Mouthwatering showdown in the Men’s Physique category at Flex Night

December 1, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

The Men’s Physique category of the Flex Night event is set for a mouthwatering showdown come December 7 at the National Cultural Centre. On the Flex Night agenda for the first time, this event has been gaining popularity in both national and international bodybuilding circles. sports
In this event the focus is upon a male physique that appears fit, toned, shapely and muscled, although excessive muscularity is marked down.
Ever since the Fitness Paradise Gym Physique contest in June and the Men’s Physique exhibition at the Guyana Amateur Body Building and Fitness Federation (GABBFF) Senior Nationals, interest in this category has grown tremendously.
Indeed, even with Suriname still to name its final list of competitors, as many as twelve (12) local hunks have already registered for the category. These are from the following gyms: Extreme Fitness, Fitness Paradise, Precision Body Max, Tej Mohall Fitness Centre (Skeldon) and Top End.
Tej Mohall Gym at Skeldon is the gym that is sending the largest contingent to this category with five competitors journeying to the Cultural Centre to impress the judges. This category promises to be one of the exciting events on the cards for the Flex Night 2014.

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An artiste carving a visionary niche for himself…Kojo McPherson is a ‘Special Person’

November 30, 2014 | By | Filed Under News 

“I’m concerned that artistes, in whatever medium they use, don’t make commentary about the times – what’s around them; not that it’s universally true … what I’m saying is you can be militant and confrontational, and very open about your criticism and your commentary, if that’s your style, or you can be more subtle, whimsical, if that’s what you feel complements your particular talents.”

By Dennis Nichols

Kojo McPherson is a young visionary with a vocation that may be described as a creative arts composite, embracing

Kojo McPherson

Kojo McPherson

writing, photography, radio and stage direction, and film/video production. He appears somewhat introspective when discussing his work, nevertheless he manifests an overall buoyancy of spirit that quickly and positively engages the listener, whether delivering from a podium, or chatting in an informal setting.
Not surprisingly, Kojo’s work, apart from mere expression, aligns itself with social angles and socio-political issues in as far as creative action goes toward kindling awareness and encouraging dialogue. He implies that artists should not shy away from these offerings to their audience.
“I’m concerned that artistes, in whatever medium they use, don’t make commentary about the times – what’s around them; not that it’s universally true … what I’m saying is you can be militant and confrontational, and very open about your criticism and your commentary, if that’s your style, or you can be more subtle, whimsical, if that’s what you feel complements your particular talents,” he opined.
With this inclination toward engagement, Kojo has delved into a number of projects over the years, from his co-founding of the Janus Young Writers Guild (with Ruel Johnson) in 2000, to his most recent venture as sole proprietor of Dred Scotsman, an enterprise that provides creative writing, photography and video production services. In between, he has trod on fertile, occasionally shifting, ground.
Kojo was born to Lorna and Vernon McPherson in 1983, the last of four children, and only son. He revealed that his childhood was fairly uneventful except for the fact that he stammered badly, an impediment he has overcome to some degree. He credits his improvement in this area largely to a Grade Five teacher who coaxed him to read an excerpt from a book as they walked together, after which she congratulated him on doing so without interruption.

EXPERIMENTING WITH POETRY
Kojo attended President’s College from 1995 to 2000, where, in the first form, he started

With cinematographer Noel Harlequin on the set of ‘Beached’

With cinematographer Noel Harlequin on the set of ‘Beached’

experimenting with poetry. He completed his secondary education at The Bishops’ High School, where for a short time, he taught Literature and History after graduating in 2001. And it was there that he first clearly visualized the connection between creative expression and real-life learning experience.
While teaching fourth form Literature at Bishops’, he discovered that he was able to easily relate the storyline of an Olive Senior poem ‘Colonial Girls School’ to his students. This, he added, was done in a way that made the poem have the kind of relevance to them which the poet herself bemoaned as lacking in her school days. He added that it was all the more relevant because Bishops’ was itself formerly a colonial girls’ school.
“I don’t think I’ve had a more captive audience, ever, ever, because it came alive for them. I think it’s something that’s missing in the way we teach these subjects to children; it’s this abstract, romantic thing that’s out there … and not relating it to your feelings and experiences,” he argued.

REAWAKENED
From Bishops’, Kojo moved on to the University of Guyana to study International Relations, placing, as it were, his literary pursuit on the shelf. He observed that it may have been then considered ‘the reasonable thing’ to do in terms of a line of study that could actually get him a job, maybe in the diplomatic service, even though creative writing was his passion. Surprisingly, he recalled,

‘Beached’ makes it to The Bahamas International Film Festival Laurels.

‘Beached’ makes it to The Bahamas International Film Festival Laurels.

it was while studying there that one of his lecturers, political activist Aubrey Norton, was able to reawaken him as a student and get him engaged again and hungry for knowledge, which helped him to rethink his career priorities.
Furthermore, things got tough financially, and at the beginning of his third year at UG, he took a leave of absence. This move led indirectly to his participation in a drama workshop in December 2005 following a call from radio broadcaster Margaret Lawrence, who was about to launch the radio serial Merundoi. Another workshop in March of 2006, held for the purpose of selecting writers for the serial drama, saw Kojo selected as one of those writers. In hindsight, he thus reflected, the gamble taken in leaving UG had paid off.
Inspirational author Alan Cohen says, “Every choice before you represents the universe inviting you to remember who you are and what you want.” Kojo paraphrases this quote and inserts some of his own thoughts when he observes that the transition back to creative writing was like ‘the universe pulling you back to your purpose’ in his case, a creative professional.

JUMP START
Kojo started out as a scriptwriter with Merundoi, and spent four and a half years there, during which time he was promoted to the position of Senior Scriptwriter. This position charged him with managing the writing team, that being the first level of quality control for the scripts and managing the storylines for the AIDS-awareness ‘soap opera’ funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). He said his stint with Merundoi was a great jump start to his career as a ‘creative professional’, noting that it was rational justification for pursuing his natural talents seriously
As far as his poetry is concerned, Kojo’s work first gained critical exposure when some of his verses were put on display at the President’s College Open Day exercise in 1998. There he crossed paths with Ruel Johnson, at the time a P.C. sixth former, who was looking for fresh, young literary talent, and was dreaming of a local literary renaissance. And even before Janus was officially launched in 2001, Kojo had gained national recognition when

A Kojo McPherson “social commentary” composite; (left) Linden 2012; (right) Georgetown 2013

A Kojo McPherson “social commentary” composite; (left) Linden 2012; (right) Georgetown 2013

he won both the Youth and Open Poetry categories in the Guyana Christmas Annual competition of 2000.
He was then also primarily responsible for collecting and cataloguing material submitted by Janus members, as well as other young writers, with the intention of publishing an anthology, but this never materialized.

FROM THE PEN TO THE CAMERA
Following his input into Janus, his successes with lyrical composition, and his stint with Merundoi, Kojo’s next creative-expression venture took him from the pen to the camera. In 2009, while still employed in the drama production, he began moving his interest in hobby photography to another level – that of professionalism, and greater creative license.
As an amateur lensman, his first subjects were Theatre Guild personalities and props, but he soon branched out and added editorial photography to his arts portfolio. This is a form in which pictures basically support the printed word (e.g. in a magazine) accompanied by a credit line. He also tried to snap candid shots or pictures that capture a moment in time, such as something that may never

On the set of ‘To the Night’ in 2012. (West Ruimveldt)

On the set of ‘To the Night’ in 2012. (West Ruimveldt)

be repeated in a lifetime because it was totally unplanned.
Like most professional photographers, he is aware of the need to be careful not to intrude into someone’s private grief or trauma, and recalls one such episode when he tried to take pictures of a road accident motorcycle victim. “I jumped out of the vehicle; I was in with my camera and flash ready to go, and – I couldn’t take the picture, (on seeing the man’s terrible condition) I just couldn’t; I would have felt like a vulture. Instead I took a (symbolic) picture of a shoe that had been knocked off his foot.”
Another memorable shot he captured was one which quickly went viral on the internet and generated some controversy. It was during the 2011 election campaign season when, on the East Bank Demerara Road, he snapped a picture of a man begging in the middle of the thoroughfare, after the way he looked and his body language had caught his eye. It was only later, he said, he observed that the man was wearing a PPP shirt.
Although he hadn’t put his name to the picture, some people realized that it had been taken by someone who was on the AFC campaign trail, and, he recalled, it soon became a political talking point. Kojo was accused of exploiting the subject, but maintained that it was nothing of the sort; he was simply capturing an image that he felt was making a social statement.

