With much anticipation and high spirits, a team of eight elite athletes from the Bahamas traveled to Trujillo, Peru for the PanAmerican U20 Athletics Championships. The event takes place July 21

through July 23.

Normally the Bahamas sends a team that is heavy on sprints but struggles in field events, but this year it appears opposite is the case. Manager Laura Pratt-Charlton discusses the team saying the coached have put in extra time, having meets on off weeks. This has paid off for the throwers, high jumpers, long jumpers, as well as the sprinters. 

As for the preparation required to travel to Peru compared to other countries in the past, Charlton says the most important is finding the best route to get there in order to limit the number of connections. Ideally, the team wants a direct flight to get them to the village quicker and give the athletes maximum time to adjust.

The team is small, yet powerful. It's made up for four girls and four boys. Brianne Bethel runs the 100m and 200m. Laquell Harris and Serena Brown, who competed last year, will throw the discuss, while Daejha Mass will compete in the long jump.

The boys are loaded with jumpers, with Kyle Alcine and Jyles Etienne on the high jump, with Holland Martin on the long jump. Recently added Tamar Greene will compete in the triple jump.

According to Charlton, the team is composed of a very mature group of athletes. Most are going to college or have been in college and have been on at least one or two teams together in the past. Despite having had just one meeting, they jelled quickly as if together all season. Small team but powerful and she is expecting the team to bring back a lot of medals, knows they will perform well. Because of the closeness of the team, if one performs well, she feels the others will feed off of that.

The core message she leaves for the team is "give us your best".  Should they do that and feed off each other's energy and performance, Charlton and head coach Patrick Adderley will likely return to the Bahamas with several award winning athletes.

The 2017 IAAF World Youth U-18 Championship will be the tenth and the last edition of the bi-annual international athletics competition for youth (U-18) athletics. The five-day competition is being held from July 12th -16th at the MOI International Sport Center in Nairobi, Kenya. 

The first edition of the event was first held in Bydgoszcz, Poland July 16th - July 18th, 1999.

Bahamas Athletics was pleased to catch up with one of the Kenyan council members, retired three time Boston Marathon winner, Ibrahim Kipkenboi Hussein during the 2016 IAAF World Juniors U20 Championships. Hussein, who is also winner of the New York City Marathon in 1987 was the first Kenyan (and first African) to win the Boston Marathon setting a world record and also having a book written in his legacy.

Hussein was in Poland along with the Kenyan delegation to observe the 2016 World Juniors U20 to ensure of his country’s readiness to host the 2017 World Youth Championships.

Out of 150 countries originally competing to host the 2017 championships, Kenya was very lucky to be declared hosts; Hussein stated that the 2017 World Championships are the first time to be held in Sub-Saharan Africa. USA withdrew because of Kenya’s participation. 

Despite the win, Hussein stated that the win has not been easy as they won against the big countries. “We had some problems as every country does but we want to prove to the world that not only can we run but we can organize such an event.” In 2007 Kenya had the world cross country championships and according to Hussein those championships were very successful with the highest attendance. “One could not get a place to sit or stand because persons from all over the country came to attend that event.”

At the time of our discussion, Kenyan was in preparation stage and had some financial issues but those issues were soon resolved and Kenya was well prepared for the championships now on-going. “We are very confident that they can fill the 16,000 seat stadium as everyone are very excited to have a world championship. “We don’t care if it is youth or juniors, locals only want to come and see the championships,” says an elated Hussein. 

Everyone are well aware of the great and rich talent of African athletes and it is obvious that pride is very strong among African athletes; the question can be asked why do African athletes do so well?  Hussein advises that it is mainly due to local the role models. Ibrahim said he too had role models to emulate which assisted greatly in his success.

“In my village, there were athletes who went to the United States on scholarships and that inspired me. It encouraged and motivated me to run well and study so I can get a scholarship and to also go to the USA to study,” says Hussein. 

“There are many kids who like to be like you. When we return home, we go the village and inspire other younger athletes and develop the sport to inspire their athletes. Some of the athletes want to take a short cut; they leave high school to be a professional athlete and stall their education which is not good.”

