BOA boss pledges more support for athletes
Bermuda Olympic Association (BOA) president Judy Simons has pledged to ensure the Island’s athletes get the support they require should she be re-elected for another term.
Simons, who succeeded former president John Hoskins in 2008, is up for re-election in December and is keen to build on the foundations her BOA team have laid over the last four years.
The ex-Bermuda hockey captain praised the efforts of the local contingent at London 2012, and maintained hope that the Island could produce an Olympic medallist in the not-too-distant future.
“Everyone involved in these Games from Bermuda is to be commended,” she said. “I do believe we can get somebody on the podium and I think these Games are a stepping stone for the future of sport in Bermuda. I hope they have shown young Bermudians what they can do with the correct support.
“I’m committed, should I be re-elected for the next four years, to ensure the athletes get the support the so rightly deserve.”
Simons now hopes the Island’s Olympians can help inspire the next generation of athletes to compete on the international stage.
“I have been suitably impressed (with our athletes),” she said. “It takes so much commitment and dedication to get to the Olympics and this has been one of our better ventures in getting athletes qualified.”
Simons also heaped praise on the passionate spectators who turned up in their droves to the various venues throughout the city, helping London 2012 become a “phenomenal Olympics.”
“The British crowd has been superb. They supported all nations and not just their own,” said Simons.
“All in all, I think the Olympics have been phenomenal. London has done a superb job and it’s been one of the best Games I’ve been to.”
Simons was speaking at a special ceremony held last night at a plush sky bar overlooking Olympic Park in honour of Bermuda’s nine athletes who competed at these Games.
Among those in attendance were Premier Paula Cox, Sports Minister Glen Blakeney and former Premier Dr Ewart Brown.
Premier Cox said she was looking into ways to better support the Bermuda’s elite athletes, having thoroughly enjoyed her first Olympic experience.
“I think we have to decide as a country what our priorities are,” she said. “It’s important to remember Rome wasn’t built in a day, and we have the building blocks to do more to support not just the Olympic athletes of today but those for the future.
“Sports development can be very positive and what’s even more important at this time is how it can be very much a unifying factor.
“What I like is the collateral benefit in terms of the country and the community. People were buoyed by Cup Match and then it went into the Olympics. People have been so supportive of our athletes.”
Premier Cox added that she had been impressed how London 2012 had brought together people from diverse backgrounds, regardless of race, gender and age.
“Looking at the mixture of people (at the Games), they have really crossed race, gender and age, and that’s what’s special about the Olympics,” she said.
“The level of support and the number of people lining the streets at the triathlons and attending the sports stadiums has been phenomenal.
“It’s been my first Olympics and I’ve attended a number of events. I managed to see Mr Bolt run which was very special.”
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