Island Relays Bahamas Set for GB March 15-19

By Fred Sturrup | GB News Editor | [email protected]

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama–The Island Relays Bahamas (March 15-19) extravaganza is expected to highlight the sports calendar in Grand Bahama. The relays which will attract track and field athletes from seven universities, is the first collegiate event of its kind hosted in the country.

With the University of The Bahamas (UB) as the country’s standard bearer, slated incoming teams are from such noted tertiary institutions as Prairie View University, University of Oklahoma, University of Arizona, Texas A&M University, University of South Carolina, and Vanderbilt University.

The relays are being organized by Joyce Johnson Enterprises, which is operating from a backdrop of high track and field popularity in Grand Bahama. The island’s track and field fans, long ago, cemented the brand as the most dynamic and productive host island in the nation, for the sport.

National track and field meets are often sparsely attended in the capital island of New Providence. However, hundreds of fans religiously make their way to the Grand Bahama Sports Complex when track and field is on the agenda.

Other than the high sporting presence, the Island Relays Bahamas will serve to give Grand Bahama’s flagging economy a much-needed bounce, as several hundreds, perhaps as many as 300 visitors, foreign and domestic anticipate converging on what was once the most magical social/sporting area in the region.

The hospitality industry will benefit abundantly according to marketing representative Ray Harris.

As for UB, the opportunity will be ideal to showcase its track and field dimension. “Previously UB has been mostly associated with team sports, the likes of basketball, softball and soccer,” said Harris.

Government officials, especially those from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, inclusive of the Minister, Hon. Mario Bowleg; sporting fans; and the general public are encouraged to make the relays a priority on their schedules.


Bahamas Boxing Commission Praises Promoter

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

The Bahamas Boxing Commission (BBC) on Wednesday, announced that after working diligently with Bahamian entertainment promoter Whitney Ferguson for three years a blockbuster of an event is scheduled for Saturday, May 13, 2023, for the new Thomas Robinson Stadium at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre.

According to BBC Chairman Fred Sturrup, “This is the finest indication of a revival of the sport we love so dearly, in the last decade.”

“I wish to heap praises on Promoter Whitney Ferguson. He has demonstrated perseverance at the highest level. The calls made to me over the last three years and to BBC Secretary Calvin Greene have been quite a number. There were disappointing occasions when it seemed he would not be able to put a show together, but Ferguson pressed on.

“He networked through the commission with Hon. Mario Bowleg, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture; US boxing affiliates; and this chairman (who is also a representative of the Commonwealth Boxing Council) to get to this point.

“Now a super boxing show, inclusive of participating Bahamian boxers (a matter being negotiated) is planned. The commission has endorsed the process and confirmed as much with Minister Bowleg. The show has been sanctioned by the Government of The Bahamas through its commission, and hopefully everything will work out,” said Chairman Sturrup.

The show, dubbed “The Return of Drama In Paradise”, will be headlined by a 10-round match featuring lightweights Xolosani Ndongeni and Ladarius Miller. Other bouts scheduled, are: welterweight-Layla McCarter (USA) vs Claudia Andrea Lopez (Argentina), 10 rounds; heavyweight-Justin Jones (USA) vs Saul Farah (Bolivia), 10 rounds; heavyweight-Richard Lamontage (USA) vs Esteban Hillman (Bolivia), 8/10 rounds; super featherweight-Alexander Casares (Mexico) vs Kevin Lionel Acevado (Argentina), 10 rounds; bantamweight-Abdulazeez Alamoodi (Dubai) vs Jose Garcia Sifuentes (Mexico), 8 rounds; super lightweight-Eduardo Javier Abreu (Argentina) vs Jose de Leon Jasso (Mexico), 6/8 rounds; flyweight- Marlen Avila (USA) vs Haiulie Villalobos Martinez (Mexico), 4 rounds; lightweight- Ashton Barreras (USA) vs Reymundo Gutierrez (Mexico), 4 rounds; heavyweight-Anonia Zepeda (USA) vs Skylar Lacy (USA), 6 rounds; super lightweight-Keith Hunter vs TBA (to be announced).

The commission in its press release, appealed to government agencies, in particular, the Ministry of Tourism, Immigration and Customs Departments, to accommodate Promoter Ferguson as he seeks to present a major event in our 50th Independence Anniversary year.

(A Bahamas Boxing Commission Press Release)

St George Remarks on Art Lucaya

Sarah St George – GBPA Chairman

Recently, Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) Chairman Sarah St. George officially announced the initial Freeport Art Festival, scheduled to start on March 23, 2023. The event is in keeping with the GBPA’s focus on inspiring the creative community. Some remarks presented by Chairman St. George follow:

“We’re here to announce our very first Freeport Art Festival over 3 days beginning March 23rd, Art Lucaya. We lost our main art gallery at Our Lucaya back in Hurricane Matthew. And now after Dorian and Covid, we can start to take pride and joy in celebrating our social and cultural as well as physical revival. We must continue to foster the immense reservoir of artistic talent that Grand Bahama possesses.

“Grand Bahamian artists shouldn’t only have the choice of Nassau as a venue to be seen, and tourists visiting the island shouldn’t have to go very far to see the art of Grand Bahama. When this happens, artists are able to earn a livelihood, and to be entrepreneurs. Art can be a hobby, but properly nurtured, it is a vocation, it creates an economy! Interestingly, the Art Basel Fair in Miami, which has been established for 20 years now, brings close to $500 million to Miami Beach in just a few days every year, and $2.5 billion in artworks. Imagine just a fraction of that here 60 miles away.

“Freeport can brand itself as a city of art and culture as well as industry, tech, and commerce. As this project has progressed, I and all of us have been stunned by the beauty, craftsmanship, and originality of the work created here, and the pieces that will be showcased the weekend of March 23. All nature starts with a small seed.  This is a small beginning, but Art Lucaya can grow into an annual festival attracting the attention of collectors and curators everywhere.

“Besides the art economy, what else does art bring to a culture, community and our children? It is a record, it is living history, it’s uplifting to the soul. It’s as important a means of self-expression as writing, music, singing; all of which are Godly in a sense, and make us more sensitive, creative, colourful, caring human beings.

“The Grand Bahama art community is alive and strong; Ben Ferguson, President of the GB Art Association, well-known Grand Bahamian artists like Sheldon Saint, Chantal Bethel, Leo Brown, Matthew Wildgoose, Denzil Lightbourne, Laurie Tuchel, Alisa Streather, Lisa Cordella, Del Foxton, Marina Gottlieb, Paula Farrington, Maquelle Munroe, Claudette Dean, and many others. A total of 45 artists will be exhibiting. Our vibrant community of artists needs a proper platform to share their work.

“As written in the Book of Matthew: ‘No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others’. The time has come!”