‘I GOT TO DO THIS’
His next step could be considered a logical one, moving from still photography to moving images. In 2011 he got an opportunity to be part of a film-training workshop, the President’s Film Endowment, run by the University of Guyana in collaboration with the University of Ohio. It was a four-month course aimed initially at having participants produce about five films.
But then it changed into an exercise whereby each aspirant was asked to write a pitch, all of which were placed in a hat. Those drawn would be given the honour of being made into films. Guess whose pitch was among the eight that were picked? “Again, the universe pulling you back to your purpose?” Kojo asks rhetorically.
Reflecting on this question took him back to his childhood when, he remembers, at about age eight, seeing the jazzy Spike Lee movie ‘Mo’ Better Blues’, and the artistry of musicians like Miles Davis and Stevie Wonder. “That’s also how I got introduced to jazz, and I said to myself, ‘I got to do this. (movie-making)’ I didn’t care if it was as an actor of director, or whatever, I got to do movies someday. And I always remember that moment when my pitch got drawn out of a hat from about two dozen others; to me that’s not an accident …”
Arising out of the workshop, Kojo subsequently produced a few short films. One, called ‘Beached’ which looks at a man’s grief over the death of his wife and how it almost destroys him, was shown at The Bahamas Film Festival in 2012.  Another, called ‘To the Night’, written by his partner, Mosa Telford, touches on the problems faced by a sex worker who struggles to make a living and incurs the contempt of her daughter before a reconciliation is attempted.

‘DRED SCOTSMAN’
He has since taken the skills acquired over the years, as a creative writer, self-taught photographer and film/video producer, and has set up a one-man entrepreneurship called ‘Dred Scotsman’ a word play on the dreadlocks he once wore, the Scottish origin of his surname, and in deference to the American slave, Dred Scot, who famously, but unsuccessfully, sued for his freedom. As noted earlier, the business offers services in his areas of expertise.
Commenting on this solo venture, Kojo explains, “I have not found anyone than can really utilize my skills, and pay me adequately for those skills, so let me go into business on my own, and I have been doing just that since February 2012.”He admits that there was a level of frustration which led to that decision including his opinion that he wasn’t getting the kind of recognition and encouragement his skills and experience deserved.
He recognizes however that going it alone hasn’t been easy, even as he declares that he possesses the qualifications needed for the venture, for example, doing a production line from concept, to writing it, shooting it, delivering it, and doing so with a creative eye, and with competence. “It’s very, very challenging,” he admits.
While still carving a visionary niche for himself, Kojo says he is now in the process of transitioning away from his one-man aspirations, and entering into a partnership with fellow entrepreneur Brian Backer. They are about to launch ‘KB Productions’ which will focus on new media, film, television and the internet. Their first production is already underway in the form of a music video for Guyanese Reggae artiste ‘Nesta’ which will be launched shortly.
Kojo is currently in a relationship with Mosa Telford, herself a writer, who partners him in his work. They are the parents of two children, Kinaya and Mapenzi. Quite possibly they will grow up in the kind of artistic environment, which their father hopes will benefit from Guyana’s creative industries exploring the potential of local artistes for the general uplift of creative expression.

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Mouthwatering showdown in the Men’s Physique category at Flex Night

November 30, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

The Men’s Physique category of the Flex Night event is set for a mouthwatering showdown come

Nick Grimes

Nick Grimes

December 7 at the National Cultural Centre. On the Flex Night agenda for the first time, this event has been gaining popularity in both national and international bodybuilding circles.
In this event the focus is upon a male physique that appears fit, toned, shapely and muscled, although excessive muscularity is marked down.
Ever since the Fitness Paradise Gym Physique contest in June and the Men’s Physique exhibition at the Guyana Amateur Body Building and Fitness Federation (GABBFF) Senior Nationals, interest in this category has grown tremendously.
Indeed, even with Suriname still to name its final list of competitors, as many as twelve (12) local hunks have already registered for the category. These are from the following gyms: Extreme Fitness, Fitness Paradise, Precision Body Max, Tej Mohall Fitness Centre (Skeldon) and Top End.
Tej Mohall Gym at Skeldon is the gym that is sending the largest contingent to this category with five competitors journeying to the Cultural Centre to impress the judges. This category promises to be one of the exciting events on the cards for the Flex Night 2014.

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Swimming for Gold in Twin Island Republic

November 30, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Experienced and dedicated swim Coach Stephanie Fraser of the Dorado Speed Swim Club (DSSC) along

Amy Grant

Amy Grant

with the club’s young girls and boys and special guest swimmers from the Silver Sharks Swim Club (SSSC) and Orca Speed Swim Club (OSSC) are heading to the big swim meet in the Twin Island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago known as the ASATT International Invitational Championships 2014.
The meet which will run from Thursday, December 11 to Sunday, December 14 is being hosted by the Marlins Swim Club, situated at St. Anthony’s College Grounds, Diego Martin.
Fraser said the meet is an annual Long Course 50m Inter-Club swimming championship that is sanctioned by the World Governing Body FINA – which means the times made at this meet can be used as FINA qualifying times for International championships in 2015.
Club teams have participated in past championships from all the Caribbean countries as well as clubs from Venezuela, USA, Sweden and Great Britain. Last year, over 300 swimmers from over 31 Clubs participated.
Fraser, going under the Dorado Speed Swim Club banner, will be taking a total of 14 swimmers along with 12 parents and supporters. The swimmers are Omar Adams, Omari Dunn, Satish Ramlagan and Soroya Simmons in the 15 and Over category.
Phillip DeNobrega and Daniel Scott in the 13- 14 age group. Competing in the 11-12 age group is Antonio Hussein, while Donna Carter will be representing the 9-10 category. The 8 years and Under class will see Raekwon Noel, Ethan Gonsalves, Elliott Gonsalves, Vladimir Woodroffe and Monique Watson aiming for top honours.
Also travelling with the Dorado contingent will be The Bishops’ High school mates Amy Grant of Silver Sharks Swim Club, representing in the Girls 11-12 category and Accalia Khan of the Orca Swim Club, representing the Girls 13- 14 age group.
Stating that it has been a long and busy season, Fraser also said that the young team of swimmers who have little or no international exposure are all eagerly looking forward to the experience and in the process, mark their names in the FINA Points Ranking List. The youngsters will also look forward to making new “swimming” friends.
The experienced Coach Fraser is undoubtedly elated as she is expecting medals in most of the age groups. In the Boys 8 and Under, Raekwon Noel is very likely to place in the top three. Omar Adams, Phillip DeNobrega, Antonio Hussein, Soroya Simmons, Amy Grant and Accalia Khan are also expected to finish in the top three of their respective pet events.
Fraser noted that in the past they were only represented by four or five swimmers and the results were good. Swimmers the likes of Niall Roberts, Simmons, Noelle Smith, Alan Lowe and Yannick Roberts have returned with silver and bronze medals or have finished in the top five in their respective events.
Fraser who has been coaching for the past 21 years, since the resuscitation of Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) in 1993, has a wish for a GOLD CHRISTMAS for all the swimmers, parents, coaches and club officials who have made lots of sacrifices in order to have this talented team of swimmers accomplish their personal goals.

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Book Review…Justice long overdue!

November 30, 2014 | By | Filed Under News 

Book: Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide
Author: Hilary McD. Beckles
Reviewer: Dr Glenville Ashby

“We must acknowledge in some form that modern British society owes much of its prosperity and

