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Warm-up Pool a necessary requirement for International competition…

February 28, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Says President Ramotar at Commissioning of Pool

President Donald Ramotar yesterday morning commissioned the warm-up

From left - President of Consonat Juan Carkos, Sports Minister Dr Frank Anthony, President Donald Ramotar, President of GASA Ivan Persuad & VP of FINA Dale Neuburger at yesterday’s Commissioning of Warm-up Pool.

From left – President of Consonat Juan Carkos, Sports Minister Dr Frank Anthony, President Donald Ramotar, President of GASA Ivan Persuad & VP of FINA Dale Neuburger at yesterday’s Commissioning of Warm-up Pool.

pool at the National Aquatic Centre and told the gathering, which included Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr Frank Anthony, President of the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) Ivan Persaud, as well as FINA Vice-President Dale Neuburger, South America Swimming Confederation President, Juan Carlos Ortheila, Director of Sport Neil Kumar, that the Warm-up Pool was a necessary requirement for International competitions to be staged in Guyana.
The Guyanese Head-of-State disclosed at the official Commissioning Ceremony that the Government has invested in two world class sporting facilities in the Providence Stadium and now the National Aquatic Centre, while the Athletics track in West Demerara is nearing completion.
Construction of the 25-metre long warm-up pool began in September 2013 and now complements the 50 meter Olympic-size pool which was commissioned in 2011 by former President Bharrat Jagdeo.
Kumar in his remarks said that President Ramotar made good on the promise made by Jagdeo to ensure International competition here.

The Warm up Pool at the National Aquatic Centre.

The Warm up Pool at the National Aquatic Centre.

Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, Alfred King, in his review of the project pointed out that the addition to the facility is testament to the government’s commitment towards developing sports in Guyana.
King said that there were many challenges with the underground work to this pool becoming a reality which caused a six-month delay and an increase in cost.
The warm-up pool is 21 metres wide and has a shallow end and a deep end ranging between 1.175m and 1.82m. The foundation for the pool was done by D & S Construction at a cost of $37.3M, while the pre-fabricated pool was sourced from, and installed by Myrtha Pools, the same company that supplied the pre-fabricated structure for the initial 50m pool.
With the warm-up pool now completed it still require a few other amenities such as an

National School of Dance perform at the Commissioning of the Warm-up pool.

National School of Dance perform at the Commissioning of the Warm-up pool.

electronic timing system, before the facility can meet the ultimate criteria for an International standard-approved facility.
Dr Anthony stressed the importance of exercise and said this facility will now fulfill dreams of Guyana winning an Olympic gold in swimming in the not too distant future since the new facility should encourage improved performances.
He also disclosed that he has written the University of Guyana and the CPC in addition to all schools in the area encouraging them to utilize the facility. Members of the public can also use the pool once they do so in a structured manner.
Yesterday’s ceremony included interfaith prayers from the three major religious groups in the Guyana, (Muslims, Hindus and Christians), a cultural display, with steel pan music from the National Steel Orchestra, mixed African and Indian drumming, a dance by the  National dance troupe, an Aquatic display from some of the national swimmers.

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GASA Mashramani Long Course Meet swims off today at NAC

February 28, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

The nation’s swimmers will be locked in battle from today when the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association

Hannibal Gaskin

Hannibal Gaskin

(GASA) commences the 2015 season with the staging of its first Long Course Swim Meet at the National Aquatic Centre, Liliendaal.
The Mashramani Meet which ends tomorrow will also be used as Time Trials for this year’s CARIFTA Swim Meet which will be held in Barbados in April. Stephanie Fraser, who is an iconic figure when it comes to coaching swimmers in Guyana, will be in charge of a group of young and strong swimmers in the different age groups hoping to qualify for the CARIFTA Swim Meet.
Fraser has coached two Olympians in Brittany van Lange and Niles Roberts who swam at the 2012 Olympics in London and today she will be by the poolside cheering her junior boys and girls on hoping that they will swim the times needed to qualify for the CARIFTA Meet.
The junior boys that will be representing Fraser’s club, Dorado Swim Club (DSC) are Hannibal Gaskin, Omar Adams and Joseph de Nobrega swimming in the 15-17 age group. Daniel Scott and Antonio Hussein will compete in the 13-14 group that is anticipated to produce close and competitive battles from start to finish.
Action time today is from 10:30hrs.

