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.