The Book cover of Britain’s Black Debt

The Book cover of Britain’s Black Debt

many of its institutions to what happened all those years ago.”- Vincent Cable, Member of Parliament, Debate on the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade, House of Commons, 20 March 2007.
The above quote is used by Professor Hilary McD. Beckles, in this, his seminal work, ‘Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide.’ It proves the very crux of his thesis.
There was a time when mention of reparations for Caribbean slavery was a moot subject. Not that the thought was never embedded in the hearts of millions. But it was so emotive, so tempestuous an issue that it was never lucidly and structurally articulated. Advocates feared raising Cain, and being forever ostracised as racial provocateurs and conspirators of bilking the system.
That was in an era, though, that academics, intellectuals and social activists confronted a neo-colonial and imperialist bulwark with advanced legal and exculpatory factors to minimise one of the most brutal chapters of history. Slavery was whitewashed as regrettable, though, indispensable for social and economic progress. Sadly, some among the progeny of the enslaved learned to accept this twisted reasoning.
Now, Beckles has reopened the dialogue that some Caribbean intellectuals started. This is no easy task. It requires a mastery of logic, law, history and social psychology. The ability to persuade is equally vital. Fortuitously, Beckles is fully endowed and may well convince the most obdurate opponents of reparations. Seemingly reasonable arguments by detractors are dismantled, weighed down by their own inherent shortcomings and Beckles’ piercing analysis and academic rigour.
Readers are not fed with scenes of unfathomable torture, murder and rape. Neither do the high infant mortality rate that characterised generational cycles of enslavement and the genocidal frenzy that exterminated the region’s indigenous people become a focal point. The carnage is evident, but Beckles avoids reinforcing the obvious. He must appeal to reason, to the mind, the intellect and not solely to the heart. He avoids emotionally charged confrontations that have never borne tangible fruits. His approach is measured, deliberate and aimed at debunking myths and advancing irrefutable facts.
He decries the argument that Africans gained handsomely from slave trafficking, stating, “…the limitation of this scholarship is found in the empirical evidence which shows that slave ships departed London, Liverpool, Bristol, Glasgow and elsewhere laden with textiles, glass beads, pistols and other such items, to be exchanged for fifteen million African bodies – the youngest, strongest and healthiest. The unwillingness of these scholars to consider the unequal, exploitative terms of trade implicit in this commercial culture remains endemic to the historiography.”
It is within the parameters of International Human Rights Law that Beckles presents his ironclad arguments.
What then constitutes a meritorious claim? Beckles affirms that the injustice must be well documented, the victims must be identified as a distinct group, and the current members of the group must continue to suffer harm. He then cites the UN charter on human rights to determine the case for redress, adding that, “the critical issue here is that in respect to crimes against humanity, there is no hiding behind national law.” He adds that, “international law provides for the prosecution of such crimes even when national law might be used by the perpetrators, to justify or “legalise” actions. This is an important aspect of law that supports litigation in respect to slavery, slave trading and genocide.”
Beckles’ work best reflects the emerging Zeitgeist. Architects of internecine violence, ethnic cleansing and genocide are now identified, if not prosecuted. And while the International Criminal Court falls short of judicial impartiality, there is a definitive moral archetype under which we are now governed.
In the last decade, Jewish groups have won suits against, banks, insurance companies and other industries that profited from the Holocaust. The southern Moravian church has issued apologies for their role in slavery in the US. The Catholic Church has apologised for wrongs perpetrated during the Inquisition, and the British government was forced to pay restitution to over five thousand Kenyan survivors of the 1953 Mau Mau massacre.
There is jarring evidence that Barclays Bank, Lloyd’s Bank, and the Royal Bank of Scotland, among other banking institutions reaped handsomely from slavery. There is also documentation of the staggering profits made by slave traders. According to Beckles, “slave trading was big business; it utilised advanced management, complex financial arrangements and state of the art investment instruments…it was not a poor man’s business. The trade called for an enormous sense of global enterprise and considerable entrepreneurial confidence.”
Even more startlingly and brutally ironic was the compensation commission established after emancipation that determined actuarial calculations on West Indian ‘slave values.’ Notably, 45,000 individual claims were settled. Beckles writes, “Slave owners, then, won three decisive battles in securing reparations for their property rights in enslaved Africans. First they received cash values to refinance their business; second, they were able to make new investments, mostly in British stocks; and third, they succeeded in holding on to their West Indian enterprises…”
Undoubtedly, the road toward reparation is complex and potentially tortuous. Beckles chronicles the political intrigue and conspiracy by the US and European powers to remove Haitian president Bertrand Aristide from office after he demanded some twenty-one billion dollars in restitution from France – the equivalent of 90 million gold francs that Haiti was forced to pay in claims over property lost during the Haitian Revolution, in exchange for diplomatic recognition. It was a financial blow that crippled the former colony centuries later. Indeed, a telling lesson.
Despite Britain’s refusal to offer an official apology for slavery and a Balkanised response in the Caribbean to the reparation issue, there is a palpable momentum to revisit slavery at a political and legal level. On the heels of the historic UN World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa, in 2001, several commissions have been established.
Notably, Beckles emphasises that seeking redress should never be confrontational but rather a means to engender a sense of fairness and reconciliation. He seals this argument early in his treatise. “Reconciliation,” he says, “must be the dominant ideology of the twenty-first century, and the sooner societies act, the greater will be the benefits. The reparation discourse seeks to foster and facilitate this process.”

Feedback: Twitter@glenvilleashby or email: glenvilleashby@gmail.com
Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and National Genocide by Hilary McD. Beckles
Publisher: University of the West Indies Press 2013
ISBN: 978-976-640-268-6
Available: UWI Press, amazon.com
Ratings: Essential

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Berbice boxers confident ahead of December 13 fight night

November 29, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

They are honing their skills in Berbice, miles away from their main fan base in Georgetown

Kishawn Simon hits the overhead ball during a workout Thursday.

Kishawn Simon hits the overhead ball during a workout Thursday.

but the three boxers preparing for the Rose Hall Town Showdown, scheduled for Saturday December 13 at the Rose Hall Ground, Berbice, are diligently addressing their tasks with fervour, intent on turning in their best performances.
Berbician, Kishawn Simon, faces of with former lightweight champion, Revlon Lake in an eight round jnr/welterweight encounter that has caught the imagination of pundits, while another Berbician, Derick Richmond, will tackle Romeo Norville over 6 rounds in a super/middleweight bout. The main bout is scheduled for 12 rounds between Berbician, Richard Williamson and Dilan Allicock and the winner will be crowned the new super/bantamweight champion of Guyana.
Fans will also be entertained with several other amateur bouts that will comprise a part of the card. The names of those boxers will be announced soon.
Kaieteur Sport paid an impromptu visit to the Pocket Rocket Boxing Gym, at the junctions of St Magdaline Street and Strand New Amsterdam, Thursday afternoon last and found the trio engaged in diligent training. The boxers are preparing under the guidance of former European middleweight champion, Howard ‘Battersea Bomber’ Eastman but in his absence that day, received expert advice from former bantamweight champion, Jeff Roberts.
Williamson donned gloves with Richmond and the two turned in several solid rounds that really was an indication of what fans could expect on fight night. Simon was also in action and boxed for several rounds before turning his attention to the speed ball, the heavy bag and then the skipping rope. Richmond and Richardson also complimented the sparring session with heavy bag work, pads work

Richard Williamson (left) and Derrick Richmond spar during a session at the Pocket Rocket Gym in New Amsterdam.

Richard Williamson (left) and Derrick Richmond spar during a session at the Pocket Rocket Gym in New Amsterdam.

and more than 15 minutes on with the jump rope.
All three Berbicians are spouting confidence and in the case of Richmond, who has scored a knockout over Norville when they clashed last year, he went further to offer a prediction. “The last time I stopped Norville in round three but this time I am in not in generous mood so I’ll finish it earlier,” he warned.
Indeed, the last time the two pugilists squared off, Richmond had launched a two fisted attack that had Norville drifting from one corner to the next until he sought refuge on the canvass for the full count. Norville had clamoured for a return and now that he has been granted his wish it would indeed be interesting to see if he will indeed grab it with both hands (no pun intended). Richmond has a balanced sheet of 3 wins, 3 losses and 1 draw while Norville had started his professional career with a victory but lost his way afterwards with 2 losses and 1 draw. He is training at the Harpy Eagles Boxing gym in Albouystown under James Walcott. He has the advantage since his trainer has felt the power of Richmond after being knocked out in the third round and would be better able to tutor him in counteracting strategies.
Williamson is a promising boxer but will require more than home advantage to get past Allicock, a young professional but a seasoned boxer. The Berbician displayed good techniques in his sparring sessions while over at the Forgotten Youth Foundation, Allicock is hard at work with victory on his mind. “I do my talking in the ring,” he blurted when asked for a prediction. In the meantime his work ethic is commendable and suggests that Williamson is in for a tough fight.
Simon has chalked up a record of 2 wins with a similar amount of losses. If there is anything that could be said of him it’s that he is super confident. He sparred a few rounds but it was on the overhead speed bag that he really accelerated. His timings are on cue and he appears fully fit. However, he is up against a wily foe in Lake and would do well to be extremely cautious. Yes, Lake has lost quite a few of his bouts but he packs a punch, something that Mark Austin discovered only after he had been flattened by a wicked left hook.  Lake has just surrendered a fight by knockout to Trinidadian Prince Lee Isidore in Trinidad but is still a dangerous customer and Simon would do well to tread carefully in the imminent bout. An action packed duel is envisioned.
The fight will be an extra special holiday treat for the Berbicians since they have not witnessed a classical boxing card for quite some time. Admission is $2000 for the VIP section while general admission is $1000.  Sponsors are Castle Hotel of New Amsterdam and Luxury Flats and Apartments, Fifth Street Alberttown, Georgetown.

