GASA July Sprints – Goodwill Trials…Aleka Persaud smashes 8 & under 50m butterfly record; usual standouts impress
The 2014 edition of the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) July Sprints which also served as a qualifier for this year’s Goodwill multi nation championships set for Suriname next month, ended yesterday at the National Aquatic Centre.
The usual standouts continued their impressive showing including the likes of Britany van Lange who achieved the A-Times for Goodwill this year in the 200m free and 50m back, Accalia Khan also achieved the Goodwill A-Time in the 50 back; Hannibal Gaskin, Amy Grant, Raekwon Noel and Leon Seaton among others also turned in consistent performances.
Another one of the emerging swimmers destined for big days in the future if the relevant persons and GASA can hone the talent of her and others is 7-year-old Aleka Persaud who smashed the 8 & Under 50m butterfly record of 47.39 set by Accalia Khan on November 9th 2008 by setting a new mark of 47.12 on Saturday.
Persaud, daughter of GASA President Ivan Persaud, has been very dominant since arriving on the competitive scene and still has some time in this age group as she continues to impress.
A member of the Orca Speed Swim Club, Persaud, who did not compete yesterday, was also triumphant on Saturday in the 100m Individual Medley (IM) clocking 1:47.72 and the 50m free (38.91).
GASA President Ivan Persaud disclosed that the Goodwill team would be announced early this week ahead of next month’s Meet in neighboring Suriname.
Following are the results from yesterday’s final day:
Name Age Group Event Club Time
Jadyn George Girls 9-10 200m Free Sliver Sharks 3:14.41
Leon Seaton Boys 9-10 “ “ 2:51.37
Amy Grant Girls 11-12 “ “ 2:59.46
Antonia Hussein Boys 11-12 “ Dorado 2:32.53
Accalia Khan Girls 13-14 “ Orca 2:28.25
Joseph De Nobrega Boys 13-14 “ Dorado 2:12.81
Britany van Lange Girls 15-17 “ Dorado 2:16.89
Hannibal Gaskin Boys 15-17 “ Dorado 2:09.23
Athena Gaskin G 18 &Over “ Dorado 2:43.20
Aleka Persaud G 8&Under 50m Back Orca 50.57
Raekwon Noel B 8&Under “ Dorado 44.03
Lian Winter Girls 9-10 “ Dorado 47.46
Sekhel Tzedeq Boys 9-10 “ Dolphin 39.43
Amy Grant Girls 11-12 “ Silver Shark 41.31
Nathon Hackett Boys 11-12 “ Silver Shark 37.61
Accalia Khan Girls 13-14 “ Orca 33.89
Britany van Lange Girls 15-17 “ Dorado 33.47
Athena Gaskin G 18&Over “ Dorado 40.75
Joseph deNobrega Boys 13-14 “ Dorado 33.25
Angel Rodrigues Boys 15-17 “ Sliver Gliders 34.67
Britany van Lange Girls 15-17 100m Fly Dorado 1:14.59
Hannibal Gaskin Boys 15-17 “ Dorado 1:02.62
GASA July Sprints – Goodwill Trials …Silver Gliders of Moruca competing
The Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) July Sprints is currently taking place at the National Aquatic Centre with a 20-memebr strong contingent from the village of Moruca, Region 1.
The usual consistent performers held the usual sway on the opening day of action Friday and yesterday. The final day is today.
Following are the results from day one, Friday.
Amy Grant (Sliver Shark Aquatic Swim Club) won the girls 11-12 100m free in 1:18.30; Antonio Hussein (Dorado Speed Swim Club) was the top boy in this age group with a time of 1:08.29.
Accalia Khan (Orca) won the girls 13-14 age group in 1:08.00 with Joseph De Nobrega (Dorado) for boys in 1:01.46; Britany van Lange (Dorado) was the top girls in the 15-17 class in 1:01.71 with club mate Hannibal Gaskin the leading boy in 58.97.
Britany van Lang also won the 50m breast (38.46); Gaskin was the lone athlete in the 50m breast (41.78); Dylan Nurse took the 13-14 boys 50m breast (36.77); Gaskin added this event to his collection (34.26).
Aleka Persaud (Orca Speed Swim Club) took the top spot in the girls 8 & Under 100m free, clocking 1:35.01 while Raekwon Noel (Dorado peed Swim Club) was unstoppable in the 100m free 8 & Under boys equivalent clocking 1:19.87.
Persaud was also unbeatable in the 50m breaststroke in 55.89; Noel too was a winner in 52.94.
Jadyn George (SSASC) topped the field in the girls 9-10 100m free recording 1:29.77 while for boys, Sekhel Tzedeq of Dolphin Speed Swim Club took top honours in 1:18.07.
George also won the 50m breast (52.04) with Leon Seaton of Silver Shark Aquatic Speed Swim Club taking top honours for boys in this 9-10 category (46.83).
Kenita Mahaica (Dolphin) was the leading 11-12 girls breaststroker winning in 46.63; Nathon Hackett clocked 40.22 for boys in the same age group.
Nikita Fiedtkou was the lone competitor in the girls 13-14 50m breast clocking 47.34.
In the 100m backstroke races; Donna Carter of Dorado won the 9-10 girls (1:41.76) with Tzedeq for boys (1:28:00); Grant took the 11-12 girls (1:34.46); Khan 13-14 girls (1:17.09); van Lange 15-17 girls (1:13.08); Athena Gaskin was the top 18 and over girl (1:31.29) with De Nobrega for boys (1:21.73); Angel Rodrigues (Silver Gliders) was the leading 15-17 boys (1:23.91).
Ninvalle optimistic of better Regional fortunes Looks for continued unity among Caribbean territories
By Michael Benjamin
Recently nominated to contest for an executive position on the International Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) when that organization holds its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in November this year, President of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA), Steve Ninvalle is very optimistic that once he succeeds, he would be in a good position to improve the lot of pugilists in Guyana and the wider Caribbean region.
Ninvalle spoke with this newspaper at his Main Street office and outlined what occurred recently in Barbados where the heads of the territorial associations convened, at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex, to examine ways of promoting the sport in the region, while enabling its boxers to procure lucrative opportunities and medals at international competitions.
The meeting commenced with the participants reviewing the state of the sport in the region and it was unanimously agreed that there must be a collaborative effort of all of the territorial associations if the sport is to continue along a commendable developmental trend.
The territorial heads further suggested the revival of a structured, competitive tournament in the Caribbean. In recent times, Caribbean pugilists competed among themselves in the Caribbean Amateur Boxing Association (CABA) championships, hosted in any one of the territorial countries.
However, this tournament was disbanded at the behest of President of the International Amateur Boxing Association (IABA), Dr. Chin Kuo Wu but the various associations are adamant that a tournament of this nature should form a part of the Caribbean boxing itinerary.
