Dr Berthamae Walker accepts a portrait of Sir Durward Knowles from BOC president Wellington Miller to put on display in the Harr
A NUMBER of books, including Sir Durward ‘Sea Wolf’ Knowles’ latest copy of his new book - ‘Captain of Industry’ - was presented by the Bahamas Olympic Committee to the College of the Bahamas for the Harry C Moore Library.
BOC president Wellington Miller, accompanied by vice president Iram Lewis and treasurer D’Arcy Rahming, made the presentation to Dr Berthamae Walker, the college librarian and her assistant Elsie Bain, on Tuesday.
The books, which contain the works of the International Olympic Committee and the BOC, are expected to be placed in the special collection section of the library. A portrait of Knowles, outlining the historic 50-year celebration of the gold medal that he and the late Cecil Cooke won at the 1964 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, will also be on display.
“We are celebrating (Sir Durward and Cooke’s) triumph 50 years later, so I’m sure that the photo will be good for the students,” Miller said. “We in the Olympic Committee always want to teach and learn people about the Olympic sports because I really don’t think that the Bahamas yet understands the full impact of the true meaning of sports in the Bahamas.
“Some of these books, like this one which talks about Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games, is very important. What I would like is for the students to take a special look at this because by 2035, the Bahamas will be making a bid to host one of the international games.”
In hosting an international games like the Central American and Caribbean, Pan American, Commonwealth Games or Olympic Games, Miller said the venues don’t have to be limited to just one central location.
He said he just returned from a site inspection in Veracruz, Mexico, with Cora Hepburn, Bahamas chef de mission, where they found out that the games are spread out all over the place.
Cycling is about an hour and-a-half from the main village and volleyball is 45 minutes from the main village, according to Miller, adding that it’s done so that each city will feel the impact of the games when they are held in November.
“With the Bahamas being the host of one of those games, Andros is only 10 minutes from Nassau, Eleuthera is only 25 minutes and Abaco and other places like Grand Bahama, are not too far away, so they can host certain portions of the games,” he said. “When we have sailing, we have to decide which harbour we will be able to hold it in.”
Through their initiative with COB, Miller said their committee will be sensitising the public on a regular basis on the pros and cons of hosting one of those games. Miller said they intend to continue to provide as much information as they can to the library so the students can be kept abreast of all of the latest developments of sports.
Walker, accepting the books, especially the one of the BOC’s 40 Bahamian Women in Sports, said they will add to their special collection, which focuses on Bahamian material.
“When students come in and inquire information about these athletes, we will have the resources to refer them to,” she said. “So I hope this is the beginning of a long-term relationship and together I am sure we can sensitise the community about what the committee is all about.
“We want to have more COB people on the map and so we want to encourage them. So we will gladly accept and publicise them and make them available. I think we will see more focus when we move towards university status. So we need to build and we want to introduce our students to the whole garment of sports.”
Lewis, who boasts and brags of being an alumni of COB when he came from Grand Bahama and before he attended Tuskegee University where he obtained his master’s degree, said if he had to do it all over again, he would enrol at COB because it’s a good place to start your tertiary education.
“The word is going to get out now that the Bahamas can hold these major games,” Lewis said. “When he mentioned about different cities holding different sports, it reminded me of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Even though the central village was in Atlanta, they had soccer and several other sports in Alabama. So it speaks for the fact that, in the Bahamas, we can host these games.”
The closest the Bahamas came to putting on such a major event was when the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture hosted the Bahamas Games, featuring athletes from throughout the Family Islands coming to town to compete in a series of sporting disciplines on six different years.
With the Olympic and Pan Am Games being events that happen on a rotation, Lewis said they will provide the BOC with the opportunity to periodically upgrade COB’s collection of books for their students.
And Rahming, who serves as lecturer in the Physical Education Department, said COB has had a long history of Olympians. In fact, at the Wellness Centre, coordinator Bradley Cooper is a three-time Olympian, having competed in discus and shot put.
“Look out for what’s coming up,” Rahming said. “We’re going to have a career fair where we have identified over 50 positions that are professionals, that requires degrees like a sports management degree, that is associated with COB. So we look forward to a great future at COB as we continue to develop our product.”
Lewis, by the way, will be one of the 40 persons going back to COB as they are honoured during a special ceremony in June as the college celebrates its 40th anniversary.