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National Powerlifting C/ships was a success – Green

November 29, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

President of the Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation (GAPF) Peter Green has described the just concluded National

Peter Green

Peter Green

Championships a great success despite the fact fewer lifters than attracted previous years.
A few of the prominent lifters including 2014 Caribbean gold medalist Germaine Snagg and six-time Caribbean gold medalist Randolph ‘The Accomplisher’ Morgan were not present, but the quality of the competition was not compromised with Berbician Vijai Rahim of Hardcore Gym successfully defending his Overall Title.
Rahim’s gym, located at Rosignol was also named the top gym of the championship, while the Female Overall winner was Chloe Hunter of Life Gym. Rahim competed in the 66kg division which he won by achieving a best squat of 262.5kgs, bench press 147.5kgs and deadlift of 272.5kgs for a total of 682.5kgs.
Hunter won the 57kgs class with a total of 312.5kgs (115kgs squat; 62.5kgs bench press; 135kgs deadlift).
Green shared the view that the overall performances by the majority of the lifters has given the federation encouragement to continue to foster the growth of the sport in Guyana as new faces and talent have come to the fore to continue the legacy that began when just two lifters represented the Nation in 2008 as compared to the present.
At seniors, outstanding performances were recorded by Under-18 lifter Kevin Bridgelall returning to competitive action after a brief absence to capture the Open 59kgs class.
Former Sub-Junior, Junior and Open 59kg champion now campaigning in the 66kg class, Vijai Rahim recorded an astonishing total of 682.5kgs which has bettered the current winner of this year’s World junior Championships total of 670 as well as bettered the current Commonwealth record total of 562.5kgs.
Green informed that Rahim’s final year as a junior is 2015 and will need the support of the Country in his quest to become a World Junior champion as well as Commonwealth champion and record holder.
“There is literally no opposition to him in his category at the Caribbean and Pan American levels. The federation has approached CRADO and Government representative Mr. Alfred King for assistance in carrying out stringent testing to Rahim and two others to be identified as it strives to prevent a costly repeat of the Shewdas incident. This year’s Caribbean gold medalists Marino Jeffrey and Osmond Mack proved their performances were not a fluke in repelling challenges mounted.”
Green shared his views on the female segment of the competition which attracted three competitors.
“The female segment despite being less in numbers than before was highly entertaining with not much separating the two gifted and technically correct lifters in the 57kg class Chloe Hunter and Andrea Smith. Natoya Robinson in the 84+kg Heavyweight category had to battle her own total in racking up an impressive total of 452.5kgs which was similar to that of NAPF Regional and Caribbean Champion /Sportswoman of the year Dawn Barker when she took to the stage three years ago.
It is only a matter of time before these lifters achieve similar greatness once prepared to work hard.”
Like many of the other sports, female participation continues to be a challenge, Green stated that the GAPF is cognizant of this fact and will be putting measures in place to change this around.
“We will be organizing more awareness and introductory programs for the females with a view to encouraging wider participation. Gyms are also being encouraged to place more emphasis on female participation.
Raw/Classic Powerlifting (unequipped) will be making its debut in 2015 for both male and female along with single lifts such as bench pressing. With the hosting of the 2015 Caribbean championships right here in Guyana and the federation will be giving those female lifters who missed this year’s seniors an opportunity to make the female open team by guest lifting at the 2015 Novices and Junior championships on January 25.”
Given that the senior championship was the final competition for the GAPF this year, Green sought to briefly summarize the sports performance.
“This year proved to be an extremely challenging and conservative one for us. Locally, we continued to maintain our goals of providing healthy competition for the lifters at all ages by hosting and attracting reasonable entry numbers to the Novices (First timers), Sub Juniors (18 and under), Juniors (23 and Under), Masters (40 and over) and Open (All ages).
Internationally the Federation assisted self-sponsored lifters to attend the 2014 Caribbean Championships where we lost the team title to arch rivals Puerto Rico which fielded a full strength team as compared to the mainly development team led by senior national Karel Mars that we sent. All six lifters were able to medal with gold achieved by Osmond Mack 74kg, Germaine Snagg 83kg and Marino Jeffrey 93kg. Silver medals came from Paul Adams 74kg and Karel Mars 105kg and solitary bronze medal from Erlyn Smith 83kg.”
Financially, Green shared that the federation has managed to dig itself out of the deep hole created by the fine of $2,500 EUROS imposed on National lifter Gumendra Shewdas of Berbice who contributed towards the repayment.
“While still not clear of all debts, we expect that the federation would be solvent in time for the 2015 Caribbean Championships.”
Looking ahead top 2015, Green gave an insight to some of the competitions that are on the cards.
Local competitions:
1. Raw/Classic (Unequipped) competitions to be introduced.
2. Single lifts/Double lifts competitions to be introduced (i.e. Bench press single, Deadlift and Bench press combined).
3. Visually Impaired Powerlifting with a view to competing at Special Olympics (a group of visually impaired or totally blind). Interested members from the Blind Society have already been interviewed and will shortly commence training under the watchful eyes of experienced volunteer lifters and members of the National team.
International:
1. Caribbean Championships – Georgetown Guyana March 19th  – 22nd.
2. Pan American and South American Championships – Ribeirao Brazil September 3rd – 6th.
3. Commonwealth Championships – Vancouver Canada November 30th – December 6th.
World championships:
1. World Junior Championships – Prague Czech Republic August 31st – September 6th where Vijai Rahim will represent Guyana.
2. World Masters Championships – Aurora Denver USA September 28th – October 4th where Winston Stoby will represent.

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LABA invites clubs to discuss Christmas championship at MSC Pavilion today

November 29, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Plans for the staging of the Linden Amateur Basketball Association’s Open Challenge Christmas championship are to be disclosed when the organizers hold an emergency meeting with club representatives, referees and table officials at 6:00 pm today at the Mackenzie Sports Club pavilion.
In a release, an official from the LABA said that the association is fine tuning its plans for a Christmas tournament and among the matters that will be discussed is the format of the tournament which will involve the eight affiliated clubs with the association.
Additionally, clubs will discuss the repairs needed at the MSC hard court ahead of this year end’s tournament. The championship should run from next Friday December 5 through to January 3, 2015.

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Basketball Coaches’ Association hosts fundraiser tomorrow

November 28, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

The Guyana Amateur Basketball Coaches’ Association (GABCA) will be hosting a fundraising drive that includes two

Andrew Hercules

Andrew Hercules

basketball games tomorrow from 1pm on the Burnham Basketball Court, at Middle and Carmichael Streets, Promenade Gardens.
Plaisance Guardians Basketball Club will play Pepsi Sonics Academy in the first game while the Media Combined takes on the Diplomatic Corps in the featured game. In addition, there will be a three-point and free-throw shootout Challenge for players.
President of GABCA, Andrew Hercules is hosting the activity to raise funds for the Association; the fun day setting will also feature Bar-B-Que and Fish Fry among other forms of entertainment in a day aimed at bringing the basketball community together.

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LABA invites clubs to discuss plans for Christmas tourney tomorrow at MSC

November 28, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Plans for the staging of the Linden Amateur Basketball Association’s (LABA) Open Challenge Christmas championship are to be disclosed when the organizers hold an emergency meeting with club representatives, referees and table officials at 18:00hrs tomorrow at the Mackenzie Sports Club pavilion.
A LABA official said that the association is fine tuning plans for the tournament and among the matters that will be discussed is the format of the tournament which will involve the eight affiliated clubs with the association.
Additionally, clubs will discuss the repairs needed at the MSC Hard Court ahead of the competition. The championship should run from next Friday, December 5 to January 3, 2015.

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Mackeson ‘King of the Rim’ opens in Albouystown Sunday

November 27, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

The Mackeson ‘King of the Rim’ three-on-three (3×3) Basketball Challenge will open Sunday

Flashback! Scores turned out at the Independence Boulevard Basketball Court in Albouystown in 2012 to get a glimpse of some intense basketball rivalries.

Flashback! Scores turned out at the Independence Boulevard Basketball Court in Albouystown in 2012 to get a glimpse of some intense basketball rivalries.

at The Independence Boulevard Court in Albouystown, returning to the venue after two years in an expected gruelling showcase of outdoor basketball skill.
The competition will feature four players per team and gets underway at 8pm. While registration is ongoing through bars and clubs, players can also register on the night with a cut off time up to 7:30pm to allow for the draws to be conducted for games.
Players interested in vying for the $500,000 first prize are asked to submit their forms early and avoid the late registration. To do so, players can call 600-3606 or drop off forms at the Ansa McAl Headquarters at BV, East Coast Demerara.
The runner-up team in the contest that will also be played at California Square in East Ruimveldt and Alberttown, Plaisance, Den Amstel and Linden, will go home with $300,000 while each night will feature giveaways for the fans that support the event.
Kaieteur Sport understands that three teams will be drawn from Georgetown, three from Linden, one from Plaisance and one from Den Amstel to comprise the final eight teams that will move on to the Grand Finale in December at California Square.
The event promises to provide some riveting individual basketball skill as the outdoor format of the sport usually does. Add an ardent Albouystown fan-base to that, and one can only expect the best of local basketball talents to be on show throughout the event.
The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) yesterday held a workshop to facilitate the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) rules governing this format of the sport. The Guyana Basketball Officials’ Council (GBOC) will officiate.