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Dorado Swim Club training programme facilitated by FINA’s Powers

February 27, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Swimmers of the Dorado Swim Club (DSC) are now benefitting from an eight-day training programme which

Rick Powers

Rick Powers

is being run by United States based Level Five Coach and FINA lecturer Rick Powers.
The clinic started on Saturday last at the National Aquatic Centre, Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara. Twelve students ranging from ages 14-18, both male and females and coaches are undergoing various lessons in the sport including stroke technique, conditioning, sprint training, aerobic and test sets to evaluate the progress of the swimmers.
Speaking with Kaieteur Sport yesterday at the Centre, Coach Powers said he is impressed with the interest shown by the athletes. “The attendance is great, the performance has been good, the swimmers have the right attitude and have shown a lot of improvement,” he added.
He pointed out that the purpose of the camp which is free of cost is to improve the knowledge and skills of the coaches and swimmers and to give moral support and make them feel someone cares about them.
However, the coach who is on his fourth visit to Guyana, expressed disappointment with the treatment meted out to swimmers of the club by the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA).
“I want to make a contribution to the sport here, but I am pretty upset with the direction swimming is going in Guyana and the DSC is suffering because of path GASA is heading. So I came to work with the DSC so the swimmers can benefit,” he stated.
Powers explained that these swimmers are not being fully exposed. “They are

Coach Rick Powers (standing centre) makes a point to the swimmers during yesterday’s session in the presence of DSC coaches Shyka Gonsalves (left) and Stephanie Fraser.

Coach Rick Powers (standing centre) makes a point to the swimmers during yesterday’s session in the presence of DSC coaches Shyka Gonsalves (left) and Stephanie Fraser.

not being given a reasonable opportunity to showcase their talent because of poor decision making by GASA. For example, swimmers are not getting an opportunity to compete in their favourite events because those events are not being included on the GASA programme (upcoming Mash Meet) which is standard events in competitions.
He said that there is talent, but one can only do so much because the next step is with GASA who have to ensure that they get the right competitions. “They must care about the success of the swimmers and I hope that these athletes will be given an equal opportunity to showcase their talent,” Powers lamented.
The coach indicated that the genetic makeup of athletes must be taken into consideration. “One has to take into account the genetic makeup of the swimmers, but this is being ignored by GASA.
The coach stated that in 2012 and 2013 he conducted FINA Level One and Two certified courses here, but to date those coaches have not received their certificates even though they paid for it through GASA.
Powers informed that GASA maintain their power by votes of the clubs so they are not accepting new clubs. “Sea Otters applied for membership in June 2014 and are still waiting on a response. Water Polo is another such club,” he said. The course concludes tomorrow.

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GASA Mashramani Long Course Meet looms

February 21, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

The best swimmers in the land are set to match strides when the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) commences its 2015 season with the hosting of the Mashramani Long Course Meet on Saturday February 28 at the National Aquatic Centre, Liliendaal.
This Meet will also be used as Time Trials for the 2015 CARIFTA Swim Meet which will be held in Barbados in April this year.
They are two junior girls in the 13-14 age group who will be the talking point of the day when the action begins and that will be Amy Grant and Kenita Mahaica who were both swimming very well last year and will push each other all the way to the finish.
The last thing any swimmer wants to encounter before one of the biggest swim meet of the year is a virus, but that is what Amy Grant is facing as the trials to the CARIFTA Meet approaches.
Grant has contracted a bug that kept her out of the water last week and when she returned Monday she made it worse and now she is suffering from a relapse.
After visiting the doctor Thursday morning last, Grant was instructed to stay out of the water until the course of the medication is finished and she has stopped coughing. She is expected to be back in the pool by the 25th of February, three days before the meet.
The older junior girls swimming in the 15-17 group the likes of Onika George and Accalia Khan will be hoping to set a record time which will see them through this time trial for CARIFTA 2015.
But it won’t be easy to swim the qualifying times set for CARIFTA in each event so the girls might have to select their best events and try their utmost to compete at this level.
Brittany van Lange is also enduring a set back as she has been faced with one illness after another. She has returned three weeks ago and it is hoped that she is fit enough to swim her key events.