Meanwhile, Mr Ninvalle received a unanimous vote to contest for the IABA position after he was nominated by Barbados and seconded by the United States Virgin Islands. President of the St. Lucia Amateur Boxing Association (SLABA), David ‘Shakes’ Christopher, was also nominated but declined saying that he would be throwing his weight behind Ninvalle’s instalment to the position.
This is the first time in the history of the sport that an English speaking, Caribbean representative will contest for the post and while it is not yet clear who the other contestants from the other hemispheric associations are, should Ninvalle clinch the position, it will herald a new dispensation in the Caribbean amateur boxing arena.
The forum further dealt with processes for the training of technical officials while discussions were also based on the acquisition of funding and/or training from IABA and the AMBC, moments before a committee was installed to oversee the implementation of the action plan.
Mr. Ninvalle expressed gratitude to his Caribbean counterparts and said that should he clinch the post he would do all within his power to better the fortunes of boxers across the region. He was especially grateful to Mr. Solano who used his expertise and knowledge of the sport to guide the process. “He was very instrumental in guiding us and ensured that we did not overstep our mandate to foster development at the Caribbean level,” Ninvalle said of Solano.
He also said that all of the delegates agreed that the Caribbean heads needed to adopt a unified approach towards the development of the sport. Ninvalle said that he was generally pleased with the outcome of the forum and suggested regular discourse among his CARICOM colleagues to improve the lot of Caribbean pugilists. Consequently, a team consisting of seven persons was tasked with overseeing the development of the sport in the Caribbean.
The other participating countries are Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Martinique, St Lucia, St Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago and the US Virgin Islands.
Some of the top delegates at the forum were Barbadian, Kathy Harper Hall, Chairman of the Barbados National Sports Commission, Michael Power and Presidents of the Barbados Olympic Association and Barbados Boxing Association, Steve Stoute and Anthony Jones respectively.
FIBA rule benches overseas-based players
- Guyana faces CBC suspension
By Edison Jefford
The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) is facing suspension from the Caribbean Basketball Confederation
(CBC) after it supported the national team’s protest over the removal of its overseas-based players from its roster in Tortola.
Guyana is currently in the British Virgin Island competing at the Caribbean Championships with losses to the host, the United States Virgin Islands and Barbados (69-80). The Guyanese men nearly opted out of the competition over its roster disruption.
“Before the first game against BVI, the Guyanese players refused to play and my support was unwavering. However, after the Manager spoke with the players they agreed to play,” President of the GABF, Nigel Hinds said in a circular yesterday.
“Also I spoke with the Executive Director of CBC, Patrick Haynes and he indicated that Guyana would likely be suspended and our women team would not likely be allowed to participate in the 2014 CBC Championships,” Hinds informed.
The controversy surrounds the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) classification of Asia-based Guyanese forward, Gordon Klaiber, who plays in Japan, as a “Naturalised Guyanese” that forced the team to play him under the allowance of an ‘overseas-born’ player, leaving out United States of America-born point guard, Andre De Florimonte.
In addition, the six foot, seven inches forward, US-based, Tyler Persaud was also unable to play along with another US-based player, Richard Hall. The issue forced the Guyanese team down to ten players ahead of its super-important first game against the host.
“FIBA has broken their own rules by treating a Guyanese born player, namely Gordon Klaiber as a Naturalised Guyanese; this is totally in contravention of FIBA 3.21.a Rules for Eligibility,” the head of the GABF had said in an earlier email.
However, FIBA is contending that its rules of eligibility is very clear in that though the overseas-based players may have been born in Guyana, they must claim Guyanese nationality in the form of preferably a passport before the age of 16 years old.
The federation had indicated to FIBA that Klaiber was born in Guyana and the rule should not apply to him.
The Article 3.21.a of the FIBA Internal Regulations applies to players who have acquired legal nationality of a respective country by naturalisation or by any other means after having reached the age of 16 years old. The provision applies also to any player having the right to acquire a second nationality at birth but who did not lay claim to this right until after having reached the age of 16 years old.
Sport and Eligibility Senior Manager at FIBA, Ivanka Toteva asked the federation to provide any evidence to show that Klaiber claimed his Guyanese nationality before the restrictive age, which in all likelihood, the federation will be unable to prove since Klaiber was issued with a Guyanese passport only last week.
However, the federation maintains that FIBA interpretation of the rules is “improper”. “One of our players (De Florimonte) was forcibly removed from the court by his team-mates due to the mayhem caused by the FIBA ruling,” the federation said yesterday.
“We of the GABF have already protested and appealed the decision by FIBA to treat Klaiber as a ‘Naturalised Guyanese,” the local body continued, adding that “legal action against FIBA is very much on the table”.
According to the GABF, Guyana is playing in an environment where a “misguided FIBA ruling has disrupted team chemistry and the morale of the team”. The national federation is affiliated to CBC, which is allied with FIBA. Hinds believes that the FIBA decision represents a “miscarriage of justice”.
GAWA hosts successful Olympic Day exhibition
The Guyana Amateur Weightlifting Association (GAWA) on Saturday last hosted a successful weightlifting exhibition in observance of International Olympic Day activities and to also showcase the new equipment received from the Pan American Weightlifting Federation.
According to a press release from the Association, a sizeable and appreciative crowd was on hand to witness demonstrations of the clean and jerks, and snatch, the various lifts associated with the sport.
Among the lifters were GAWA Secretary Deion Nurse, National Coach Sean Cozier and young female lifter, Sheriah Melville.
The local body recently received two brand new weightlifting sets from the Pan American Weightlifting Federation as part of the federation’s development assistance to needy member federations.
GAWA President, Mr. Frank Tucker expressed gratitude to the regional body for all the assistance received in the past noting that they are looking forward to taking the sport back to the glory days.
GABF revises National Women’s Basketball team -Gibson, Jacobs, Joseph-De Rouche included
The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) has revised its National Women Basketball team to include the previously omitted point guards: Lowquantor Gibson, and Timike Joseph-De Rouche, and veteran forward, Linden’s Nicola Jacobs.
A release from the federation ahead of the July 6 departure of the team to play in the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) said that the three players were “reinstated into the team” on Monday.
The federation had over the weekend released a 12-member squad minus the three players. “Two of the players re-added were unable to attend training sessions due to work commitments and the lack of proper arrangements for time off to practice,” the release said.
In addition it observed that “issues of fitness and attitude were raised by the coaches concerning the other player,” who the federation did not name. However, those issues seemed to have been ironed out and the “certain picks” for the team were included.
“Following discussions between the coaches and the GABF (and its executive) the decision was taken to reinstate the players who are considered certain picks by the coaches for the National Team once they attend all practice sessions and give 100% individual effort and team commitment,” the document from the federation continued.
The full squad now includes Natasha Alder (Captain), Shakelia Sampson, Sonia Rodney, Tamara Hunter, Shauna Chester, Kristy Roberts, Ginelle Ifill, Latoya Rodney, Philomena George, Kean Andrews, Necosia Mitchell, Natasha Andrews, Lowquantor Gibson, Nicola Jacobs and Timike Joseph-De Rouche.
Nothing is impossible: Laured Stewart from GT to Australia in pursuit of his dreams
At age 20, while most young men may be focused on being part of the in crowd and sporting the latest, Guyanese Laured Stewart is in hot pursuit of becoming a world champion in the land down under.
The former physical education teacher, who also played hockey for Guyana in the Hikers Hockey Club, also threw shot-put and discus, but is now in Australia chasing his dream sport, boxing. In an exclusive interview from Australia, the Alberttown kid who resided in South Ruimveldt before his departure said he is looking not only to become a world champion but “one of the greatest sons of the soil!”
Super energized, his quest ultimately is to one day be one of the greatest boxers whoever lived. To realize this dream Stewart is campaigning in Australia under the watchful eyes of legendary coach Johnny Lewis who has coached six world champions and he is being managed by Peter Mitrevski at the cooperative fitness Gym.
When asked what got him interested in the sport he said, “I guess it’s in my genes…” His grandfather Lennox Stewart and father Laurex Benn Stewart are former boxers. Nicknamed the ‘Nightmare’ while in Guyana, he was spotted by two times Guyanese World Champion Gary St Clair, who also lives and fights in Australia. Stewart said, “He has been following me since amateur days and then he asked to see my two professional fights which he passed to a boxers’ manager from over here.”
That manager was so enthused by his energy and hunger that he showed it to coach Johnny Lewis and Lewis was enthused. “Mr Lewis decided I have major potential and should be in Australia under his wing and the rest is History”.
In Retrospect: boxing fans on the local shores may recall him as nightmare, a name he got because that’s the type of fighter he is, ruthless, devastating and hungry. As an amateur he has entered the ring 37 times losing eight of the fights. But because of his love for the sport he never gave up. Due to financial circumstances he drop out of school in 11th grade, but has always been hitting the books, studying.
His record is 2 fights with both wins. He won his last fight in 1:36 seconds of the first round. He has represented Guyana in Saint Martin, Trinidad, Barbados, Suriname and Uruguay. Now because he has always wanted to become a boxer and is not a quitter, he is schedule to hit the ring for his first fight on the road to greatness on August 8th in Australia.
As a Guyanese his message to his fellow youth is, “NOTHING in life comes easy but nothing is impossible when you keep dreaming big, believing in yourself and working towards your set goals. With God first all things are achievable!” (Mondale Smith)
GBA President elected to run for AIBA position
President of the Guyana Boxing Association Steve Ninvalle was yesterday elected to run alongside Dr. Domingo Salano, the
AMBC President, for an AIBA Executive position when the AIBA Congress is held in South Korea in November of this year.
Ninvalle was elected in Barbados at a meeting attended by presidents of 13 Caribbean countries. He was nominated by Barbados and seconded by the US Virgin Islands.
Labeled a “firebrand” by his Caribbean counterparts, Ninvalle received the nod of all 13 after St. Lucia’s David Shakes Christopher bowed out of the race.
Contacted yesterday the GBA boss declared that the confidence shown on him by so many countries is heartening and gives him the opportunity, once elected, to fight for more assistance for Caribbean boxing.
Trinidadian James Beckles in explaining the executive post via telephone from Barbados, pointed that once elected, Ninvalle will be in an assistant Vice President capacity under Vice President Dr. Salano, who will seek re-election. Beckles noted that this is the first time that a rep from the English speaking Caribbean has been put up for this important election of the World amateur boxing body (AIBA) and he feels Ninvalle is a worthy candidate.
David Shakes Christopher, who stepped aside to let Ninvalle secure the nomination uninhibited, has been working closely with his Guyanese counterpart over recent times for the improvement of the sport. He said he felt his Guyanese brother was in a better position to push for the sport at that level and is looking forward for him getting the vote come November. Shakes, who is the St Lucia association President, said he will be lobbying all the other Caribbean territories and the Americas to support Ninvalle’s bid in Korea in November.
He sees this as a big step for the region as a whole and Guyana, with support from St Lucia, Barbados and Trinidad has been keeping boxing on the move in the Caribbean, noting that Guyana has the lone Olympic medalist in the sport in Michael Parris to date. Shakes feels that much more is needed in the Caribbean to break the Olympics jinx and with the right representation the international body could help in the moulding of the talent to see countries here putting their stamp on the Olympics and other top flight competitions as Cuba did in the past.
The meeting of Caribbean boxing head continues today.
National Women’s Basketball team named
The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) has named the women’s team to represent Guyana in the 2014 Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships in Tortola, July 8-12, British Virgin Islands.
The team includes: Natasha Alder (Captain), Shakelia Sampson, Sonia Rodney, Tamara Hunter, Shauna Chester, Kristy Roberts, Ginelle Ifill, Latoya Rodney, Philomena George, Kean Andrews, Necosia Mitchell and Natasha Andrews.
Head Coach of the team is Ann Gordon, Assistant Coach is Brian Carter and the Manager is Herbert Adams. The Guyana Women’s Basketball Team is scheduled to depart on July 6, after the departure of the male team today.
A release from the GABF yesterday said that Laquantor Gibson, a likely starter in the women’s team, was mostly unavailable for training sessions due to her participation in a training course with the Guyana Police Force and was unfortunately not included in the team.
However, three other Police Officers are included in the team, including Guyana team captain Alder, along with Roberts and Latoya Rodney. Daily training sessions continue at the National Sports Hall with the final the session scheduled for July 5.
GABF selects final men’s basketball team -Ansa McAl sponsors warm-up uniforms
The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) has named the National Men’s Basketball team that will compete at the Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championships in the British Virgin Islands with Ansa McAl sponsoring warm-up uniforms.
The GABF had shortlisted 18 players last weekend to continue training for selection on the final national roster, which was named on Thursday, according to GABF President, Nigel Hinds. The team features 15 players with 12 being chosen on game nights.
The 15 players selected include former NBA player, Rawle Marshall as Captain, Akeem Kanhai, Andrew Ifill, Andre De Florimonte, Dwayne Roberts, Ray Victor, Richard Hall, Ryan Stephney, Ryan Gullen, Shane Webster, Shelroy Thomas, Tyler Persaud, Keron McKenzie, Kevan Creppy and Gordon Klaiber.
The management team of the national unit include Pepsi Sonics Coach, Mark Agard as National Coach with Linden’s Amelia’s Ward Jets, Kevin Joseph as Assistant Coach. Initially, Guyana’s most successful domestic coach in the last season, Darcel Harris, was named Assistant to Agard, but for unknown reasons Harris showed no interest in the position.
The Team Manager is Plaisance Guardians Coach, Junior Hercules, while Colts’ Troy Greene is Assistant Manager. The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) accredited referee, Sherwin Henry, rounds up the 20-man Guyanese basketball contingent.
Of the 15 players selected, nine are overseas-based while six are locally based. Klaiber, who is a professional player in Japan, arrived in Guyana yesterday morning while the GABF was assured of verifying Guyanese citizenship for Creppy and Persaud.