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Mackeson 3×3 basketball workshop on today

November 26, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) will be hosting a workshop today from 5pm – 7pm for players and officials at the Windjammer International Hotel ahead of Sunday’s commencement of the outdoor tournament.
“A workshop on the tournament rules for the Mackeson 3×3 Basketball Tournament is scheduled for Windjammer Hotel under the patronage of Ansa McAl,” GABF President Nigel Hinds said in a release from the federation yesterday.
The Mackeson ‘King of the Rim’ 3×3 Basketball Competition, which was launched last week, is set to bounce off on Sunday in Albouystown. Today’s workshop will update officials and players on the FIBA rules governing this format of the sport.

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GBA to educate boxers on benefits of AIBA Pro Boxing

November 24, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

The Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) is expected to meet with boxers to give full details of benefits related with participating in AIBA Pro Boxing (APB).
President of the GBA, Steve Ninvalle, disclosed that at the just concluded Congress in South Korea, AIBA, advised that each of its 196 affiliated National Federations comply with a mandate to implement the APB.
AIBA personnel will visit the various confederations and National Associations to aid the smooth introduction of the programme.
Ninvalle pointed out that, “Most of the boxers are not aware of APB and the benefits to be derived if they should choose to sign up. We are now planning to have a forum where all questions will be answered.”
The GBA boss and new AIBA Executive Committee Member further informed that APB allows for the first time ever, boxers with 20 or fewer pro fights to compete alongside top-class AOB boxers (formerly amateur) in a competition that also serves as a qualifying event for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
In further explaining the move, Ninvalle stated, “This means that many of our professional boxers can now return into the AIBA fold and have a chance of representing Guyana at the Olympics. They also stand the chance of making much better purses than what is now being offered.”
According to the AIBA website, APB is an unprecedented, top-class Pro Boxing competition based on individual rankings and introduced by AIBA to showcase the best features of Pro Boxing.  The pre-ranking phase, which will run through to January 31, 2015, will identify authentic champions in each weight category and there will be a comprehensive, merit-based ranking system.
In March of 2015, the APB programme is set to have its grand opening with the first cycle of competition between these ranked boxers.
Ninvalle explained that Rio 2016 will be the first Olympic Games allowing pro boxers to compete.  However, the only way pro boxers can qualify for the Olympics is the APB competition, which is fully supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

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Going by the books

November 24, 2014 | By | Filed Under Features / Columnists, Tony Deyal column 

 
Australia is not called “down under” for nothing.  Australian porn star, Angela White, who has a First Class Honours Degree in Gender Studies from the University of Melbourne, shot a scene for a pornographic movie in May this year with her partner.
Their choice of location was the library of La Trobe University which is also in Melbourne.  According to the Herald Sun newspaper, the footage begins with showing the well-stacked Angela White somewhere between the bookshelves of the library and continues with White revealing herself to her partner in the sexual role-play act, despite a student reading nearby. The porn stars then perform “the act” and move on to the desks placed in the library. It certainly is not a novel idea but instead of silk spreads they use hard covers.
White ran for election in Australia as a candidate for the Australian Sex Party and she and her party colleague, Zahra Stardust, became the first political candidates to film a pornographic scene together proving once more that politics does indeed make strange bedfellows.  Interestingly, one Web site notes that the students present in the library thought it was a “biology class that got out of hand with one of the lecturers.” Much better than dissecting a frog.
There have been previous well-publicised sexual incidents in University Libraries – two of them in the United States. In October 2012, the Daily Mail Reported, “A New York Ivy League University is in the midst of a pornography scandal after a wannabe sex star stripped off on camera in the library.”
The story went on, “With rows of academic books and study desks lining the walls, you might expect students to arrive in the Cornell law school library with tools such as a calculator and pencil case. But not Cameron Knight, the amateur model believed to be the star.  She had other things on her mind and instead walked into Carpenter Hall, the school’s engineering library, armed with a pink bag of racy toys. In the graphic five-minute-long footage the raunchy blonde filmed herself on a cell phone performing a solo sex act, despite being broad daylight, and in the presence of others bent over their studies.
Her debut complete, Miss Knight then posted the video onto a college message board where it was viewed by thousands.” The University police said that had they caught the young lady in the act, she would have been booked.
In February this year, a few months before Ms. White created a scene in the Melbourne library, female students filmed what was called “Feminist porn” at Colombia University. The film, titled ”Initiatiøn,” was meant to be a feminist statement exploring “the rituals of American Ivy League secret societies, to the point of hysteria, highlighting our culture’s perception of female desire.” It begins with a group of girls sitting around a library table taking their shirts off.
As the film progresses, the girls engage in activities including kissing, rubbing eggs on their bodies and twerking around (a) chicken carcass.” Enough said. If a low-brow like me is allowed to review such a highbrow feminist film, instead of a thumb (like Roger Ebert) I would probably give it one fist up and saying cuttingly, “Too much gender and not enough sex.”
The most recent one also occurred down under which is where, I suppose, most of these things take place. A student at Australia’s Newcastle University filmed pornographic videos in the school’s library and posted them to a pornographic website. It was accepted that they were nothing even close to such classics as Sperminator, Womb Raider, Star Whores, Shaving Ryan’s Privates, Free My Willy, Saturday Night Beaver, Riding Miss Daisy, On Golden Blonde, Ocean’s 11 Inches and When Harry Ate Sally. However, the University authorities were not pleased at all.
A University spokeswoman admitted that the administrators were “very disappointed” to learn that the student had used “internet facilities inappropriately on campus” and that the student was counseled.
Her pictures, not the ones that appeared on the internet, were given to staff with instructions to alert security if she entered the library. But, the real mother of all reactions is that part of the University’s library was steam-cleaned. There were people who said it is not the library that needed the steam cleaning but the young lady. Some even went to great lengths to identify which parts that needed cleaning. However a friend suggested that there might not be enough steam cleaners in the world if other Universities sought to use the same methods to sanitise the facilities used by students including libraries, dormitories, benches and parks. Me, I would not have considered counselling. I would just have thrown the book at her.
In fact, the problem goes even deeper and started even earlier – at the top. In May 1999, Ronald Thiemann, the dean of Harvard’s Divinity School, called the university’s technical support department to request more disk space on a computer in an office at his Harvard-owned residence. Technicians soon found the cause of the problem. The dean had been downloading and storing thousands of pornographic images. Though Thiemann was asked to resign his post (for “conduct unbecoming a dean”), he remained a tenured faculty member. Among his many accomplishments was the creation of the school’s Center for the Study of Values in Public Life.
*Tony Deyal was last seen saying that a study on the effects of pornography on men in their 20s who had never consumed pornography had to stop because they could not find any.

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Over 900 swimmers from 170 countries for 12th FINA World C/ships

November 23, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Guyana to be represented

The Qatari capital will welcome the international swimming elite and world aquatics community for the

Ivan Persaud

Ivan Persaud

12th edition of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), taking place from December 3-7, 2014 at the Hamad Aquatic Centre. Over 900 swimmers from 170 national federations are expected to compete in Doha, which will feature a total 46 events, including 12 relays.
Guyana is expected to be represented by President of the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) Ivan Persaud among others.
Prior to the championships, FINA will hold its third World Aquatics Convention at the Ritz Hotel from November 29 to December 1. Among its many highlights are the Aquatics Conference, the FINA Swimming Coaches Golden Clinic, the Exhibition and the Gala “Soiree des Etoiles”.
Under the theme “Aquatics – Engaging for Success”, the conference will address top issues in the world of Aquatics, relating to sport development across all FINA disciplines, the global sport market, sponsorship and partnership, new technologies and media, etc. Key players in the sport industry, experts, athletes and representatives of national member federations will all step on the stage to share visions and ideas.
At the same venue, the second FINA Swimming Coaches Golden Clinic will take place from November 30 to December 1, bringing together some of the world’s most brilliant coaches to discuss the keys to success in competitive swimming, among other topics.
The Exhibition will provide a unique showroom for sport manufacturers, FINA partners and sponsors, future host cities of FINA World Championships, including Guadalajara 2017, Gwangju 2019 and Budapest 2021, and a networking opportunity for the Aquatics family.
In addition, an extraordinary meeting of the Congress will be organised on November 29 in Doha, as well as a “Soiree des Etoiles” rewarding the Best Athletes of 2014 on December 1. (FINA)

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PG III shifts to CASH tonight

November 23, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

The third annual Phillip George (PG III) Legacy tournament will shift to the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall tonight owed

Michael Singh

Michael Singh

to inclement weather that has inundated the Burnham Basketball Court, which had hosted all the games up until tonight.
President of Colts Basketball Club, which is hosting the competition, Michael Singh, who is also President of the Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association (GABA) said that he restructured the fixture for the Sports Hall until the competition ends.
Tonight’s big game will feature Pepsi Sonics against Linden’s Royals in a showdown that will determine who advances out of a group that also includes Colts. Both Colts and Sonics are undefeated in the competition.

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Mackeson launches ‘King of the Rim’ 3×3 Basketball Challenge

November 21, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Ansa McAl, under its Mackeson Stout Brand, yesterday launched its ‘King of the Rim’

Mackeson Brand Manager, Jamaal Douglas (left) and Ansa McAl PRO, Darshnie Yusuf along with GAPF President, Nigel Hinds brief the media yesterday at the official launch of Mackeson’s ‘King of the Rim’ 3x3 Basketball Challenge.

Mackeson Brand Manager, Jamaal Douglas (left) and Ansa McAl PRO, Darshnie Yusuf along with GAPF President, Nigel Hinds brief the media yesterday at the official launch of Mackeson’s ‘King of the Rim’ 3×3 Basketball Challenge.

three-on-three (3×3) Basketball Challenge with the aim of continuing the proliferation of the sport and the purpose of unearthing basketball talent within communities.
“We have been working with the federation (Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation, GABF) to develop basketball in Guyana and we are proud to be associated with this sport for three years,” Mackeson Brand Manager, Jamaal Douglas told the media.
The ‘King of the Rim’ 3×3 Basketball Challenge is expected to take communities by storm with the distribution giants doling out over $1M in cash and prizes to teams. The competition will be played in Georgetown, Linden and on the East and West Coast.
Douglas disclosed that the winning team will take home $500,000 and the runner-up $300,000 in the competition while zone winners pocket $25,000 each. Trophies will accompany the incentive of cash with each team comprising four players.
“One of the reasons that we support events like these is because people need to get their craft out and the best way to do so is through community-based sports; ‘King of the Rim’ is the way to get back into communities and that is what we have been doing with Mackeson,” Ansa McAl Public Relations Officer, Darshnie Yussuf indicated.
According to Yussuf, the company is always looking for ways in which they can develop sports, and their track record speaks for itself. She stated that in the past their Mackeson Smooth Moves 3×3 tournament was very successful and they look forward to similar success.
Sharing the moment with the two Ansa McAl representatives was GABF President, Nigel Hinds, who lauded the effort and called on all enthusiasts to continue to support the competition; he said that such events hasten the advancement of the sport.
“We recognise 3×3 as an integral part of our basketball. We see it as going into communities to get players who might not have had other opportunities to play,” Hinds stated, adding that FIBA (The International Basketball Federation) has endorsed the 3×3 format as one of the largest urban development programmes in the world.
Hinds labelled Ansa McAl “the largest corporate supporter of basketball in Guyana”, and said he expects some national players to emerge from the community-based competition. To register, the interested players can uplift forms from select bars or call 600 3606; the tournament jumps off in Albouystown next Sunday.

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‘Respect’ basketball game for charity set for December 13

November 21, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

The ‘Respect the Game’ basketball showdown set for December 13 at the Cliff

GABF President, Nigel Hinds (third, right) joins sponsors and The Respect Team, including the Respect Models and players at the Gravity Lounge for the launch of the December 13 showpiece at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.

GABF President, Nigel Hinds (third, right) joins sponsors and The Respect Team, including the Respect Models and players at the Gravity Lounge for the launch of the December 13 showpiece at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.

Anderson Sports Hall will witness for the first time in Guyana some of the biggest names in media, entertainment and the arts combined with National and Division I players for a night of keen challenges, ‘call-outs’ and rivalries.
This is according to the organisers of the event, who congregated at the Gravity Lounge to usher in the event yesterday. They informed that players drafted from the media, entertainment and lots of other sectors will have seven Division I players on their side.
Each team will comprise 15 players with seven Division I players and eight local celebrities from the named sectors. They joked that because of the stringent draft strategies between Team Toney and Team Bond, the two teams that will headline the night, they prefer to release the full teams at a later date.
“Respect comes with the appreciation of values and that is what we want to bring back… it’s a call to return respect to the game, whatever your game maybe. The term represents swag, hustle and ethics,” Bond said. According to the Attorney-at-Law, the event is aimed at generating the necessary response from all sectors of society to return respect to local sports and sportsmen and women.
In addition, Bond disclosed that part proceeds will go to several charities that the various persons involved will identify. Proceeds will also go to charities of the celebrities’ choice as the aim is to spread cheer in the upcoming season.
President of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) Nigel Hinds was in full support of the event. Hinds believes that the event is necessary to bring about some change in how sports is treated locally and develop a place for enthusiasts to congregate.
“We are pleased to support this event, we think that this will expand our fan base and expand the facets of basketball… we think it will be an entertaining event,” Hinds, who is a former national player,  and who might be drafted on one of the teams, stated.
Two of the sponsors present at the event, Footsteps and Buddy’s Pool Hall were both grateful to be a part of the inaugural mega event while pledging support for future events.
“The challenge is really about building camaraderie among the sports community,” Rawle Toney said while thanking the sponsors for their support in the venture.
Meanwhile, the contest is expected to feature two exhibition games before the main showdown. It will feature a High School contest and another big grudge game before the celebrities and first division players take the court in grand style.

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Rose Hall Town Boxing Showdown…Fight on as boxers sign their respective contracts

November 20, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

As the day of reckoning draws closer, the principals of Mark Thom Promotions

Richard Williamson and Dillon Allicock square off for what should be an interesting title fight.

Richard Williamson and Dillon Allicock square off for what should be an interesting title fight.

finalized the deal for ‘Rose Hall Town Showdown,’ a three fight professional card at the Rose Hall Community Centre Ground on Saturday December 13 with several amateur bouts to sweeten the deal.
Mr. Thom was at the Avenue of the Republic office of Abdool and Abdools Insurance Brokers yesterday morning for the contract signing ceremony and he was accompanied by his Promotions Manager, Sabrina Thom.  Those that signed contracts yesterday included Kishawn Simon and Mark Murray, battling over 6 rounds in a jnr/welterweight bout while Richard Williamson and Dillon Allicock also affixed their signatures for their bout, 12 rounds super/bantamweight title affair.
Another Berbician, local middleweight champion, Dereck Richmond, will step up one division to square off with Romeo Norville over 6 rounds in a super/middleweight fight, the second time the two will clash. Both of these pugilists also conformed to the contract signing rituals and said they are ready to throw down the gauntlet. Richmond is confident that he could repeat his performance when he stopped Norville last year. Several amateur fighters will also make up the card and the organizers are awaiting those names from their counterparts of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA).
Meanwhile, Mr. Thom said that he is still speaking with members of the corporate community to assist in offsetting the expenses of the card. He said that it is a costly endeavour yet he persists because he recognizes the positive spin off for pugilists out of the Ancient County as well as the patrons.
The promoter said that he has procured tangible assistance from Castle Hotel of Chapel Street, New Amsterdam and he is very grateful to the proprietors. The producer of Maximum Sports, Max Massiah, has also pitched in and has committed to free advertisements on his show, aired on Fridays at 21:30hrs. Admission to the venue is $2000 for the VIP section while general admission is $1000.

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Accalia Khan, Amy Grant major contributors as District 11 swim away with honours

November 19, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

The males of District 11 (North Georgetown) amassed 230 while the females contributed

North GT female open relay team-From left Amy Grant, Kristen Odle, Accalia Khan and Tiffany De Moura

North GT female open relay team-From left Amy Grant, Kristen Odle, Accalia Khan and Tiffany De Moura

199 for a grand total of 429 points that earned them the top honours when the 2014 Ministry of Education and Guyana Teachers’ Union National Schools’ Swimming Championships concluded at the National Aquatic Center, Lilliendaal ECD yesterday afternoon.
Upper Demerara/Kwakwani registered a total of 226 to finish in the second place slot while Rupununi closed off the podium spots after scoring 145 points. Accalia Khan’s contribution to the winning efforts of District 11 stood out from the time she plunged into the pool to contest the Girls Under-16, 50m freestyle event. She completed the distance in 31:84secs and before the day was done, had registered victories in the 50m backstroke and the 100m freestyle race.
She then returned later in the evening to lend support in the Girls Open 200m freestyle relay to cap an impressive day’s performance with 4 gold medals.
Amy Grant’s contribution to the winning efforts of District 11 was also noteworthy and she started the day competing in the Girls Under-14, 50m freestyle event, known as the Blue Ribbon Stakes of swimming. Employing deft strokes, she out-swam Leona Gonsalves and Kenita Mahaica to clock a time of 32:40secs before returning later on to dominate the 50m butterfly event in 34:80secs while relegating Kenita Mahaica and Recia Joris to second and third places respectively.
Mahaica avenged that loss when the two clashed again in the 50m backstroke, finishing the race in

The successful District 11 team celebrates just after the conclusion of a hectic and successful day in the pool.

The successful District 11 team celebrates just after the conclusion of a hectic and successful day in the pool.

38:15secs, just in front of Grant at 39:05secs. Leona Gonsalves swam in third, in 41:19secs and secured the final podium spot.
However, Grant was not yet done and returned with Tiffany De Moura, Kristen Odle, and Acclia Khan to register a decisive victory in the Girls open 200m freestyle relay and close off a successful day with 3 gold and 1 silver medal.
The swimmers competed using the width of the pool which spanned some 25m as against the length which doubled that distance. Several residents out of the rural communities also turned in good performances but it was noted that many of them lacked the technical expertise required for a smooth, well coordinated turn around, thus losing valuable timings.
Notable among these performances were Richard DeNieuenkirk from the Upper Demerara/Kwakwan area. He won the Boys open 100m backstroke in 1:32:17secs, Fileisha Williams (Upper Demerara/Kwakwani), also defied the odds and swam to victory in the Girls Under-18 one hundred meters backstroke in 1:42:75sec while Kesia Klass travelled all the way from North West district to capture the honours in the girls Open 50m freestyle in 43:14secs.
Meanwhile, when activities got underway in the morning, President of the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association, Ivan Persaud, delivered brief remarks where he encouraged the participants to give of their best. He also complimented the efforts of the Ministry of Education in the shrewd organization of the event even as he beseeched those officials to continue in the same vein to organize similar events to facilitate the continued development of the swimmers.

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AIBA President congratulates Steve Ninvalle

November 18, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Looks forward to working with him

International Boxing Association (AIBA) President Ching-Kuo Wu has extended congratulations to President of the Guyana Boxing Federation (GBA) Steve Ninvalle following his election as an Executive Committee Member of the World Amateur Boxing body.
He expressed the desire to work with Ninvalle to improve the sport, citing his efforts here in Guyana and the Caribbean. Ninvalle clinched the AIBA spot at their recent Congress in South Korea. Caribbean members hailed the election with joy, noting that with Ninvalle in the decision making process of AIBA, boxing, especially in the Caribbean will benefit.
Here’s the full text of the letter:
Dear Colleague and Friend, Steve Ninvalle,
I would like to extend my sincere congratulations upon your recent election as a member of the AIBA Executive Committee.  This important result is the right recognition for the unshakable devotion to the development of boxing followed by the exceptional results achieved in the past years.
Therefore, I am confident that with your support and dedication we will continue to implement all the necessary reforms for the betterment of our beloved sport.
Once again, I congratulate you for this accomplishment and look forward to working with you for the next four years hand to hand with the other members of the Executive Committee.
Wishing you the very best in your future endeavours, I send you my warmest and most heartfelt regards.
Yours sincerely,
Ching-Kuo Wu

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Sizzling boxing cards in Berbice and Georgetown geared to entertain fight fans

November 18, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Ever since Derick Richmond had dealt him a wicked left hook that left him with a broken jaw, World Boxing

Edmond DeClou

Edmond DeClou

Council Caribbean Boxing Federation (CABOFE) champion, Edmond DeClou had taken a self imposed sabbatical from the square jungle while engaged in introspection. He is now sufficiently recovered and will square off against Gladwin Dorway in a card promoted by the Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC), scheduled for the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) on Saturday December 6.
Dubbed ‘The Big Brawl’ the card also features top amateur boxer, Keeve Allicock making his professional debut against David Thomas in a 4 rounds lightweight clash while there will be a female heavyweight clash between Shelly ‘The Boom’ Gibson and another debutant, Simone Hoyte.
Another attractive fight is the catchweight 6 rounder between Quincy ‘Destroyer’ Gomes and Dexter ‘The Kid” Marques. Jones has earned the right to challenge Marques after he stepped up to the plate as a substitute at short notice and soundly whipped his more seasoned opponent, Richard Williamson, into submission to take a lopsided unanimous verdict. This should be a defining fight for him and could possible determine his advancement or otherwise. The night’s opening bout will see another debutant, Barbadian, Jermain Eswick, trading punches with veteran fighter, Eversley Brown, in a 4 rounds middleweight scrap.
Meanwhile, one week later, boxing buffs in Berbice will also enjoy some fistic action when Mark Thom Promotions presents the ‘Rose Hall Town Showdown’ at the Rose Hall Community Centre Ground Saturday December 13.
This card will consist of three professional and several amateur bouts and the promoter assures fans of a night of keen fistic action. The main attraction will be the 12 rounds fight between Berbician, Richard Williamson and his Georgetown counterpart, Dillon Allicock for the vacant local super/bantamweight title while another Berbician, local middleweight champion, Derek Richmond, will step up one division to square off with Romeo Norville over 6 rounds in a super/middleweight affair.
The former pugilist has drawn first blood when the two squared off at the CASH last year and would be out to prove that it was no fluke while the latter boxer is eager to reverse his fortunes and is currently engaged in intense training in the Ancient County.
Berbician, Kishawn Simon, also on the redemption trail after losing his last bout to veteran, Cassius Matthews, is bent on winning his bout when he faces Mark Murray in a 6 rounds jnr/welterweight affair.  A bright prospect when he entered the professional ranks, Simon has suffered a surprise loss to Patrick Boston and the Murray fight is regarded as a stepping stone to bigger things and might just be the tonic needed to boost his flagging fortunes and revive his career.
The promoters have also included several amateur bouts on the card but while they have hinted at several action-packed bouts, they have not yet released the names of those pugilists.  Eon Jardine is the matchmaker and he intimated that the boxers would be engaged in the contract signing rituals today at the Avenue of the Republic office of Abdool and Abdools Insurance Brokers at 13:00hrs.

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Can the opposition stop Ramotar’s ramapithecus?

November 18, 2014 | By | Filed Under Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon 

I attended the APNU-sponsored rally at Square of the Revolution on Friday evening and the first thing that came to my mind as I walked from my parked car outside St. Sidwell’s School and across the tarmac of the Square, is how ironic that these PNC rallies for freedom are always held at a place that have the word “revolution” in its name but sadly no revolutionary action emerges.
I remember in December 2011, I was asked to speak at an evening meeting of the now defunct Youth Coalition for Transformation, the youth arm of the APNU coalition. The subject was the controversy of the 2011 election results. The attendance was prodigious. Guyana’s youth were plentiful and angry. To date it is the second largest rally after last Friday’s APNU anti-prorogue demonstration. Sadly no revolutionary action emerged.
It was with that irony in mind, that the thought came to be about the revolution thing as I walked on the tarmac Friday night.
What will become of that mammoth gathering of human bodies after Friday? If nothing happens to create a national government in the coming months, would it be a wise policy to continue to use that site that has the word revolution in its name?
It has been one week since Ramotar’s ramapithecus rampaged through an elected Parliament decapitating the sacred principle of one person, one vote and only two forms of protest were held – demonstrations on the very day the ramapithecus entered Parliament and Friday night rally.
When you saw that ocean of bodies last Friday then the opposition has the capacity to fight. Will it fight?
What are Guyanese to expect in the coming days? Whatever happens, one thing is certain – the opposition fears about, Georgetown street action will be a huge factor in any configuration. The fear about the reaction of East Indians to PNC-sponsored street action has reached both surreal and pathetic levels. Is there a way out? There is.
Inside the thinking of both the PNC and AFC is that street demonstrations are used by the PPP to plant agent provocateurs among the protestors. The infiltrators then loot Indian stores, attack Indian folks and assault Indian women. This stratagem is used to scare Indian people who then harden their belief that African Guyanese are violent and that their leaders do not like Indians.
This PPP trick has worked and has worked for one essential reason – the opposition goes into an election and loses because the fear sends Indians back into the arm of the PPP. This evil will continue to be successful because it is devised with the electoral mathematics as its main ingredient. Sadly, the opposition is masochistic in that it walks right into the trap with eyes wide open.
If in the coming weeks, the PNC is going to flex its muscles, it cannot expect the PPP to fold its arms and cry. The Guyana Times gave the game plan away. Long before any opposition strategy was announced, its front-paged images of violence supposedly done by the opposition in earlier periods. The Times let the cat out of the bag. The usual game plan is to scare Indians.
I told Tacuma Ogunseye at the rally that I have a theory about why Parliament was prorogued. But I couldn’t discuss it because the noise level was tremendous. Here is it now. The PPP is waiting for street action. It will wait for a few weeks, then, dissolve Parliament and call elections. Ramotar wants his full term but that is no longer there. The PPP is going into an election, using the traditional fear factor hoping to win a majority. Can they?
I believe the PPP can pull off the plurality thing again if it can successfully soak up the Guyana Times front page into the clothes of Indians. It will try to. Both opposition parties have top class political thinkers. Ramjattan, Nigel Hughes, Nagamootoo, Rupert Roopnaraine, Clive Thomas to name a few.
They must know that if the PPP whips up race hysteria, the PPP may clinch the plurality again.
This country’s “demographic sociology” is weird and bizarre unlike any other in the world. It doesn’t take much for the PPP to play on the Freudian monster inside the soul (not the head or mind but the soul) of the Indian population. The numbers favouring an opposition victory are too thin at this time. It needs a few more years for that to change.
Of course, there is the large percentage of absentee voters and if they vote they can ensure an opposition victory. But who says they will turn up this time?  So what is my solution? Constitutional change before elections.