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NGOs called on to submit entries

February 21, 2015 | By | Filed Under News 

-   As film festival deadline nears
The organizers of the Loyola Documentary Film Festival are hoping for further success and improved participation, particularly from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as the deadline for this year’s festival

One of last year’s participants as she accepted an award from Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Frank Anthony.

One of last year’s participants as she accepted an award from Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Frank Anthony.

draws nearer.
This is according to Coordinator Samanthani Singh who further told this newspaper that the organizers are hoping for more submissions this year.
This year’s festival was launched in July 2014 and Singh said that to date there had been no submissions. She explained that this was because it was still early. She said entrants would usually wait until the deadline was very close before making their submissions.
Singh said too, that a year was given to allow the entrants adequate time to research, film and edit their work.
For the 2014 festival, Singh said there were only a handful of submissions. She added that the figure was slightly lower than the judges would have wanted, but the quality of the works had been very impressive.
“Last year there were about 6 entries. We were hoping for at least 10 but what really mattered to us was that those ones were very well done,” Singh said. Five of the submissions had been in the amateur category while only one (1) had been submitted as professional work.
She expressed hope that this year’s festival will see the participation of some NGOs in sticking with the festival’s mandate to highlight social, economic and political issues which affect the Guyanese society. Further, she called on schools to become involved in the festival.
Singh also said that the organizers are providing services and advice to persons in the amateur category in terms of editing and composition.
Last year, some students from the University of Guyana made an impressive submission and Singh hopes that this year will see more work of a high caliber.
“The entry from UG was in the amateur category but it was very professionally done, so this year if they enter again it will be in the professional category,” she said.
Meanwhile, the judges for this year’s festival are yet to be selected. Last year, submissions were judged by a panel of multi-talented, well-known Guyanese: Francis Quamina Farrier, Margaret Lawrence and Kojo McPherson.
According to Singh, hundreds of thousands of dollars are up for grabs; in both the amateur and professional categories, the first place winner will be awarded $200,000 along with an award and a certificate. Second place winners will earn $100,000 and an award with a certificate while third place winners will be given awards and certificates.
Producers are considered amateur if they have some idea of film productions but had never made a production for public airing on television. Professionals, she said, must have at least a year experience in film or television production. Further, a submission may be done as an individual, an independent group or a corporate group.
The registration fee for amateur producers and professional producers are $5,000 and $7,000 respectively with a $2,000 late fee in each category. The official deadline is June 15, while the late deadline is June 30, Singh added.
The 2014 festival saw the Catholic Media Group partnering with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport. Singh explained that the ministry came onboard and promised to set aside $1M each year to support the festival’s continuance.

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Packed schedule planned for powerlifters

February 17, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Pan Am and Commonwealth C/ships on GAPF radar

By Franklin Wilson
The Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation (GAPF) has released a packed schedule of activities for the next two years with numerous local and international competitions targeted to keep lifters in pristine condition

Tia Telford

Tia Telford

and shape.
Activities have already commenced with the hosting of a successful Novice and Junior Championship which attracted 39 lifters including six (6) females.
And while there would be adequate competition for athletes both local and international, the GAPF will be equally focused on training in the other departments to ensure the holistic development of the sport which has brought glory to the Land of Many Waters.
Shortly the federation will commence a series of Coaches and Referee courses aimed at widening and strengthening the pool of officials at the local and International levels.
Sessions reviewing the constitution so that Gyms can become au fait with the rules are also being planned by the governing body, while Anti Doping seminars to continue the ongoing education of athletes and coaches will continue with assistance from the Ministry of Sport.
The federation has commenced a rigorous programme to introduce the Differently Able (Blind and Visually Impaired) to the sport and this programme which takes place every Saturday at

