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Douglas fills void left by venerable Guishard

Call answered: Douglas, left, during one of his many previous stints representing Bermuda overseas as an administrator

Stan Douglas has been appointed secretary-general of the Bermuda Olympic Association, filling the position left vacant by the death of Philip Guishard last summer.

The BOA confirmed the appointment yesterday, with Douglas having administrative responsibilities for its various programmes.

“I am honoured to have been appointed secretary-general, a role in which I am looking forward to continuing to serve Bermuda’s athletes and carrying on the good work done by my predecessor, Philip Guishard,” Douglas said.

“Sports are a personal passion, and I believe that by participating in organised sports, young people gain important lessons about life: what it means to set goals and work hard to achieve them, and the huge sense of satisfaction and pride that comes with realising those goals.

“As secretary-general, it will be my privilege to help Bermuda’s elite athletes on their journeys to success.”

Douglas has been involved with the BOA for more than 20 years in various capacities. He served as a member of the finance committee from 2012 to 2016, and he continues to serve as a member of the technical committee. He chaired the Olympic Day Celebrations Committee from 2008 to 2012, the Olympic Torch Relay Committee in 2012, and the Queen’s Baton Committee in 2010.

Douglas, who is a past president of the Bermuda Track and Field Association, served as chef de mission at several international festivals, including the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014, the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010, the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune, India, in 2008, the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City in 2002, and the Central American and Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico in 1993.

Douglas was also Bermuda’s team manager for athletics at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Judy Simons, the BOA president, welcomes the experience that Douglas will bring to the post. “We are pleased to welcome Stan to the role of secretary-general,” she said.

“His extensive experience in sports, locally and internationally, and his involvement with the BOA over many years will be advantageous to all our stakeholders as he takes on this challenging and important role. We are lucky to have him as part of the BOA family.”

Douglas hopes to make an impact during his term in what is effectively a volunteer position. “From the time Phil was ill, I was asked to be the acting secretary-general, so I was there getting information and making decisions on what information goes to whom,” Douglas said.

“Our job is not only to manage Olympic stuff within the office, but to assist the national sports governing bodies in producing good coaches and good athletes. Most of the NSGBs are run by volunteers like myself, so I can say that I understand their challenges.

“If you look at the professional sporting bodies like Fifa and the Olympic movement, they are trying their best to raise the standards of the national associations so that we accomplish the goals that we are seeking.

“The goal for Bermuda is to have the pendulum swing in our favour, and at one point in the not too distant future we take an athlete from a hopeful to a medallist.

“The sporting game is a little bit more professional for the athlete and a little bit more professional for the administrators. High on my priority list is if we can give young people an early experience in international conditions, then they can make a decision to work harder and possibly be that medal-winner.

“We had a few people who were awarded last night at the annual sports awards. Those are the young people who have had good experiences and are willing to work hard to compete.

“We’re going to work hard to uphold the legacy of administrators who have gone before us, in particular Phil [Guishard] who was my mentor.”

Guishard’s contribution to sports as an administrator has not been forgotten and on Thursday night he received a Special Recognition Award. He was a former teacher, sports adviser with the Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation, and a member of the BOA board from 1987 to 2008. He also chaired International Race Weekend from 1987 to 1997.

“On behalf of the entire Guishard family, I would like to thank the entire sporting fraternity, locally and internationally, for embracing my father and being a part of his extended family,” Vanessa Guishard, his daughter, said. “He loved what he did and you were a huge part of that.

“It is an honour to accept this award on my father’s behalf. Dad would be touched to be nominated, and honoured to receive this award.”