Chris Williams, Royston Siland, Dave Causway and Travis Burnett, who are all locally-based, were the four players, who were dropped. The national men’s basketball team departs Guyana tomorrow for Tortola, British Virgin Islands for the July 1-12 Caribbean Confederation Championships. (Edison Jefford)
GAWA to conduct exhibition tomorrow – forms part of Olympic Day observance
In its continued efforts to revive the sport of weightlifting in Guyana, the Guyana Amateur Weightlifting Association (GAWA) will be conducting an exhibition on the basics of the sport tomorrow outside Demico Quick Serv, Croal Street.
According to General Secretary, Deion Nurse tomorrow’s exercise forms part of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) Olympic Day observances which saw a number of other sporting disciplines also holding activities.
GAWA will also be using the occasion to display its latest acquisition, two new weightlifting sets, a gift from the Pan American Weightlifting Federation (PAWF) which formed part of the regional body’s contribution to the development of the sport in Guyana.
Tomorrow’s activity will be held between 11:00hrs and 12:30hrs.
Women’s team CBC participation in limbo -Men assured of competing
By Edison Jefford
President of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF), Nigel Hinds has said that they have available funding to the send the men’s basketball team to the Caribbean Championship but the women’s team may be affected owed to inadequate funds.
Hinds had stated last week that the federation is in need of about US$35,000 more to send both of the teams to the Caribbean Confederation Championships (CBC) in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) July 1-12. He was updating Kaieteur Sport yesterday.
“We have money to send the men’s basketball team, but that may affect the women if we are to use all the resources on the men,” Hinds informed, adding that he may have to remain in Guyana to ensure that the women can secure enough funding to participate.
The national men’s team, currently 19 players, will be further reduced to 14 players this weekend to form the touring roster. The men are expected to depart for Tortola on Sunday with the women scheduled to leave on July 6 for the same British Virgin Island.
“We want to cover both teams (financially) and right now we do not have enough for both teams; we have enough for the men. We know for sure that the men are going,” Hinds continued, adding that they need another US$30,000 to send the women’s team.
Funding for national teams has been one of the serious hindrances to the development of local sport. Thus far, Office of the President, GT&T and John Fernandes Limited are among the major sponsors of the teams.
Other sponsors include Guyana Olympic Association, Windjammer Hotel and ANSA McAl. The door is still open for other sponsors as the federation remains in need of US$30,000 to offset the expenditure of their mammoth budget to participate in the 2014 competition.
According to Hinds, the teams are quality units and provide an excellent opportunity to corporate Guyana to support teams that could bring home the prestigious Caribbean title and move forward to the CentroBasket or Central American Championships.
“I have watched these players in awe and the leadership of former NBA player, Rawle Marshall and his skill-set is just amazing. He has become very valuable to the team, which is very strong, has experience and knowledge combined,” Hinds indicated.
The GABF President has said that all the locally-based players’ game has raised and Guyana will be very proud if both teams play to their potential in the British Virgin Islands. The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport has not responded to the GABF request for funding; the federation will host a fund raising party at the New Palm Court Thursday night.
Burnett back in national fold
Omitted point guard from the 18-man national basketball squad, Travis Burnett, was recalled to the team on Sunday
following a review. President of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF), Nigel Hinds confirmed the re-selection.
Burnett, who Kaieteur Sport saw among the squad at Friday night’s practice session, has been an intense play-maker and defensive guard for the Trinity Grid Holding Pacesetters team. Burnett is the leader of Pacesetters’ offence and is skilful in the paint.
His omission on Saturday from the 18-man squad was one of the big surprises in the team, more so given that Victory Valley Royals’ shooting guard, Chris Williams and Colts’ Dave Causway had made the cut. Burnett’s statistics over the last few years rank him among the top guards in Guyana.
Burnett was the last player to single-handedly win the male Inter-Guiana Games title for Guyana some years ago. Speaking to this newspaper Friday night, Burnett seemed very anxious about his national senior debut, and will be overjoyed with this second opportunity.
Fitness Express/GAPF Claude Charles Memorial, Intermediate & Masters C/ships…Chole Hunter, Roger Calender & Winston Stoby are overall champs
The Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation in association with main sponsor Fitness Express successfully brought off the 2014 edition of the Claude Charles Memorial Intermediate and Masters Championships at the YMCA yesterday.
Roger Calender of Fitness Freak Gym continued his fine showing after winning the Novice championships in April this year with the Overall Title yet again, this time at the Intermediate level. Calender also won the 74kg class.
Winston ‘Little Master’ Stoby continues to show class when he not only won his Masters 11 category but also copped the Overall accolade among the seven (7) Masters that competed.
In the female showdown, Chole Hunter of Buddy’s Gym, who had to settle for the overall third place at the Novice championships, corrected that this time around, winning the Overall title ahead of Novice winner, Andrea Smith of Body Max Gym.
Hunter who won the 52kg category and Smith, the 57kg division were the only two females on show. The appreciative audience was treated to a day of exciting lifts despite the rain that inundated the city.
The oldest competitor yesterday was former athlete and current President of the Guyana Amateur Weightlifting Association, 63 year-old Frank Tucker who competed in the Masters 3 division. The Guest Lifter was Rondell Clementson.
Following are some selected results; full results will be published subsequently.
Name Weight Class Total kg Wilks Placing Overall
Chole Hunter 52kg 307.5 398.643 1st 1st
Andrea Smith 57kg 302.5 375.432 1st 2nd
Ahmad Rozan 59kg 422.5 398.797 2nd
Navendra Tamessar 59kg 445 394.893 1st
Deonarine Dutt 74kg 547.5 406.792 2nd 3rd
Roger Calender 74kg 602.5 444.343 1st 1st
Orlando Dublin 83kg 600 411.6 1st 2nd
Dike Uto 83kg 497.5 338.3 3rd
Imran Mohamed 83kg 572.5 389.3 2nd
Martin Webster 93kg 542.5 350.4 1st
Kenny Mars 120kg 610 366.244 1st
Deonarine Dutt 74kg 547.5 406.792 3rd
Marlon Webster 93kg 542.5 350.4 4th
John Edwards 120kg 805 469.194 1st
Farouk Abdool 120kg 792.5 465.356 2nd
Winston Stoby 74kg 667.5 483 1st 1st
Errol Henry 93kg 615 397.22 2nd
Frank Tucker 105kg 380 332.902 1st
GABF shortlists National Men’s Basketball team
- Burnett omitted, GT&T commits $500,000
By Edison Jefford
The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) shortlisted the National Men’s Basketball team that will
compete at the Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championships in the British Virgin Islands yesterday with the surprise omission of guard, Travis Burnett.
The GABF shortlisted 18 players to continue training for selection on the national touring roster, which, according to Coach, Mark Agard will include 12 players and three standbys for a total of 15 players. No date was identified for the final selection of the team.