Hussein believes that leaders in his country need to ensure that the young athletes remain in school and compete their high school education and once they are completed then they can go to the USA. “An education is very important.”

So Kenya’s readiness for large events is now on display. Thousands of visitors are now in Kenya to have a first-hand experience of Kenya which is a country recognized internationally as the power house of long distance runners.

– Laquell Harris 

I am beyond ecstatic to be a part of this PanAmerican U20 Athletics Championships Team.  I feel as though the staff has put together a great team, capable of going to Peru and representing the Bahamas well and I get to be a part of the experience.

It's been a long season where the last few meets I was dealing with a minor ankle injury.  I wasn't really throwing what I wanted to, but I and my support team have been working to help deal with it.  I have been doing a lot of rehabilitation that includes extra stretches, pulse treatment, and ice. Lots and lots of ice. I have actually come a long way in the past few weeks.  I feel as though I am more prepared now than I was a few weeks ago.

I qualified for the meet at the CARIFTA Games in April.  After competing in the big meets like CARIFTA and Nationals, I believe that it has best prepared me by exposure and experience. There will be a lot of big countries and competitors out there and I don't have to get nervous or anxious because I already know what I should expect from myself under similar conditions. 

Every athlete wants to go there and medal, it's a part of our nature and we wish to make Our Country proud.  So yes, I hope I can bring home a medal but moreover, I pray for a good personal best.  I wish the same for all my teammates, that we can all come home and be proud of our performances.

By: Daejha Jade Moss

My Name is Daejha Jade Moss and I am a graduate of Queens College (Class of 2017) and a proud member of the 2017 PanAmerican U20 Athletics Championships (PanAm) Team, where I will be participating in the long and high jumps.

Every year I begin my season by setting my goals as to what I want to accomplish during the upcoming season.  My top three goals of my 2017 season were

  1. To qualify early for and to medal at the CARIFTA Games.
  2. To receive a full scholarship to a D1 University.
  3. To qualify and medal at the PanAm Championships.

I wasted no time in removing #1 & 3 off my bucket list, as I medaled in both events at the 2017 Carifta Games (sliver in high jump and bronze in long jump).  It was also at these Games that I cleared 1.73 meters in the high jump, surpassed the PanAm Championships qualifying standard of 1.70 meters. In my second meet (Sliver Lightening) after returning from Carifta, I jumped a personal best of 6.02m in the long jump to solidify my spot on the PanAm Championships Team.

In the fall I will be attending North Dakota State University on a full four (4) years Athletic Scholarship.

I am grateful to the Almighty God for keeping me injury free throughout my 10 year career.  I pray that He continue to preserve my teammates and I as we travel to Peru to represent the Bahamas. My goal is to medal in both events at the PanAm Championships.

 DAEJHA'S BUCKET LIST

Goal #1 Carfita Medalist  

Goal #2 Full Scholarship  

Goal #3 Pan Am Medalist  🔳

COMING JULY 20th

All the way from Auburn, Alabama, The Bahamas’ very own 200 meter World Junior record holder Anthonique Strachan expressed her sadness on the untimely passing of ‘BJ’ Nottage. “When I heard the news, I was in shock and did not want to believe what I had heard,” says the solemn sprinter.

“It was a bit surreal,” Strachan added.

Dr. Nottage will be missed by all particularly the track and field community which he served as President of the BAAA’s. “Overall, I liked him as the BAAA’s President and for me, he was my favourite BAAA’s President and the best one for track and field in The Bahamas,” Strachan proudly admits.

Strachan advises that when she won the Austin L. Sealy Award, Dr. Nottage was very proud of her and encouraged her. “He was the one that told me a little girl from the ghetto can make it and you have a lot of people looking up to you.” Strachan says that stuck with her because during track and field, she had a number of persons who discouraged her from track. “I had a lot of people tell me that you are only making an entrance and you are not going to do well in track but other than my coaches, Dr. Nottage was one of the few persons who told me that I was going to do well in track.”

