Good Day everyone,
It is such a beautiful day to launch the 2023 Caribbean Championship and Invitationals.
To those of you who have travelled to be here today: Welcome to The Bahamas!
And to my fellow Bahamians, I am so happy to see you come out to compete, support, and demonstrate our Bahamian hospitality and pride.
This week, nearly 20 teams hailing from countries all over the world will compete against one another in friendly competition. To all of the young athletes competing over the next few days, I wish you the best of luck.
I am personally excited to see our young competitors give their all over the course of the next four days.
When I was a boy, like any young athlete, I daydreamed about what it would feel like to one day become a pro – to stand in the bright stadium lights when the stakes are high and hit a home run in front of a packed crowd. I believe anyone who has grown to love baseball imagines what it would be like to stand in the shoes of Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Andre Rogers and all of the greats who have contributed to the development of the sport.
That is why I am so proud to see Bahamian athletes make their dreams come true. Stars like Jazz Chisolm, Lucius Fox, D’Andre Ayton, Buddy Hield, and Jonquel Jones shine brightly in professional leagues around the world.
As they walk in the footsteps greats like Andre Rogers, their hard work, strength of character, and God-given talents are a testament to the potential brimming within our nation and our region.
While my youthful dream of playing in the major leagues may not have worked out quite the way I would have wanted, and these days I probably can’t swing for the fences or slide to home plate the way I used to, the lessons of the baseball field continue to guide me to this day.
The development of our young athletes is about so much more than playing a sport. It is about developing the skills and traits they need to achieve goals, overcome adversity, and become the best version of themselves. These are lessons that will serve them well throughout their life whether in a professional league or in a boardroom.
We completed the construction of the Andre Rogers Baseball Stadium precisely because we know how important it is to give our athletes access and exposure to world-class facilities and experiences where they can grow their talents.
This tournament is a fulfilment of the vision and purpose for which this stadium was constructed.
Throughout The Bahamas, the government is making unprecedented investments in the development of youth through sports. We are empowering our young dreamers to become the next pro athlete or maybe even the next Prime Minister.
I must say the most beautiful thing about this event is the way it has brought us all together.
Sports have a way of uniting us in ways that few other experiences can replicate. The camaraderie felt by athletes, coaches, and their families and loved ones is like no other. It really is a special feeling to support and be supported.
Now, it’s time to get started.
I’m sure all of our teams are fired up and ready to go.
Good luck and may the best team win!
Let’s Play Ball!