Shellon Nicholas

Shellon Nicholas

the National Gymnasium, Mandella Avenue, and has attracted eight (8) athletes so far has been going very well according to GAPF President, Peter Green.
A new addition to the powerlifting calendar will be the Best of the Best championships set for April 26, 2015 where the top three national lifters in each weight category would be invited to compete including those from the just concluded Novices who have shown the ability to achieve exceptional totals on par with some of the senior athletes.
The federation has stated that invitations will be sent out shortly to the lifters concerned with spaces being made available to the next best ranked lifter should the higher ranked decline. Lucrative prizes will be at stake.
Green notes that in terms of international competition, the Caribbean Championships which were originally set for this March in Guyana will now be held during the same month in 2016. This is so since the NAPF will be focusing on its premier tournament, the Regionals.
When questioned if Guyana will be participating, Green responded: “Guyana is not allowed to participate in NAPF Regionals as we are listed in the FESUPO South American block, we can only lift in the Caribbean (NAPF).
Local lifters will focus their attention on the Pan American Championships set for Brazil in September as well as the Commonwealth Championships in Canada in December this year.
Zooming on the just concluded Novice and Junior Championships; Green said that it was a success from a participatory stand point having attracted 39 lifters including 6 females and 24 males in the novices, while there were 7 males in the junior competition.
Orin Alleyne (83kg class) of Upper Demerara Barbel Club won the overall Novice category with Rudolph Blackman copping the junior title while teenager Britney Mack upstaged her challengers to take the female title.
Green admitted that the running of the two separate categories continues to pose a challenge at the administrative level. The weigh-in commenced at 07:00hrs and the championships concluded after 20:00hrs, a long and arduous day for all.
“What also contributed to a long and physically taxing day was the non implementation of entrance rules introduced by the GAPF to prevent late entries as dictated by International standards.”
The adherence to the entry deadline is necessary to allow the championship scorer to input all the data of entries in a timely manner. Green stated that there will be no more compromising of the entry requirements at future competitions. “No late entries will be tolerated.”
There were also issues with the certified computer scorer whose absence forced other table officials to operate the system manually which took twice the time normally taken to insert the relevant information.
To address the issue of not having long days at competition, Green said that they will return to hoisting the novices only in January next year, while the National Juniors will be run alongside the National Seniors in October this year.

2015 CALENDAR
Month                 Date                Activity                                          Venue
March                         22nd                           AGM                                           National Resource Center

April                            26th                 Champion of Champions
Junior/Open C/ships                              Georgetown

May                             24th             Berbice Power Bash – Push and Pull (classic)   Rosignol

24th                 Bench Press (classic)                                 Rosignol

June                           28th                 Intermediate C/ships                                Georgetown
28th                 Masters (Cat. 1 – 4) C/ships                       Georgetown

28th        Blind and Visually Impaired competition      Georgetown

August                      9th        Summer Power Bash – Push & Pull (raw)     East Bank Demerara

October                   4th                   National Raw Classic C/ships                       Georgetown

National Seniors/Junior C/ships                     Georgetown

Blind/Visually Impaired Open Championships                Georgetown

November            1st         End of year Power Bash (Bench Press) Raw and Equipped   Georgetown

2016 CALENDAR

February          7th                   AGM                                                                  National Resource Center
March              TBA                NAPF/IPF Caribbean C/ships                      Princess Hotel EBD
Blind & Visually Impaired C/ships                                   Berbice
April                24th                 Novices                                                                                   Berbice

May                 29th                 Linden Power Bash – Push & Pull (classic)               Linden

29th                 Bench Press (classic)                                                           Linden

June                26th                 Intermediate Championships                                     Georgetown

26th                 Masters (Cat. 1 – 4)        C/ships                                 Georgetown

August            14th                 Summer Power Bash Push and Pull (Raw)          East Bank Demerara

28th (TBC)      South American Championships                                 Princess Hotel

October           23rd                 National Raw Classic C/ships                                          Georgetown

National Open C/ships                                             Georgetown

Blind/Visually Impaired Open C/ships                          Georgetown

November       1st          End of year Power Bash (bench press) raw and Equipped     Georgetown

December   4th                   National Junior /Senior C/ships                                           Georgetown

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National Basketball Championships begin tonight

February 15, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

-Four Linden vs G/town battles on the cards
The National Basketball Championships: The Road to Mecca II begins tonight at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall with four Linden teams taking on four teams from Georgetown in the knockout event from 5pm at the indoor

FLASHBACK! Pacesetters’ forward, Jermaine Hamilton (#12) goes off the glass with a jumper in the paint in the National Championships last year against a Linden team. The 2015 National Championships begin tonight at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.

FLASHBACK! Pacesetters’ forward, Jermaine Hamilton (#12) goes off the glass with a jumper in the paint in the National Championships last year against a Linden team. The 2015 National Championships begin tonight at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.

venue.
The number six ranked team nationally from the National Championships last year, Pepsi Sonics begin proceedings against the number 11 ranked Half Mile Bulls from Linden before the seventh ranked Kings take on the 10th ranked Georgetown Masters.
Kings come in with a good chance to make the Super Eight against the Georgetown Masters, who will feature most of its players from yesteryear. The Masters team, however, has been competing consistently with former national point guard and Caribbean All-Star, Lugard Mohan leading the team.
Mohan was among the top scorers in the tournament in the Phillip George Legacy event that was held in Georgetown late last year. Linden’s Kings have an excellent chance of making the Super Eight against the Masters but Mohan and Aubrey Younge will be a handful for the Bulls line-up.
Kings will feature the likes of Omally Sampson and Orin Rose.
The third game brings together 2014 semi-finalist, Amelia’s Ward Jets against the 13th ranked Plaisance Guardians in a game that favours the Jets. The Webster brothers will be a formidable presence in the paint for Jets against youthful Guardians.
The fifth ranked, Trinity Grid Holdings Pacesetters take on 12th ranked Wismar Pistons in the feature game Sunday night. This will be a good litmus test for the Georgetown-based team that failed to reach the semi-finals last year.
Based on the match-ups tonight, it is fair to say that two Linden teams are expected in the next round with two Georgetown teams. However, the outcome of most competitive sports is usually not known until the game ends. Tonight will be no different.
Four teams will advance to the quarterfinals. Another four teams will move forward when the Round-of-16 continues on Wednesday and Thursday nights before the Super-Eight on February 27 start ‘The Basketball Championships Weekend’.
The preliminary rounds will attract an entrance fee of $500 with $1000 being the entrance fee from the Super Eight round. Comedian, Chow Pow will be the nightly host with all the effects of entertainment, including sound system, DJs, and VIP Lounge in place. The VIP tickets will cost $3000 inclusive of food and drinks.
In addition, three couples will win dinners at exclusive diners in Georgetown while there will be lots of giveaways each night to get patrons involved. The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) has indicated that the tournament is all preparation for Guyana as the country gets ready to host Bermuda next month.

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I defy any reasonable Guyanese to establish PPP/C policies and practices that diminish the status of the GDF

February 14, 2015 | By | Filed Under Letters 

DEAR EDITOR,
I currently hold the PPP/C sole appointment since 1992 of Secretary to the Defence Board of Guyana.
I have served under five (5) Executive Presidents/Commanders-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and five (5) Chiefs-of-Staff of the GDF since October 1992.
I disclose those credentials to support my unique perspective into Guyana’s Civilian-Military relationships and its development.
Your writer Mr. Branch, like so many others, is selective as a historian and sadly lacking in his appreciation of sociological norms.
To merely describe the years of the PNC’s party paramountcy as a “horrible wound” panders to impressions of denial.
Sociologically, to expect the history of that era to be easily vitiated by current interventions is without foundation and precedence.
What the goodly writer has missed is the PPP/C’s careful cultivation of civilian-military relationships over the past twenty-three (23) years, promoting the very healing to which he apparently subscribes.
I contend that a regime that was committed to divisiveness and entrenching ethnic insecurity would have kept the military bogey man alive, quite the opposite to what the PPP/C Administration had done and is doing.
I defy any reasonable Guyanese knowledgeable in matters concerning the military and the PPP/C civilian-military relationship to establish PPP/C policies and practices that diminish the status of the GDF.
As an amateur sociologist, I lament and repeat the disappointment I personally felt by my friend, Brigadier ret’d David Granger’s design to lead a political party that is attracting openly managerial support from other retired military servicemen and women and assumedly from active ones too. He too disregarded sound sociological principles that, I fear has the potential of negatively impacting on citizens’ confidence in their military.
Roger Luncheon