Strachan who is preparing for competition at the World Championships being held in London, expressed her condolences to Dr. Nottage’s family.

“I want to send my condolences to ‘BJ’ Nottage’s family, kids and also the track and field family in The Bahamas because we loved someone that really loved track and field and one who did it from the bottom of their heart and did not look for anything in return.”

Rest in peace Dr. ‘BJ’ Nottage.

 I first met Dr. Nottage when I won the Gold Medal in the World Junior Championship in 2010.  He was there again in Rio, Brazil at the Olympic Games after I won the Gold medal.  At both times he gave me encouraging words and inspired me to be the best I can be.

It is with great sadness that I embrace the news on the passing of one of the stalwarts of not just Bahamian Athletics, but a man who will go down in the annals of our history as a visionary and true leader.   Condolences to his family, the BAAA family and by extension, the Bahamas.

Rest in Peace Dr. Nottage

While reflecting on the long and eventful life of Dr. Bernard Nottage, one must inevitably do so in snapshots of key events that has shaped the destiny of The Bahamas.  

Dr. Bernard Nottage, a former President of the Bahamas Association of Athletics Associations (BAAA’s), died on Thursday in a Florida hospital. He was aged 71.

Dr. Hon Bernard J. Nottage has exited stage left, ending a career in distinguished career in medicine and politics that is the envy of many. He has been a gynecologist to many for decades and developed a reputation of professionalism that followed him to the very end.

His parent imbued in him the qualities of discipline and hand work which he carried with him through his life. They helped him to develop to the fullest potential his athletic and intellectual gifts. Can we imagine a Bahamian, in that era, being accepted and graduating from Aberdeen University, one of the world’s oldest and prestigious universities, to study medicine?

Dr. Bernard Nottage was elected as President of the Central American and Caribbean Athletic Confederation (CACAC)in the year 1982.

In a climate where many do not respect politicians, Nottage was untouchable! He earned the respect of all. A longtime president of the Bahamas Association of Athletics Associations, Nottage also represented The Bahamas on the track at the 1962 Central American and Caribbean Games and the 1967 Pan American Games, among others.

In the minutes and hours of his death, tributes has been pouring in for the former athlete; citizens and fellow politicians are also showing their support.

A former President of the BAAA’s Mike Sands, while paying a special tribute to the former athlete, described him as a friend, mentor whose footstep will be a big shoe to fill.

When Sands learnt of Dr. Nottage’s passing, he said he was very much saddened. “It was with great sadness that I have this morning learned about Nottage’s death. Through all the times I have known him, he was a true professional, dedicated and above all, a great man.

“This is a big loss to the Bahamas Nation and to me in particular. I see him as a friend and a mentor from the area of track and field for many years,” Sands said in a statement.

Flashing back on days gone by, Sands further stated that he was suspended at least three or four times during his days in the game as there was little tolerance for bad habits then.  Sands while recounting part of the legendary athlete’s life achievements stated that “most people would not know but he was one of the persons responsible for the “One Country - One Vote” whose basis was that all citizens are equal. That initiative will be one of his missed legacies,” says the solemn Sands.

“BJ as he was fondly called, left a powerful and enviable legacy for all politicians to emulate. Unlike most leaders, he was dedicated, principled and a selfless leader. BJ was a man of the people and a man of integrity who always put the national interest of The Bahamas and the interest of developing countries first. 

According to the tributes pouring in, it is clear Dr. Nottage was a man of wisdom and according to Sands at times he himself may not have understood the significance of Dr. Nottage’s messages at the time but certainly now, he is appreciating the contribution he has made in his life.

While extending his deep condolences to the Nottage family and the entire BAAA’s family, Sands said he believes history will absolve BJ. “Dr. Nottage will be sadly missed and he prays that “Dr. Nottage’s gentle soul rest in perfect peace.

Talk about success!

He is fresh of his recent 400m win at the Diamond League held last week in Stockholm, Germany where he clocked a time of 44.58.

Again in May at the IAAF Diamond League in Doha, Qatar, it may not have been his best time but he won the men’s 400m with a time of 44.60.

