyril Johnson, Greg Rolle, Fletcher Lewis, Claudia Ferguson, Keith Parker and Leviticus Adderley.
At that time, it was customary to have induction every odd year. Four athletes and two officials were inducted.
In the past, for one to be eligible for consideration to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, an athlete had to have ceased active competition for at least three years.
For new nominees, that time span has been increased to at least five years since an athlete's last competition.
"The nominees should have made some significant contribution to Bahamian track and field," noted Finlayson.
"For athletes, they should have won a medal at the senior level in international competition or have otherwise done some significant performance.
"An athletes' international competition should have included the Olympic Games, IAAF World Championships, IAAF World Indoor Championship, IAAF World Cup, Pan American Games, Commonwealth Games, CAC Games (prior to 1986)."
At present, there is no physical home for the Bahamian Track and Field Hall of Fame. As a result, the newly appointed Committee plans to address that problem.
It is believed that an actual building dedicated to the Bahamian Track and Field Hall of Fame would do much to help promote the sport. It would be a place where aspiring track and field athletes can visit to find inspiration and encouragement.
Presently, many of the country's top track and field athletes are highlighted on the "Wall of Fame" which is situated at the arrival terminal of the international section of the Lynden Pindling International Airport.
Finlayson would like to see track and field have a home of its own, where even more of its outstanding athletes can be given their just due.
© 2007 The Freeport News