Categorized | National News

Johnson Says Relays Will Be Safe

As the country reaches the final stretch to the start of this weekend’s International Amateur Athletic Federation’s (IAAF) World Relays, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Daniel Johnson yesterday assured that those attending and participating in the event will not have to worry about their safety.

Dr. Johnson said that strict security measures were taken care of the moment local organisers applied for accreditation.

“To get a class one certification your arena has to have the capacity to be properly secured,” he said. “People must understand that securing the space–making it a safe space, is one of the priorities of the certification process, the partners who are involved in the IAAF, and part of the reputation of the Bahamas.”

Minister Johnson, who is confident in the security measures that the IAAF has introduced, believes that with safety being a non-issue the focus can rightfully shift to something positive that Bahamians can look forward to, especially the country’s youth.

“I think having more of these events is going to have an impact on our crime and violence scenario in two ways,” he said. “One, young people are going to have something that inspires them, gets them to come out and understand that we can gather in large groups and there will be no incidents, no fights or ruckus. Two, when people see the economic impact of what this can do for your community; you might want to consider having a safe event.

“This isn’t on Paradise Island, neither on Bay Street; we’re bringing this over the hill in Big Pond, in your community.”

Minister Johnson assured that even those with criminal history will not be denied the opportunity to attend the world relays, saying that regardless of who you are, it’s just a matter of conducting yourself appropriately.

“Your criminal history doesn’t ban you from anything in the Bahamas. We have a standard of conduct, and everyone must conduct themselves accordingly. That goes for everybody. There’s no particular group of people we’re looking at…we’re looking for everyone to have that standard of conduct. So the knock-on effects of having large scale events I think will be to increasingly inform public opinion as to the manner in which we should behave.”

While Minister Johnson’s statements contrast with comments made by Assistant Commissioner of Police Leon Bethel last week, who stated that those wearing ankle-bracelets and ex-convicts would be denied access to the event, they do however, correspond with sentiments shared by Bahamas Bar Association President Elsworth Johnson, who insists that denial of entry into the stadium would likely be a violation of constitutional rights.

The world relays take place this coming weekend at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium.

More than 800 athletes are expected in The Bahamas for the event.

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook