There won't be many Chef de Missions at Birmingham 2022 who have more experience than Roy Colebrook.

Having taken the role for The Bahamas at a huge number of events, he knows exactly what the job will entail at this year's Commonwealth Games.

Colebrook's CV includes the Summer Olympic Games in London in 2012 and Rio in 2016, and the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010, Glasgow in 2014 and Gold Coast in 2018.

As well as senior events, he has also led Bahamas teams at junior competitions such as the Commonwealth Youth Games.

"I have been a Chef de Mission for a number of years," Colebrook told insidethegames

"I have done a number of Commonwealth Games, I have done a number of Olympics... 

"I've been around! 

"Everyone is elated for these Games [Birmingham 2022] as it comes at a time just after the pandemic. 

"This is one of the major Games we have.

"I think it's very important for us to come to these Games and to show as athletes what we've got...

"The athletes are all excited, I can tell you! We anticipate having a very successful Games."

Shaunae Miller-Uibo is the back-to-back Olympic champion in the women's 400 metres ©Getty Images
Shaunae Miller-Uibo is the back-to-back Olympic champion in the women's 400 metres ©Getty Images

Bahamas has won 38 medals in its Commonwealth Games history - including 10 golds.

The vast majority of their podium places have come in athletics, which has brought the island nation plenty of success.

This year, the World Athletics Championships in Oregon will end just four days before the Birmingham 2022 Opening Ceremony on July 28, causing a scheduling challenge for athletes hoping to compete at both.

"We always want to take our best, but sometimes there are some scheduling conflicts," said Colebrook, a vice-president of the Bahamas Olympic Association.

"The scheduling is always a fickle matter.

"But you can rest assured that only our best available athletes will be coming to Birmingham."

Bahamas is still finalising its team size for Birmingham 2022, but it could be close to the 32 athletes who competed in Gold Coast.

On the track, the country's leading star is Shaunae Miller-Uibo, the back-to-back Olympic 400 metres gold medallist who defended her title at Tokyo 2020 last year.

Miller-Uibo, who famously won her first Olympic gold at Rio 2016 after a diving finish which saw her beat American Allyson Felix, won the world indoor 400m title in Belgrade this month.

She won Commonwealth Games gold in the 200m at Gold Coast 2018.

Bahamas also won the men's 400m title in Tokyo as Steven Gardiner's gold proved that the country is the undisputed champion of one lap races.

Gardiner added to the world title he won over the distance in Doha in 2019.

Despite this track success, athletics has to compete with sailing for the title of national sport.

"We have sloop sailing in our country," said Colebrook.

Steven Gardiner won the men's 400 metres at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images
Steven Gardiner won the men's 400 metres at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

"While track and field is very popular, you can imagine what the sloop sailing does...

"We have regattas on the different islands with hundreds and hundreds of people.

"Because we're an archipelago, it brings the economic benefit for that region and all of the islands where we have the sloop sailing." 

As well as athletics, Bahamian athletes are set to compete in swimming, cycling and table tennis in Birmingham.

Colebrook said excitement is building, particularly due to the imminent arrival of the Queen's Baton Relay and a Royal Family visit from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

"People get excited for the Commonwealth Games," he said.

"The jubilee, the Relay, and the visit, it all hypes things up for the Commonwealth Games.

"I would imagine I'll have all sorts of interviews to attend."

In 2017, the Commonwealth Youth Games were held in the Bahamas.

The country became only the second in the Caribbean region to host the athletes of the Commonwealth, after Jamaica staged the full Games in 1966.

"That was huge," Colebrook said.

"The only [Caribbean] country other than us who did it was Jamaica, and that was in the 1960s.

"That was huge for the Caribbean itself, to celebrate.

"And the athletes loved it." 

Bahamas hosted the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2017 ©Getty Images
Bahamas hosted the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2017 ©Getty Images

Like most countries, Bahamas is beginning to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"All sports were affected, especially when we had the total lockdown," Colebrook said.

"But, fortunately, we are a sunny country, and we have a small population. 

"Our people go strictly with the COVID-19 protocols. 

"So while we may not have had the athletes in competition, our athletes trained and everything else. 

"We had more time trial events and stuff like that."

As an island nation, climate change and rising sea levels are other issues which are never far away.

"We just had Hurricane Dorian [in 2019] and it devastated the northern islands of our country, particularly Grand Bahama and Abaco," said Colebrook.

"We had sporting facilities that were damaged.

"Even just talking about it makes us feel sad and depressed, because climate change, we don't contribute to it.

"But we're the ones who are impacted by it the most." 

Colebrook said he believes Birmingham 2022 will be a successful event.

"Being an experienced Chef de Mission, and from the Games I have been at, I believe Birmingham will be a success for how they are dealing with it through the COVID-19 environment," he said.

"Even though their hands were somewhat tied, I think they are doing an excellent job, definitely on the communication.

Bahamas sport has battled against both COVID-19 and climate issues ©Getty Images
Bahamas sport has battled against both COVID-19 and climate issues ©Getty Images

"They are bringing places together with a clear understanding of how the Games should be run.

"That's my belief."

Athletes once again competing in front of full crowds, after spectators were banned at Tokyo 2020, is something Colebrook believes will be key.

"That's huge," he said.

"For athletes, the fans make the Games. 

"I believe they give athletes that extra push. 

"Just by the roar and cheers of the crowd."