By Andrew Coakley
Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey was among many who turned out at the GB Sports complex on Saturday afternoon (December 4, 2021) to pay tribute to former Bahamian track and field legend and former Principal, Anita Doherty.
“I had to be here to be able to pay honour to the amazing and incomparable Anita Doherty who, by the way, was my Physical Education teacher and Principal at the former Freeport Anglican High School,” Minister Moxey said, during a short opening ceremony for the Anita Doherty Odd Distance Track and Field Meet at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex.
The Sporting event was the first official track and field event for Grand Bahama since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019. Minister Moxey said that it was important for the track meet to take place in Grand Bahama, to get the kids and young people out and about, doing positive activities.
“After being locked down because of the pandemic, it is good to see these kids out here expending that energy and being able to compete and have fun,” said Minister Moxey. “While we are still under certain health protocols which we have to follow, to have the kids out here and to be able to run and compete here is a good thing.
“But meets like these are important for Grand Bahama because we still have the goal of becoming one of the major sporting capitals in the country. Our Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture has stated how important it is not only for the country as a whole to become active in sports again, but he specifically saw the potential of Grand Bahama and has committed himself to helping Grand Bahama become the sporting giant it can be.”
Minister Moxey noted that there could be no better way to reintroduce sporting events back to Grand Bahama, while honouring a woman who herself has been a beacon of sporting greatness for The Bahamas during her heyday as an athlete.
“After I had received a scholarship to attend Freeport Anglican High School, I felt a little bit lost, but Mrs. Doherty took me under her wings and it helped me to excel,” added Minister Moxey. “I am privileged to be a part of all Mrs. Doherty has done for the young people of Grand Bahama, for the community and [for being] instrumental in business development for the island.
“So, you have done more than just represented this country internationally in sports, but you have been a beacon within the Grand Bahama community.”
Also on hand to pay tribute to Mrs. Doherty was Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe, who said he basically grew up in Mrs. Doherty’s home during weekends when he returned to Freeport. Wilchcombe says Mrs. Doherty has always been a strict disciplinarian, who made sure that kids did what was right, giving priority to school work before anything else. “Anita Doherty is one of the great Bahamians of our time,” said Minister Wilchcombe. “She was perhaps one of the greatest female athletes in The Bahamas. I have no doubt that when we celebrate fifty years of Independence in a few years, that Anita Doherty will be one of those people who are honoured during those critical celebrations.” Saturday’s Anita Doherty Odd Distance Track Meet was sponsored and authorized by the Bahamas Amateur Athletics Association. President, Dramecko Archer was also in Grand Bahama for Saturday’s event.
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