The shortlist include former NBA player, Rawle Marshall as Captain, Akeem Kanhai, Andrew Ifill, Andre De Florimonte, Chris Williams, Royston Siland, Dwayne Roberts, Ray Victor, Richard Hall, Ryan Gullen, Ryan Stephney, Shane Webster, Shelroy Thomas, Dave Causway, Tyler Persaud, Keron McKenzie, Kevan Creppy and Gordon Klaiber.
Of the 18 players selected, eight are overseas-based. McKenzie and Creppy will be joining the squad today, while Klaiber, who plays professional basketball in Japan, is scheduled to arrive in Guyana later this week owed to family commitments.
Burnett, who Kaieteur Sport saw among the squad at Friday night’s practice session, has been an intense play-maker and defensive guard for the Trinity Grid Holding Pacesetters team. Burnett is the leader of Pacesetters’ offence and is skilful in the paint.
His omission is one of the big surprises in the team, more so given that Victory Valley Royals’ shooting guard, Chris Williams and Colts’ Dave Causway made the latest cut. Burnett’s statistics over the last few years ranks him among the top guards in Guyana.
He was the last player to single-handedly win the male Inter-Guiana Games title for Guyana. His non-selection is definitely one of the big surprises so far; speaking to this newspaper Friday night Burnett seemed very anxious about his national senior debut. However, based on this most recent development, the wait continues for the top local point guard.
Meanwhile, Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GT&T) has stepped up with support for the team in the form of a $500,000 contribution. The CBC Championship will be held from July 1-12 with Guyana’s male team expected to depart on June 29, and the female team on July 6; the federation indicated that it would like to recognise GT&T as an official sponsor.
The uniform of the Guyana teams will bear the logos of GT&T and John Fernandes Limited. E-Networks is expected to carry the games live. Other sponsors of the national teams for CBC are Office of the President, Guyana Olympic Association, Windjammer Hotel and Ansa McAl. The door is still open to other sponsors as the federation remains in need of US$35,000 to offset the expenditure of their mammoth budget to participate in the 2014 competition.
Laured Stewart leaves for two year Australian boxing stint
The lack of frequent boxing cards has impacted negatively on local boxers and many of them are either throwing in the towel
or attempting to procure activity in other countries. This is so true of Lennox Allen, Gary St Clair and Leon ‘Hurry Up’ Moore among others, who have sought to improve their fortunes in the USA and Australia.
Another boxer, Laured Stewart has recently decided to follow the trail of his predecessors and is scheduled to leave these shores for Australia on a two year stint that will see him attempting to procure meaningful bouts on his way to international acclaim.
Stewart leaves Guyana early tomorrow morning on a stopover flight to the USA and subsequently continues to Australia where he is scheduled to commence his boxing sojourn under the wings of Peter Metriviski, a former three-time Australian Lightweight champion.
Kaieteur Sport spoke with Stewart yesterday morning and he said that he is delighted to have received such a chance to improve his boxing prowess. He said that former World Champion, Gary ‘Acid’ St. Clair, now residing in Australia, has been instrumental in his fortunes. He said that he will be trained by Johnny Lewis, best known for working with six World Champions, most notably, Jeff Fenech and Costya Tszyu.
Lewis is one of Australia’s most successful boxing trainers and in 2006 was inducted into the Australian Boxing Hall of Fame. He currently trains three top Australian pugilists, King Davidson, Leroy Brown and Luke Helm. Lewis currently operates at the Corporate Fitness Centre in Sydney, Australia.
Stewart is a relatively young professional with a 2-0 record. He won both, earning a lopsided points decision over Anson Greene in his debut fight July last year while stopping Eversley Browne in the first round in September of the same year on debut. Before that, Stewart had amassed an amateur record of 37 wins with 8 losses.
CBC challenge looms for Guyana
- Hinds says there are battles to be won
By Edison Jefford
President of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF), Nigel Hinds told
the media at a press conference yesterday at Windjammer International Hotel that Guyana still has major battles to win to get them to the Caribbean Basketball Championships.
Hinds said that the federation is doing its best to keep the local and overseas-based players’ minds focused on playing basketball in the midst of some financial challenges. He disclosed that GABF is still in need of US$35,000 to send both teams to the competition.
Guyana is expected to send male and female teams to the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships, July 1-12, British Virgin Islands. Hinds was aware of the magnitude of the undertaking but believes with corporate support it is possible.
“There are battles to be won. We have funding issues and while we are better off now than we were before, there has been sort of an ebb and flow. We have spoken to corporate Guyana, and we are awaiting a response,” Hinds told the media.
He said that the male team is expected to leave on June 29 while the female team leaves on July 6. According to Hinds, Guyana’s participation in CBC Championships goes beyond winning the title. It is a first step toward holistic basketball development.
“I can say that we are in the BVI but we still have some outstanding expenses and we hope some sponsors will come up,” Hinds related, adding that Office of the President has shown the biggest support thus far. He still believes Government can do more for the team.
In addition, he said that the Guyana Olympic Association, Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Co., John Fernandes, Ansa Mcal and Windjammer International Hotel has also show great support for the team., which Hinds believes, will make Guyana proud.
According to the GABF President, the skill set of the international players, which former NBA player Rawle Marshall leads, has had a direct impact on the improvement of the local players. He is of the view that the current positive spinoffs are immeasurable.
He urged all stakeholders to get behind the team, adding that schools and clubs should visit the practice sessions in the afternoons to see the high level of basketball on display. He said it is one of the biggest learning experiences the sport has had in recent times.
Hinds told Kaieteur Sport that Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony and the Director of Sport, Neil Kumar, were invited to yesterday’s press update on the status of the team, but did not show up. The final team will be named shortly.
Former NBA player arrives to fortify national team
- “… here to do some damage” – Rawle Marshall
By Edison Jefford
Former National Basketball Association (NBA) player with the Dallas Mavericks and Indiana
Pacers, Guyanese-American, Rawle Marshall arrived in Guyana yesterday to fortify the national team preparing for the upcoming Caribbean Championships.
Marshall, who plays in the small forward position, displayed his professional and excellent work ethic when he immediately bounced into practice at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, following his arrival. The Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships is set for Tortola, July 1-12, with the local team continuing to build support and momentum.
“It feels so good to be here; I was shown plenty of love and given a warm welcome. This is a big opportunity to come back (to Guyana) since playing ‘ball’ professionally,” Marshall, who migrated when he was four years old, told Kaieteur Sport.
The six foot, seven inches forward played most of his collegiate career at Oakland University. He played for Mavericks during the ’05-’06 NBA Season before he was traded to Pacers for the ’06-’07 season; Marshall also spent time playing in the NBA Development League prior to earning his contract in Europe.
The 32 year old player said he feels he has about five or more years left in the game and will be imparting his professional experiences in the national team. “I have an obligation to coach, teach, train and mentor these guys,” the pro-athlete indicated.
“I’ll try to give them the knowledge of the game that is required at the next level,” Marshall said about his role on the national roster. “I have come here to do some damage. I’m a winner and it’s what I am here to do,” he continued during our interview yesterday.
