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(Photos - iReport) National Stadium officially opens in The Bahamas
Mar 2, 2012 - 10:36:24 AM

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(iReport  by Giovanni Stuart / ZNS)

  Nassau, Bahamas - More than 15 thousand Bahamians turn out February 25th, 2012 to be a part of the official opening of the new Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, a gift to The Bahamas from the Government of the People's Republic of China. In an open to the public free event, the huge audience was feted with an exciting cultural show put on by a cast of more than 1,200 artists and performers. At the end it was capped with a grand display of fireworks.

Remarks were presented by the Minister of Youth Sports and Culture, the Hon Charles Maynard and the Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Hubert A. Ingraham. The Royal Bahamas Police Force Band performed, athletes tried out the track, and a Junkanoo Rush took place.

(BIS Photos/Derek Smith and Patrick Hanna )

(BIS Photos/Derek Smith and Patrick Hanna )

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon Charles Maynard (BIS Photos/Derek Smith and Patrick Hanna )

(BIS Photos/Derek Smith and Patrick Hanna )

(BIS Photos/Derek Smith and Patrick Hanna )

(BIS Photos/Derek Smith and Patrick Hanna )

(BIS Photos/Derek Smith and Patrick Hanna )

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance The Rt. Hon. Hubert Alexander Ingraham official open The Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, on Saturday February 25, 2012. Left to right Minister of Youth Sports and Culture Hon Charles Maynard, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance The Rt. Hon. Hubert Alexander Ingraham and Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to The Bahamas, His Excellency Hu Shan. (BIS photo by Derek Smith)

(BIS Photos/Derek Smith and Patrick Hanna )

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance The Rt. Hon. Hubert Alexander Ingraham pictured speaking at the official opening of the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, on Saturday February 25, 2012. (BIS photo by Derek Smith)


Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham

Prime Minister

Dedication of Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium

25 February 2012
Nassau, Bahamas

Celebrate Bahamas  

Ladies and Gentlemen:  

       The gift of this new National Stadium from the Government of the People’s Republic of China is a generous demonstration of the good relations and friendship between our two governments and peoples since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1997.  

Fellow Bahamians:   

       Tonight, we celebrate!  

       We celebrate the embodiment of our Bahamian Spirit and our Bahamian Pride in Thomas Augustus Robinson in whose name and honour we dedicate this new National Stadium.  

       Tommy, you make us all proud to be a Bahamian.  You are a sprinter by training.  Yet you are also a marathon man as demonstrated by your considerable contributions to national development, and in helping to bring to fruition, the dream of this day.  

       Tommy, you have fought the good fight.  You are finishing the race with the very style and grace you exhibited in representing your country in four Olympiads.  You have kept the faith.  

       Tonight, we also celebrate Bahamian athletes, past and present. 

       Tonight we celebrate a new day for athletics in fields of endeavour and competition such as baseball, basketball, soccer, American football, swimming, diving, tennis, cycling and other sports.  

       We are delighted that this new athletic and cultural centre will host major regional and international events like jazz and reggae festivals as well as other musical and special events.  

       Fellow Bahamians at home and those joining in this celebration from overseas:  

       Tonight we celebrate the very essence of who we are as a people; we celebrate our Bahamian identity and nationhood.  

       The Bahamas is located at an intersection of the world’s cultures and peoples.  We are woven from the texture and fabric of Africa, Asia and the Americas, Europe and the Caribbean, a unique tapestry that is the Bahamian experience.   

       We have created out of this diversity, a commonwealth of extraordinary talents way beyond the measure of our relative size.  We have done so with enviable success in art and music, athletics and academia, and increasingly in entertainment and world fashion.   

       Our per capita medal count at the Olympics is a matter of national pride.  That we have more Olympic gold medals than a number of much larger countries highlights the immense potential of our young people and our athletes.   

       From Andre Rodgers in baseball to Mychal “Sweet Bells” Thompson in basketball to Myron Rolle in football, as well as others, our Bahamian talent has excelled in international athletic competition.  


Artist rendering. Photos of today's celebration coming soon.

The Bahamas National Children’s Choir and the Bahamas National Youth Choir have captivated thousands around the world.  They leave their audiences wondering: “Who are these young people who so proudly call themselves Bahamian?”  

       And when others look at a world map and see our size and discover the size of our population, they ask themselves a follow-up question:  “How does so much talent come from such a small country?”  

       Our success is not limited by our geographic size.  Our success as a country will be determined by the boldness of our national vision, the breadth of our Bahamian Imagination and the strength of our national character.  

       It is not an idle boast to invite the world to mark the manner of our bearing! We are a gifted people.   

       The Thomas A. Robinson Stadium, the centerpiece of what will be among the foremost athletic complexes in this region, gives full expression to the boldness of our vision, the breadth of our Bahamian imagination and the strength of our national character.  

       I wish therefore to acknowledge and thank the Leader of the Opposition and his colleagues in office for their contributions towards the development of our National Stadium.    

       We are all here this evening with unity of spirit, unity of purpose, a shared love of country and a Bahamian patriotism that transcends creed and race, circumstance of birth and political affiliation.   

Fellow Bahamians:  

       The long-distance race, the course of decades and the course of endurance that has brought us to this place began in earnest in 1956.  It gathered pace with champions like Sir Durward Knowles in sailing and Thomas Robinson in track and field.  

       Let us pause for a moment, as One Bahamas, in gratitude for the life, legacy and longevity of Sir Durward.   

       Sir Durward: The nation that you love with generosity beyond measure, loves you in great return.  That we as a country were granted the generosity of spirit and talent of yourself and Tommy Robinson is a blessing.  That both of you are here to bear witness to the fullness of many of your dreams for The Bahamas is a blessing ten-fold.  

       In the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, by happy coincidence 56 years ago, Sir Durward won a bronze medal.  He went on to win a gold medal in Tokyo in 1964 along with Cecil Cooke.  

       It was at that 1956 Olympics that The Bahamas first participated in track and field.  That was the year that 18 year-old Thomas Augustus Robinson competed in the 100 and 200 metres.   

       Over four consecutive Summer Olympics , beginning that year, Tommy Robinson blazed a trail.  It is that trail upon which today’s Bahamian Olympians and tomorrow’s champions pursue their world class and Olympic dreams.

       Through discipline of mind and body, this Bahamian champion and world class athlete did his part to help shatter the myths and prejudices of colonialism and racism which sought to deny the gifts and dreams of men and women like him.

Fellow Bahamians:

    This new Stadium and the facilities to come, represent a new day for sports and athletics in The Bahamas.  Generations of young Bahamians and aspiring athletes can dream even bigger dreams because of today.  In addition to world-class facilities my Government will continue to enhance athletic scholarships and other sports programmes.    

    Time will only permit me to acknowledge a few of those who contributed to the realization of our new National Stadium and to this festive occasion.  

    In addition to the Government of the People’s Republic, I thank the Minister of Works, Transport and Housing, the Hon. Neko Grant, and the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon. Charles Maynard, and their staffs as well as the staff of the Sports Authority.  

    I thank architect Iram Lewis, other planners and designers, the various local contractors, subcontractors and their workers,   I thank also the various sporting associations, federations and clubs, for their contributions, along with a host of others noted in the souvenir programme.  

    Most of all I thank all of those, including athletes, coaches, athletic officials and sports enthusiasts whose dreams and hopes and labour of love made today possible.  It is these same dreams and hopes that will make the promise of tomorrow even better.  

    Let us celebrate Bahamas for there is so much for which to be grateful.  And there is much to celebrate, as a people and as a nation, gifted and blessed as we are with boundless talent and endless possibilities.


   I thank you and good night.

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