Sports Minister aiming to restore GB Sports Complex to world class

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Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Iram Lewis (center) addressing members of the media during a tour of the GB Sports Complex on Friday, April 16, 2021. Standing with Minister Lewis are Director of Sports, Timothy Munnings (left) and General Manager of the National Sports Association, Quentin Brennen (right).

The Grand Bahama Sports Complex is being restored with assistance from the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon. Iram Lewis. Since recent hurricanes passing through Grand Bahama destroyed all of the seating at the stadium, track and field fans in Grand Bahama were subjected to sitting on the concrete where the seats once were in order to watch track and field events.
The newly appointed Sports Minister saw the need at the GB Sports Complex and reached out to the Director of Sports in The Bahamas, Timothy Munnings to seek advice on what it will take to have the chairs replaced at the Complex.

“Whenever there is a track meet here, the stadium is full, but it has been uncomfortable for the patrons and for the fans to have to sit on the cold concrete, or the hot or sometimes wet concrete,” explained Minister Lewis, during a visit at the Complex on Friday, April 16, 2021.

“So, I reached out to the NSA and the Director of Sports, Mr. Munnings. The General Manager of the National Sports Authority, Quentin Brennen [was] advised of the challenges. It was discovered that they did have some seats from redundancy at the national stadium in Nassau. “Without having to twist any arms too hard, an agreement was made. The seats were packaged and shipped to Grand Bahama.”

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Iram Lewis (center), along
with Director of Sports, Timothy Munnings (right), General Manager of the National Sports
Authority, Quentin Brennen (left) and Kem Stuart, Manager at the GB Sports Complex (standing)
check out the chairs that have been installed thus far at the GB Sports Complex, on Friday, April 16,
2021. The entire grand stand is expected to be outfitted with new chairs over the next few weeks.

A team from Nassau also came to Grand Bahama, to show local volunteers (inclusive of the manager of the GB Sports Complex, Mr. Stuart and his team, as well as Mr. Louie Missick and his construction team) how to properly install the new chairs. “This is the first phase of many upgrades to come for the GB Sports Complex,” said Minister Lewis. “We will see how best we can outfit the Stadium. We know that there are other wants and needs at the Complex. For instance, there is no covering over the stand area, so over time we’re looking at phasing in all of the various components, to make sure that this is a proper functioning facility, one
that will be a proto-type and one we can repeat, using economy of scale throughout the rest of the islands of The Bahamas.”

Also, Minister Lewis noted that in addition to having the seats being replaced, it was also exciting to have both the Director of Sports and the General Manager of the National Sports Authority in Grand Bahama to hear and see exactly what other challenges exists on the island in terms of sporting facilities.

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Iram Lewis opens one of
the boxes containing new, state-of-the-art, computerized starting blocks, which were donated to the
YMCA from the National Sports Authority, on Friday, April 16, 2021.

“We will look at all of the low hanging fruits and see how we can continue to bring positive changes to our facilities in Grand Bahama,” added Minister Lewis. Director of Sports, Mr. Timothy Munnings said it’s exciting to see progress being made at the Sports Complex in Grand Bahama. He said there is much work to be done, but noted that they are taking a phased approach instead of looking at all of the work as one big project. “We’re going to phase the process in and as we can manage circumstances, Grand Bahama will have a world class facility,” said Mr. Munnings. Over 200 seats have already been installed at the Complex, with the remainder of the chairs expected to be installed over the next week or two. Also, while in Grand Bahama, Minister Lewis, along with Sports Director, Timothy Munnings and General Manager of the NSA, Quentin Brennen presented a number of new state-of-the-art starting blocks at the YMCA swimming pool. The new starting blocks are adjustable with touch pad for automatic timing.

General Manager of the National Sports Authority, Quentin Brennen
removes a part of the stand so that Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Iram Lewis and
Director of Sports, Timothy Munnings can get an idea of how the new state-of-the-art starting blocks
that have been donated to the YMCA will work, during a visit to the pools on Friday, April 16, 2021.

“The YMCA will be fully equipped with state-of-the-art starting blocks, which will be installed in short order,” said Minister Lewis.
“So, Karen and her team and the swimmers here in Grand Bahama, will have World Class equipment so that they can properly train for international events.” Minister Lewis said that plans are underway for a major Aquatics Center to be constructed on Grand
Bahama and once those plans are finalized an official announcement will be made.

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