Asked about the depth of the Guyanese team and their chances, Marshall admitted that there is a lot of “talent” among those trying-out to make the final cut, but there is some work to be done to get them to the next level. “I know they will be looking at me to lead, but it is going to have to be a team effort and that is where the real challenge will be,” he said.
Apart from Marshall, Trinidad and Tobago-based veteran national forward, Andrew ‘Mr. Dunk’ Ifill was also visibly working out. Ifill believes that the efforts to bring together all of Guyana’s best players locally and internationally are finally a step in the right direction and one that could ultimately give Guyana the prestigious CBC title.
“This is very good and could only get better,” he said, adding “I think they (national federation) know what they have to do to win. Ifill was left off of the last roster owed to commitments in the neighbouring Venezuelan League where he played semi-professionally.
He said, like Marshall, that lots of talent abounds, but the problem for the team will be chemistry since it is the first time lots of the players are meeting each other. However, Ifill believes that the personal work ethic of players will overcome that challenge.
The team roster is internationally deep with players from the United States and Canada trying out along with those who are more certain of their place in the team. Kaieteur Sport understands that the federation has also sought the services of Los Angeles Clippers guard Darren Collison whose parents are Guyanese.
The aim is to send the best team possible to the British Virgin Islands in the hope of winning the title. The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation has scheduled a Press Conference for Thursday at 10am at Cara Lodge to officially introduce the team.
Trophy Stall on board with GAPF for upcoming competitions
Responsible corporate citizen, Trophy Stall has once again showed its commitment to the
development of sports across the board by partnering with the Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation for the Claude Charles Memorial Intermediate and Masters Powerlifting Championships set for June 22 at the YMCA, Thomas Lands.
Senior Employee, Mr. Ryan ‘Breezy’ Sealey handed over the Best Lifter trophy to GAPF Executive Member Erwyn Smith, informing that they have always been supportive of the sport over the past years.
Smith thanked Sealey and Manager Ramesh Sunich for their continued commitment to powerlifting in Guyana.
Trophy Stall has joined main sponsor Fitness Express as the two corporate entities on board with the GAPF for these competitions.
The federation will also be holding a fundraising bar-b-que on June 22 at the same venue of the competition.
Lifting time will commence at 10:00hsr with bar-b-que being served from 12:00hrs at the YMCA Grill.
Tickets are available at Basic Beauty or any member of GAPF.
Meanwhile, registration for the competition closed on Friday June 13; a total of 15 athletes will be competing in the male and female divisions.
Book Review…A poetic call to Identity and Nationhood
Book: Navel String by Adrian Augier
Reviewer: Dr Glenville Ashby
Adrian Augier’s Navel String is a paradoxical treatise. A fine work that reveals the inexorable pain of displaced souls. Its “Socratic,”didactic and compelling, with a palpable sense of foreboding, a looming spectre of a dissociative identity in need of repair.
Augier wobbles, psychologically. No fault of his. It’s the way of the authentic poet – blessed and cursed.
His work bears this out. In discursive moments, he tackles the assault on nature, remaining figuratively robust…But it is his psycho-cultural journeys that claw at you, clinging, hauntingly.
Where is Augier’s navel string? Where are ours? Is it in this land we have forcibly adopted, or is it elsewhere? There is no easy response. The draw of the drums and the beckoning of the ancestral past cannot be dismissed, although we have tried. We are part of a cultural gestalt. It is suicidal to disengage. “No, it is not forbidden to go fetch what you have left behind, but hurry. And look well, believer, on the glorious Sankofa’s tail,” he writes in Sankofa, Song of Job.
A people, a nation, and a sense of self are keys to actualization. Lo, this hasn’t been our experience. Hence the insomniacal spells, the yearning, the cries to be heard, and the anguish. This is the power of Augier’s work
He excels philosophically, and can also rile the burdened from their slumber. A provocateur, he is. His anger boils over. Meanwhile, lyrically, he waves a hypnotic wand. His words are poetically biting, at times loud, and never short on imaginative clout. In Who Cannot Sleep, he writes: “And fear, recently insubstantial becomes suddenly bone, incarnate muscle, violence so irrepressible that it will find a weapon to avenge the deeds that signed away the future.”
In that thematic vein is “Listen to the Dark Young Men.” On this socio-historical canvas, the perennial plight of those beaten down is painted in bold colours. His fiery pen talks to you: “They could leap and leave behind the servitude, the persistent poverty, or, just as easily they could stay, and any day, set aflame the city.”
Two worlds co-exist, but the author is imprisoned in his home, his native land, the land that evokes beauty and delivers pain. Its folklore is frightening, embedded in magic, the mystical. It’s awe inspiring and welcomes the enquiry of the artist, but also horrifies him. The Soukouyan and Ladjablesse mystify and defy explanation. It is a bitter-sweet pill to swallow, leading Augier to ask rhetorically “You should run, but where? This is the $64,000 question that bestrides “In Return to Lusca.” Its ambivalence underscores Augier’s undertaking. “Seeking salvation, an early poet eyed her soul and called this island Lusca – an anagram for saint or child, or worse, a blessed abomination, a bolom drunk with laughter caught in the stunning light of early morning-after.”
And in the Psalmic reverberations of “Did I not lift Mine Eyes,” Augier has produced his most evocative piece. It encapsulates the darkness and extinguished hope of so many of his renditions. It is bold, putting God on the spot. Why? Why can I not hate? Why cannot I exact revenge? Augier asks questions we dare not ask, although we have entertained them, silently, with guilt.
“Did I not hold firm in the heated breath of their brewing storms and pray to you through all temptations?” he asks….”Did I not kneel? Lord, you know all not I, who can only look upon your hills, but if not from you and son then whence, how, and why not now, cometh our help?”
Augier’s world is dark, almost. Devastation awaits our progeny as he warns in “Inheritance.” May be there is but a sliver of hope. But that seems always smothered by the reality of life’s brutality. However, not many poets can lift the spirit with pain. Augier does. There is a light in the abyss – flashes of enlightenment. Augier’s pain eventually transcends the physical, till it no longer exists. Curiously, it eventually assumes a transcendental and ineffable emotion that somehow comforts the reader.
Follow me on Twitter@glenvilleashby
Navel String by Adrian Augier, 2012
Peepal Tree Press
Be a part of Guyana’s basketball history
As I observed historic happenings and events of recent history around the world, I am forced to recognize the impact sports on the whole have on one’s country. According to Bob Swanson, “No matter your race, gender, age, an ethnicity, or religion, sport is our common bond. In times of racism and hatred, the American society use sports as a crutch.”
An examination of the relationship between academics and sports will reveal a direct positive correlation. According to Science Daily the source for the latest research news: ‘Academic performance is better if young people play sports competitively’
Is a sport just a game? The impact that sports has on one’s economy is remarkable. In the United States of America alone it generates 14.3 billion per annum. The byproducts that sports generate in terms of jobs are unbelievable. Guyana, it is time for us to see sports for what it can do for our country. Let us use the United States of America as a model for sports development.
Jamaica has significantly invested into sports and the results are remarkable, example: Usain Bolt who is an internationally recognized sports personality. It is therefore important to note that we don’t confuse a donation with an investment. An investment should be a tool for moulding the life and future of whatever it is put towards.
I said all the above to say this: the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) is preparing to send a national senior male and female basketball team to participate in the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC). This tournament will attract the best basketball athletes from the Caribbean, Americas and North America to some extent. It is an excellent opportunity for our country’s flag and a corporate(s) logo to be displayed. Companies that are seeking to break into the regional markets will be offered an excellent branding opportunity. These games will be televised and covered by Caribbean sports media.
The stakeholders of our national pride have to step up and be excited to offer funding for such a venture. Whether it is the government, companies or the diaspora, every effort should be made to contribute towards making this national venture a success. I believe the GABF has the right pieces involved to ensure transparency and accountability where funding is concerned.
Be a part of Guyana’s basketball history by making a contribution towards sending Guyana’s male and female teams to the British Virgin Islands in July – between the 1st and 12th – to represent our country. Persons desirous of making a contribution can visit www.guyanabasketball.com.
Junior Andrew Hercules
Manager of Guyana Male Basketball Team
Guyana Men’s B/Ball team hunts first ever Caribbean title …
Looks to emulate women’s team 1996 victory
By Sean Devers
The National Male Basketball team hunts their first ever Caribbean title in this
year’s Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships scheduled for Tortola, BVI from July 1-5 and their hopes should hinge on how well their overseas players gel with the locals. The overseas players should all be in Guyana by June 24.
The only time this country won any senior Caribbean Basketball was in 1996 when the Women’s team took the Championship title in Trinidad & Tobago.
Back then the Women’s team was aided by the inclusion of seven overseas players and the 2014 Men’s side could take some inspiration from that fact.
While this year’s National Women’s team will have only a single overseas player in Philomena George, who plays in Trinidad, for their leg of the tournament which runs from July 8-12, the Men’s team, set to depart for the BVI on June 29, will have a player who played in the NBA among their overseas recruits in 32-year-old Rawle Marshall.
Marshall is the first Guyanese born NBA player. He currently plays professional basketball in Europe and is scheduled to arrive next Monday. Marshall played in the NBA in 2005 and 2007.
The 38-year-old Jason Misfire, who played in the NBA in 1999, is the only other Guyanese-born player to have played in the NBA.
Darren Collision, who helped the Los Angeles Clippers to the Quarterfinals in this season’s NBA, was born in California to Guyanese parents. Both of his parents are from Guyana where his mother, former World Ranked 400-meters runner June Griffith, dominated on the track in the 1970s.
National Head Coach Mark Agard explained that by coming in almost three weeks before the Guyanese depart for the BVI on June 29, it will also mean both the overseas and the locals will be on the same page unlike in their last tournament in the Bahamas when some of the overseas players only joined the rest of the Guyana team when they were already in the Bahamas.
Coach Agard told Kaieteur Sport, the availability of overseas players, who play a higher level of Basketball in their various colleges, increases the chances of Guyana winning by 80%.
The Persaud brothers (Tyler & Damian), Richard Hall, who toured Croatia with a United States team, are already in the country and are of Guyanese parents.
However, overseas players 6ft 9 inch Japanese-based Forward 31-year-old Gordan Klaiber, Delroy James, Steffan Farley, Ray Victor and Trinidad based 35-year-old Andrew Ifill, who is the oldest player invited to the ‘try outs’ and Marshall, were all born in Guyana.
According to the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) the entity has to raise $12 million for the trip to Tortola and has so far accumulated about 35% of that amount even with the $2 million contribution by the Government.
The GABF is appealing to Government, the private sector and other sponsors to support their fund raising drive.
Meanwhile, the National Men’s and Women’s teams along with the Guyana Under-19 Squad presently training for the Inter-Guiana Games scheduled for August in Guyana, will continue training sessions on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sunday at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) from 18:00hrs each day.
‘Agricolians’ recognize Clive Atwell’s world tile feat with fitting ceremony
Multiple boxing champion and world rater, Clive Atwell’s recent bid to relieve World Boxing Council Featherweight champion, Mexican, Johnny Gonzalez, of his title failed after the bout was halted on a technicality in the tenth round.
Nevertheless, residents of the Agricola EBD community, where Atwell lived during his formative years, hold Atwell in high esteem and yesterday afternoon the Agricola Central Management Committee organized a motorcade around the village, followed by a fitting ceremony at the Community Centre where several notable residents heaped praise on the aspiring world champion.
The group convened at the Evan Phillips Park in Agricola around 15:00hrs yesterday afternoon and with Atwell aback a vehicle provided by Director of Youth and Sport, Neil Kumar, trooped through the village before proceeding to Eccles, where Atwell now resides, before retracing their steps to the Donald Allison Agricola Community Centre where a wide cross section of important individuals delivered glowing tributes to the featherweight world contender.
Mr. Kumar was a no show even though he was supposed to have delivered the keynote address and his unexplained absence was regarded as absolutely disrespectful and uncaring. Nevertheless, the organizers had no problem finding an adequate replacement since Deputy Major, Patricia Chase Green, also attended the function and performed the honours.
The City Hall official was livid and lashed out at the Director of Sport saying that his attitude was a true reflection of the disrespect and contempt he holds for local boxers. “If Atwell had returned with the belt I doubt whether I would have been able to get near him; he would have been flooded by top government officials,” declared Green. She said that the least Kumar could have done was to offer an apology for his absence and send someone to deputise for him. “We have to stand behind our boxers through thick and thin,” proclaimed the Deputy Mayor. She then presented Atwell with a certificate in recognition of his outstanding talent and world class recognition on behalf of the city of Georgetown.
Earlier, local songbird, Charmaine Blackman, also a resident of Agricola, fittingly honoured Atwell in song, “Follow your dreams;” “Don’t let nobody tell you that you cannot make it………just follow your dreams,” she serenaded the champ.
Another singer, granddaughter of calypsonian, Malcolm Corrica, Faith Corrica, belted out her lyrics, “great things are yet to come,” much to the approval of Atwell who sat at the head table along with Green, Councillor, Ranwell Jordan, Coordinator, Natasha Corrica and Pastor Gladstone Denny.
Bishop Ivan John heralded Atwell as a role model of the generation while urging him to remain focused. “You were unsuccessful in bringing home the bacon but I urge you to remain focused and the bacon they took from you will give them indigestion,” declared the Bishop to mild chuckles from the gathering.
Indeed, the tributes were many and came from such notables as social activist, Mark Benschop, who said that he was proud of Atwell’s achievements, boxing coach, Paulette Nurse, who chronicled Atwell’s arduous journey from the amateur to the professional ranks and former President of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA), Afeeze Khan, who spoke of his input in Atwell’s development even as the champ sought glory further afield in the United States of America, Italy and Brazil among other countries.
Atwell was very appreciative of the gesture and related that much when he delivered a short speech later in the evening. A devout Christian, he credited his achievement to God even as he committed to continue working with youths in Agricola and other communities to improve their lives.
Chairperson, Natasha Corrica’s contribution was highlighted with an acrostic of Atwell that truly highlighted the value of his contribution while Welton Clarke, a true village person, delivered the vote of thanks.
While the glowing words and fitting tributes compensated somewhat for his performance, it was the final gesture that put the proverbial ‘icing on the cake when Mr. Clark slipped a beautiful gold ring on Atwell’s finger, donated by the residents in acknowledgement of his worthwhile contribution to the upliftment of the East Bank village.
“The future is still bright,” he reminded Atwell as the shiny piece of jewellery exchanged hands.
President Ramotar commissions new basketball facility in Ithaca
Residents of Ithaca, West Bank Berbice on Monday afternoon last turned out in their numbers to witness President Donald Ramotar commission a new Basketball court there.
The Head of State urged the people to take full advantage of the facility which was constructed under the President’s Youth Initiative Programme. President Ramotar said that the court will be further developed so that it can be used for longer periods. He pointed out that the investment will benefit the youths and encouraged them to train hard so that they can achieve greater heights.
The President stated that sport is important because it contributes significantly to the development of the society. “Sport teaches life skills because of its rules and it also promotes discipline,” he added.
“Sport makes an important contribution to development of human capital; it keeps individuals fit and helps with their education because it creates a healthier mind,” he said.
President Ramotar explained that the biggest expenditure in the government budget is in the social sector because it plays an important role in the building of human capital. He pointed out that countries like Japan develop because they have the highest level of education which offers equal opportunity for progress in society and it is vital in ending poverty,” he argued.
Meanwhile, President of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) Nigel Hinds said he hopes the youths will utilize the facility and urged them to become affiliated to the Berbice Amateur Basketball Association. He said that he is pleased with the development of the sport and expressed gratitude to President Ramotar for his input.
Region Six Chairman Bindraban Bisnauth informed that the project was long overdue, adding that they have had some hiccups. He thanked Presidential Advisor Odinga Lumumba and the residents.
Lumumba stated that sport is important to the government and that a basketball tournament will be organized in the area in another four to five months.
Meanwhile, in an invited comment, captain of the Ithaca Hardliners Basketball club, Phillip Fernandes thanked the government and said this initiative will go a far way in the development of the sport in the community stating that it will keep the youths meaningfully occupied.
Early arrival of overseas players good for chemistry
Funding for National team still a worry
By Sean Devers
The Persaud brothers (Tyler and Damian) are already here. The siblings arrived in Guyana from Canada yesterday with their parents and paid a short visit to the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) where the local players practiced yesterday morning. The Persauds will practice with the team tomorrow.
The early arrival of the overseas players for training with the National Male Basketball team set to compete in the Caribbean Basketball Confederation 2014 Championships scheduled for Tortola, BVI running from July 1-5, is good for the Chemistry of the team says Head Coach Mark Agard.
“All the players should be here by June 24 and the overseas guys should provide good chemistry for the team, while at the same time the public will get a chance to see how the locals match up to them,” Agard said.
Agard explained that by coming in almost three weeks before the Guyanese depart for the BVI on June 29, it will also mean both the overseas and the locals will be on the same page unlike in their last tournament in the Bahamas when some of the overseas players only joined the rest of the Guyana team when they were already in the Bahamas.
The Head Coach feels the availability of overseas players who play a higher level of Basketball in their various Colleges increase in the chances of the South American’s winning by 80%.
The first Guyanese born NBA player, 32-year-old Rawle Marshall, who currently plays professional basketball in Europe, will arrive next Monday, the same day 26-year-old Ray Victor is expected to arrive from the BVI. Keron McKenzie, Andre De Florimonte and Steffon Farley are some of the other overseas players expected to vie for selection.
Former National player Lugard Mohan, regarded by many as one of the better Coaches in Guyana agreed with Agard. “I believe that the local players are close to the standard of their Regional counterparts but lack game experience at that level. The other teams have all of their overseas stars available and that makes a big difference,” Mohan opined.
Agard also feels there is not much difference in the standard of play between the Guyana players and those from the rest of the Caribbean, however, Agard says, the biggest problem faced by the Guyanese is their lack of exposure to international matches due to a lack of funding.
“We need to get a look at the overseas guys before the final touring squad is selected but we have some outstanding local guys like Akeem Kanhai, Dwayne Roberts and Jermaine Slater, but sad to say a lack of funding prevents our talented guys from getting more exposure. We are building towards a fund raising drive to get more overseas trips for our teams and have a five-year plan to take Guyana to the top of Caribbean Basketball but we need financial support,” Agard, a former National player, informed.
While 82 games are played in the NBA alone, Guyana only play about three matches at International level in a year and sometimes none at all. However, Talent Scouts will be in Tortola which should inspire the Guyanese to work for College contracts which could then lead to an NBA draft.
“If we buy 19 tickets we get one free from the airline so we are looking to go with a 20-man squad of players and officials which should give a few more players a chance to make the tour. Not only should the overseas players increase Guyana’s chances of winning but it should also force the local guys to improve their game,” Agard said.
The Guyana Head Coach informed that all of the overseas players have paid their own passage to come here and there is no guarantee that they will be selected. Once they get to Georgetown the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) will take care of them.
The Head Coach concluded by thanking everyone who contributed especially the Government and the business Community but lamented that a lot more funding is still required.
GABF President Nigel Hinds informed that all players must attend practice sessions during the last week of training so as the ‘gel’ as a team.
Hinds, a former National player, also informed that three female players will be coming to ‘beef up’ the National female side that begins their campaign in the BVI on July 8.
The GBBF top man disclosed that team uniforms will be collected in Tortola and bemoaned the fact that Basketball needs a lot of funding for its developmental programmes, adding that unlike Cricket and Football who receive funding from their parent bodies (WICB and FIFA respectively) Basketball depends on local funding and Hinds feels the Government should contribute more.
“While the lack of exposure is a problem another big problem has been migration, which has badly hurt Guyana’s basketball,” Hinds said.
Hinds opined that the training and commitment of the players is not what it should be. “Players don’t remain after practice to do extra work like the players of the past did. I hope the work ethic of the overseas players motivate the others.” He has high hopes in Ravens’ Akeem Kanhai, who he described as the face of Guyana’s basketball.
“Basketball is the fastest growing sport in Guyana but the absence of Coaches at school and club level affects the skill level of the local players. Guyana have place among the first two teams in this year’s CBC to qualify for the next level and we feel we have a great chance of winning,” Hinds said.
Hinds also lamented the lack of funding for the team which will be flying the Golden Arrow Head in the BVI next month and urged the business sector and the Government to do more to support the National Basketball team.