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Who said politics is a fair game

November 16, 2014 | By | Filed Under News 

 
By Ralph Seeram

No doubt, most of us have read the outpouring from the opposition parties and from groups and the social media how the PPP has descended into a dictatorship, President Donald Ramotar a dictator and the death of democracy in Guyana.
In all of this I am left to wonder how these events have affected the ordinary man in the street. Does it make a difference in his everyday routine? Does it really affect his work, his wages, his bills?  Really, does it make a difference to the ordinary hard working Guyanese man or woman?
Many years ago when I worked in Wall Street, the office had a heated discussion on who should be the next President of the United States, when my supervisor called me aside and said, “Ralph it does not matter who is President? You still have to catch the train to come to work; you still have to pay your bills and taxes.”
So I ask, what difference does it make the man in the street? Would it motivate them to come out in thousands to protest against the government? I doubt it very much. I am predicting that the opposition will not get the number they expect to come out and support “peaceful” demonstration; we know how “peaceful” these opposition protests were in the past.
Let’s examine this prorogation issue. I am going to go down a road that will not find favour with opposition supporters, but let’s separate the facts from propaganda.
Did President Ramotar break any laws? The President merely used the powers granted to him under the constitution. APNU and the AFC were using the same powers granted to them under the constitution to bring down the PPP Government, and there was nothing wrong with that. It was their right, but “push gat push back”.
Did they really think the PPP Government will just lie down meekly and let them walk over them, if they thought so and they apparently did, then they are amateurs at politics. Remember Power, Position and Privilege nobody gives up easily. APNU and AFC should have known they were entering a political battle, which apparently they were not prepared for.
The opposition was using the constitution to bring down the government; the PPP Government used the same constitution to keep itself in power, nothing non democratic they used the very Constitution the opposition was using. Nobody said politics is a fair game. In fact, it’s a dirty game; there is no loyalty or honor in politics, or as some would say “politrix”.  The opposition got beaten at their game.
The opposition had a plan A but no plan B. The PPP had plan A, B and a C. Why would the opposition think it would have been a “cake walk” in Parliament?
If the no confidence vote was passed, the Government still had three months to be in power, to run the state of affairs until the elections which had to be held within the three months period. There would have been no parliament. Now the prorogation only gives the government an extra three months if it decides to stretch it that far before elections.
What would the opposition have achieved given those three months that it could not achieve in three years? While we are on the subject, can you think of anything significant the AFC and APNU achieved with their majority status in Parliament? So all this nonsense of dictatorship is sheer hogwash; it’s just political gamesmanship being played out by politicians.
By the way this newspaper Kaieteur News has done more for the Guyanese public than the combined opposition in parliament.
In the political arena the opposition is no match for the PPP; it was out maneuvered by the PPP. We should ask ourselves if the ill conceived no confidence motion was passed how it would have benefitted the nation.
For the PPP, at best it would have won back a majority in Parliament; at worse it would have won back the Presidency. What was in it for APNU and AFC? At best they would have retained majority in parliament, at worse they could have lost their one seat majority. The opposition stood more to lose than the PPP in an election, so I can’t fathom why they would have wanted to go back to the polls. Anyway general elections will be held within six months anyway, and this time the PPP will be ready. Question is, will the opposition ready, I think they are secretly happy the government gave them an extra three months to prepare.
The downside for the PPP in this prorogation issue is its International image, being painted as a dictatorship. For APNU it is in a no win situation. If it dos not protest they will appear weak; if it stages street protests, it can energize PPP supporters, especially if there is violence.
One cannot help but “read through the lines” their appeal to the Army and Police Chief not to let their forces engage “in unlawful actions against law abiding citizens”. What the opposition needs to address is to ensure its supporters do not engage in “unlawful actions” to cause the joint forces to engage in “lawful” actions.
While we are on the subject of unlawful actions, is somebody going to pay the penalty for the malicious prosecution of the three former NBS managers Messrs Arjoon, Vincent and Baldeo, who have been vindicated by the courts and now the Ombudsman’s report?
Will the DPP face any sanctions for this sordid affair given her connections to the principals in the conspiracy to fire these men?
In the US, prosecutors are sanctioned or debarred if found guilty for ethical violations. Could this happen to political “hacks: in Guyana? Just asking. I would hope the courts do justice to these men and grant them the financial compensation they are due plus monetary award for the damage to their reputation. Here again we see the fingerprints of Bharrat Jagdeo. As they say “karma is a bitch” what goes around comes around. Finally something honest has come out of Guyana. I urge people to read the report.
Ralph Seeram can be reached at email: ralph365@hotmail.com and Facebook

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Ninvalle makes history, elected to AIBA executive committee

November 15, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Head of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) Steve Ninvalle scored a first for

Ninvalle makes history, elected to AIBA executive committee.

Ninvalle makes history, elected to AIBA executive committee.

Guyana and the English speaking Caribbean when at the 2014 International Boxing Association (AIBA) Congress in Jeju, Korea, yesterday morning (local time), was elected to the Executive Committee of the organization.
The occasion also marked an important milestone for the Caribbean region and signals a turning point for the sport in the region.
Mr. Ninvalle had been initially nominated by members of the Caribbean Boxing Associations after a meeting in Barbados to contest for the position of Vice President of the Americas Confederation (AMBC) which would have automatically made him an EC member.
However, he lost out in that bid after former AMBC president and staunch supported Domingo Solano without warning, pulled out of the race for re-election. With the help of US Virgin Island president Tony Rosario, Ninvalle was able to lobby Latin American votes and rebounded to successfully clinch the position, snatching one of five positions contested for by 32 countries.
His success is the first in the history of local amateur boxing and even further afield in the Caribbean region. It means that Caribbean countries now have a representative voice at the top echelons of the sport.
Contacted yesterday the GBA boss declared even though it is an unprecedented achievement for Guyana his elevation to the hierarchy of AIBA could be considered a potent injection for boxing regionally.
“The Caribbean has fought a long and hard battle and this is a just reward. We now have a voice in the inner chambers of AIBA. My intention is to push for all boxing with emphasis on our region,” the GBA president said.
Meanwhile, president of the St. Lucia Boxing Association David ‘Shakes’ Christopher branded Ninvalle’s recent ascension, the region’s most significant boxing milestone in years. “This has been long coming. We have come up against such countries as France, Spain, Japan, Bulgaria, and Ukraine and have won. I salute my brother Steve Ninvalle and I know that he will make the Caribbean proud.”
President of the Grenada Boxing Association and former president of the Caribbean Amateur Boxing Association Ralph James announced that a mission has been accomplished. “This is a tremendous victory for the Caribbean. It goes beyond boxing because it is a victory for Caribbean sport,” James pointed out.
Ninvalle is now in the elite company of other executive committee members like Fran Lopez Almeida (Venezuela), Jurgen Kyas (Germany), Eyup Gozgec (Turkey) and Pat Fiacco (Canada). These positions are valid for the next four years.
The EC has already held its first meeting.
Meanwhile, incumbent President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA), Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu,  received a unanimous vote of confidence and was returned as its President for a third consecutive term.
In addition to re-electing the AIBA President, delegates from national federations attending the forum also voted to appoint new Vice Presidents and Executive Committee members for the next four years.
Those clinching Vice President positions are for Africa, Kelani Bayor (Togo), VP for America is Osvalo Bisbald (Argentina), VP for Asia is Serik Konakbayev (Kazakhstan), VP for Europe is Franco Falcinelli (Italy) and VP for Oceania is Ted Tanner (Australia).  (Michael Benjamin)

Pic – Steve Ninvalle at the AIBA Congress in South Korea.

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