BAAA CELEBRATES 60 YEARS
On Sunday, 27th May 2012 The Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations honoured the founders and presidents of the body over the 60th years of existence.
One of the renditions of Garland Miller, member of the 4x100m relay in the inaugural 1986 IAAF World Junior Championships in Athens was “How Can I Say Thanks”!
Founders have been honoured twice before in the history of the BAAA’s. Once was in 1982 when the body held a luncheon celebrating its founders. The next time was in 1991 at the Carifta Ball held in honour of the founders.
There are numerous persons who make a significant contribution to the sport of Bahamian Track and Field.
There are the athletes, coaches, officials, members of the federation, the sponsors, and the fans.
Nothing could have happened in our sport without the action of the founders.
Nothing could have be done afterwards without the leadership of presidents.
Anybody who is aware of what it takes to start an organization knows exactly how much time and effort it can take.
When we look at sixty years of athletic and academic achievements, then you are speaking of something else.
If you think it is difficult to found an organization, it is even more difficult to sustain an organization over sixty years.
Then when we see just how The BAAA is looked at around the world we get a different take on things.
It took forty years for the country to win its first Olympic medal in Track and Field.
In the last twenty years The Bahamas has won ten medals in the Games.
Since 1995 The Bahamas has won nineteen medals in the IAAF World Championships.
In 2007 at the World Championships in Osaka The Bahamas placed ninth in the world with a Gold medal by Donald Thomas in the High Jump, a Silver medal by Derrick Atkins in the 100m and a Silver medal in the men’s 4x400m relay.
This was just behind Jamaica and right ahead of Cuba, two giants in our sport in the Caribbean region.
On the Youth level, The Bahamas won three Gold medals and one Bronze medal in the 2011 World Youth Championships in Lille, France and finished in fourth place worldwide. We followed only the USA, Kenya, and Jamaica.
For most Bahamians this is nothing exceptional. We can do that!
By the world, however, we are looked at with amazement.
As a friend of mine penned in 1993 during an exhibition he organized at City Hall in Stuttgart, Germany:
“The Bahamas, Small Country, Great Athletes!”
The vision of the founders for success in Track and Field in the Olympic Games, as well as the tenacity of the fourteen presidents over the sixty years gives us lots to talk about.
With all this, as well as the activities in the upcoming world and regional competitions, it is time for us to say thanks to our founders and presidents.
How can we say thanks?
We can by doing whatever we can to continue assist in the tradition of success in athletics and academics that we have been able to enjoy.
We can give of our time, treasure and talents.
It is simply unbelievable and amazing that when I penned it, Dr. Art Carden in a television program sponsored by the Nassau Institute said the exact same thing!
We each will have an opportunity to thank our founders and presidents in the next several years.
How can we say thanks?
The BAAA’s thanks everybody who has made a contribution to the Bahamian Track and Field program these sixty years and looks forward to their continuance.
28th May 2012
Public Relations Officer
Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations