By Rashaed Esson
#TheBahamas, April 17, 2023 – At the House of Assembly on April 12th, 2023, the Honourable Clay Sweeting, Member of Parliament for South Eleuthera and Minister with Responsibility for Agriculture, Marine Resources, Cooperatives and Local Government, ahead of the Exuma Regatta, announced a resolution for making Sailing the National Sport of The Bahamas; It is supported by the Opposition and the Government.
A section of the Resolution spoke to approving Sailing as a National Sport of The Bahamas, ‘where the people of The Bahamas are known for their unique wooden vessels known as Sloops,’ used for decades throughout The Bahamian cultural and sporting events known as Regattas and whereas the participation of The Bahamas in the sport of sailing is recognized by the winning of bronze and gold medals in the Olympic competitions in 1956 and 1964 respectively.’
It would mean that the sport of Cricket would no longer hold the title.
Making Sailing the National Sport has been desired by Bahamians as stated by Sweeting. He said, “sailing has been a long awaited announcement by Bahamians. Sailing has been and always will be a part of who we are as Bahamians.”
Considering this, Sweeting spoke to the long history of sailing in the Bahamas, highlighting that Bahamians have been referred to as “masters of the sea” for hundreds of years dating back to the Lucayans and Arawaks.
He further mentioned that sailing has evolved to play an integral part of Bahamian culture, evident in the Regatta competitions first held in Exuma in 1943 which later became more organized, comprehensive and technical in the late 1950s.
He referred to Regatta as a “formidable economic driver for the family islands.”
As expressed by Sweeting, Regattas are crucial to the Social, Economic and Cultural development of The Bahamas. They encourage sustainable domestic tourism.
Evidently, each island where Regattas are held, benefit from significant economic boost.
Regattas has also made a name for itself in the international community hence the once creation of a yachting community formed fund called [Out Island Squadron] for Regattas.
The involvement of the late Duke of Edinburgh as not only a patron, but also a participant in a Regatta in 1959 in George Town, also contributed to the popularity of the sports today.
The Honourable Micheal Pintard, Member of Parliament for Marco City, who is the opposition’s leader and former minister with responsibility for marine resources, expressed support for the resolution in a detailed speech following Sweeting’s address.
He said making Sailing the National Sport has been a long aspiration of both the Progressive Liberal Party and the Free National Movement.
He highlighted that the resolution is an opportunity to aid on the homogenization of the ministries, making sure that the right departments fit within the context of the appropriate ministry the way Sailing does. This is under the issue of disconnection in the public eye when it comes to the relationship between departments and their ministries.
He further spoke to the fact that discussions have been had off the record to make Sailing the National Sport of The Bahamas under previous Government’s, indicating that the desire to make the sport official has existed.
In reference to this, he spoke to Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper who stated in an article in 2020 in the Nassau Guardian, that he would second a bill to make Sailing as National Sport.
Another reference that he spoke to was V. Alfred Gray, former Minister, in a letter, congratulated the advancement and said that when he was in office they attempted to make it the National Sport but wasn’t given the opportunity before they were out of office.
Sweeting expressed hope that Sailing is approved as the National Sport of The Bahamas.
Bahamas as Caribbean top 2024 Spring Destination
#Bahamas#Tourism, February 23rd, 2024 – The Bahamas has been categorized as the most popular Caribbean destination for travel in the upcoming spring season by travel insurance company Squaremouth, in a new report. It was the only Caribbean nation to make the list for the top 10 destinations. The report is derived from travel insurance purchases made through Squaremouth.
Regional Soldiers head to Jamaica to train for pending Haiti mission
#Haiti#KenyaMultinationalForce#CARICOM, February 22nd, 2024 – About 150 Bahamian soldiers are heading to Jamaica within the next one or two weeks for a joint training with Jamaican soldiers, in preparation for the pending Kenya led multinational force mission to Haiti according to Bahamian Defense Chief Commodore, Raymond King, in reports. Soldiers and security forces from Chile and Argentina will also travel to Jamaica for the training.
King informs that Kenya and Haiti are in the process of signing off on an agreement to allow Kenya to lead the force into Haiti, following advice from Kenya’s High Court which recently deemed Kenya’s decision to deploy police officers to the gang run nation as unconstitutional. This agreement includes a formal request for assistance from Haiti, allowing Kenya to legally intervene on the ground.
Major plans for The Bahamas announced Davis
#Bahamas#Development,February 22nd, 2024 – “Things are changing in The Bahamas,” were the words of Prime Minister Philip Davis as he outlined some of the Government’s plans to improve the nation through a decrease in the cost of living, enhanced security for Bahamians and the expansion of access to opportunities. Davis, who was presenting on February 21st, the Bahamas Mid-Year Review of the fiscal performance for the fiscal year 2023/2024, highlighted a long list of plans for the archipelago.
Here’s the full list stated in Davis’ address :
- A new energy policy and an expansion of renewable energy, including microgrids, and an emphasis on engaging local Bahamian firms and building local professional capacity;
- An expansion of Bahamian ownership in our economy, including support for entrepreneurs, small and medium sized enterprises, and an expansion of affordable housing –with hundreds of families moving into new homes by this summer;
- A modern and award-winning specialized tourism product, with new investments across our archipelago, and major visibility and branding campaigns in New York, Florida, and the UK;
- Progress on redeveloping downtown Nassau, long overdue;
- New commitments to education, including a Parental Engagement Unit; more teacher training, modernizing the curriculum, classroom enhancements, improving school attendance, and using the Renaissance testing results to design individualized support for students;
- An expansion of technical and vocational training, including certification at the high school level;
- An Empower Grand Bahama micro-grant programme for entrepreneurs; $1.5 billion in investments for Grand Bahama in the pipeline; the Beautiful Grand Bahama programme, in which collaboration has led to safer communities; and Collab Grand Bahama, which fosters partnerships between the government and the private sector to bring change and progress to Grand Bahama;
- Major upgrades to our health infrastructure;
- More support for our athletes and sports programmes;
- We’re on track to pave 65 miles of road in New Providence alone this year;
- Investments in NIB to improve fairness and efficiency;
- A National School Breakfast pilot programme, which is already giving thousands of our children breakfast in their primary schools, and is ready to expand;
- New classes, camps, lessons, and programmes at our Urban Renewal Centres;
- A Youth Guard to strengthen our capacity during national emergencies, and give more young Bahamians a path forward;
- A Task Force addressing unregulated shantytowns in New Providence and Abaco, with other islands to follow;
- The selection and training of new immigration officers;
- Saturation patrols and new investments and collaboration in crime prevention;
- A juvenile detention facility;
- A cadre of officers trained to recognize and manage psychiatric issues;
- Stronger partnerships and new patrol vessels to secure our nation’s borders;
- Major new investments across our Family Islands, including new airports, and road paving in Andros, Bimini, Cat Island, Abaco, Long Island; Great Harbour Cay, and Crooked Island;
- The development of our nation’s blue carbon credits strategy; and
- A major investment in agriculture and national food security.
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