In April, at the Grenada Invitational, he clocked a whopping 44.26 in the 400m crowning him the 3rdfastest outdoor champion according to the IAAF ranking.  (The Grenada Invitational meet promoter was Bahamian 400 meter sensation, Chris ‘the Fireman’ Brown).

If that wasn’t enough, that time of 44.26, broke the Bahamian national record. This win did not disappoint the record holder at that time; you see, this talented athlete broke his own record.

For the few who may not know whom we speak of, we speak of no other than talented Bahamian athlete Steven Gardiner!

Gardiner who hails from Abaco is now back on home turf competing at the BAAA’s ALIV National Open Championship in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

The BAAA’s ALIV Nationals being held at Grand Bahama Sporting Complex has attracted many great Bahamian athletes like Chris ‘the Fireman’ Brown, Ramon Miller, Michael Mathieu and Shaunae Miller-Uibo.

The 400 meter race was a crowd pleaser particularly as it featured a matchup between our Golden Knights and Gardiner; at the end of the race, Gardiner would emerge as the one with bragging rights.

How does it feel for a newcomer to compete with such veterans? Gardiner says despite the butterflies, he normally don’t think about his competitors however, he says “once the gun goes off, it (the butterflies) all go away and I just get my rhythm and run!”

And run he sure does!

Gardiner who advises that last year was somewhat rough for him, this year has certainly proven to the world that he is on top of his game. What does he contribute to his success?  

“This year, I have a new coach and new training group which includes some of the best athletes in the world so it is just a matter of me going out there and doing what best for me.”

The 400 meter race may not have been Gardiner’s best time but according to Gardiner, he felt great. “I just wanted to go out there and seal the deal and qualify but I have been qualifying from my first meet the beginning of the year. I am just happy about it.”

We are certain that Gardiner’s great performance at Nationals and also him qualifying for World Championships, did not only make him happy because we know that somewhere in the beautiful quaint town of Moores Island Abaco, a gentleman called Reverend Coach Anthony Williams is smiling from ear to ear and simply beaming with pride.

Rev/Coach Williams  who was also in Freeport at the Nationals to show his support for young Gardiner, gave this great athlete his start in track and field. How does Gardiner feel about Williams support for him at Nationals? “It is awesome; he is my first coach,” says a grateful Gardiner.

Bahamas Athletics wishes Steven Gardiner all the best and continued success in his career.

During the first day of the Bahamas Track & Field Nationals on Friday, local favorite Jeffery Gibson did not disappoint family and friends, winning the 400 meters.

Gibson, a 26 year old who attended Bishop Michael Eldon School, formerly Freeport Anglican High School and later Oral Roberts University, is the Bahamian record holder in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 49.39 set at the 2013 NCAA Championships.

Among his accomplishments includes first in the 400 meter hurdles at the 2012 NACAC Under-23 Championship and in the 400 meter hurdles again at the 2014 Pan Am Sports Fesitval. Gibson also copeted at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and all told, has three second and four third place finishes in competitions.

 When asked about his 2017 season, Gibson admitted he was struggling making some adjustments to improve his performance and had a breakthrough about three weeks ago. His winning time Friday was just short of qualifying for World Championships.

He added that he has a few more meets and qualified for World Championships last year but hasn't yet run the qualifying time for this year. His goal was to qualify to help his fellow Bahamians qualify to go to World Championships.

Clearly excited to be running in Freeport, Gibson was asked what it's like to compete in Nationals in his home town. Remembering the last time he was home to run, he was excited about the support he received from familiar faces. It motivated him to work that much harder to put on a show for the home crowd.

Winning his event in the 400 meters did just that, sending the Freeport crowd happy and proud of their home town favorite.

What's new?

Thursday, 13 July 2017

My Story, My Journey

By: Daejha Jade Moss My Name is Daejha Jade Moss and I am a graduate of Queens College (Class of 2017) and a proud member of the 2017 PanAmerican U20 Athletics Championships (PanAm) Team, where I ...