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Boxers rounding off training for Jamaican Invasion Boxing Card

February 13, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Fly Jamaica Airlines to support

By Michael Benjamin
After several weeks of intense training the boxers that comprise the card organized by the Guyana Boxing

Clive Atwell

Clive Atwell

Board of Control (GBBC) and scheduled for Saturday February 21 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) are in the pink of condition and rounding off their training.
While the boxers are engaged in preparations, the organizers are also working assiduously to ensure that all systems are in place towards the card’s success. And so it is that this morning the organizers will convene at the Avenue of the Republic office of Abdool and Abdools Insurance Brokers where an executive of Fly Jamaica Airlines will hand over an airline ticket to President of the GBBC, Peter Abdool.
This gift will be put up as a door prize and a lucky patron attending the card could win this prize following a draw of ticket stubs. Fly Jamaica Airlines services several routes including Jamaica, New York and Canada and the lucky patron will have the opportunity to choose which of these destinations he/she prefers.
Further, the airline has donated another ticket, this time to facilitate a judge, Jamaican, Keith Brown, who will be arriving in Guyana to officiate in the Mullings/Atwell bout. Meanwhile, the various gyms have been transformed into a hive of activity as the boxers whip themselves into shape.
Atwell is rounding off nicely and last Wednesday afternoon looked impressive as he pounded away at the heavy bag. Under the tutelage of Lennox ‘Cappel’ Daniels, the world rated fighter and multiple champion worked tirelessly on techniques and conditioning and according to him, is nearing his peak.
Mullis’ reputation precedes him and he will be brimming with confidence after taking care of the best out of

Mark Austin

Mark Austin

Guyana. The Jamaican has so far defeated Winston Pompey, Revlon Lake, Dereck Richmond and Howard Eastman and has signaled his intention to replicate those feats against Atwell.
Atwell has different ideas and pronounced that he would be the one carting off the spoils. He said that he has already suffered his projected quota of losses and could not possibly see himself at the losing end after the (Mullings) fight is over.
Quizzed on his mental state following back to back losses on the international scene Atwell responded, “I am not convinced that I have lost my last two fights; they were prematurely terminated by the referee and I remain adamant that had the fight been allowed to continue the decisions would have been different.”
The Keeve Allicock/Quincy Gomes 6 rounds catchweight affair seems to have caught the imagination of the pundits and those fighters are also working hard to attain top condition. Both are at the working out at the Andrew Lewis Boxing gym with Gomes being the more experienced.
This might not mean much since Allicock is one of the top amateur pugilists and is expected to give a good account of himself. Nevertheless, Gomes has proven his worth against opponents of vast experience, noted in his last fight against local super/bantamweight champion, Richard Williamson, just one fight before the latter individual clinched that accolade.
Gomes was really scheduled to fight Caribbean Boxing Federation Bantamweight champion, Dexter Marques but that fight was aborted after the organizers felt that the bout was uneven and Gomes was biting off more than he could chew.

Dereck Richmond

Dereck Richmond

His clinical victory over Williamson has set him among the top fighters but he will have to be at the top of his game if he is to defeat Allicock who has proven in the past that he could take care of himself. His transformation into the professional ranks will be ascertained nine days from now.
The Mark Austin/Dexter Gonsalves matchup should be a thriller. Austin commenced his career on a positive note after winning several fights but fell away somewhat after suffering a crunching KO defeat to Revlon Lake. He has also dropped an earlier decision to Gonsalves after the latter fighter forced the referee to call a halt to their bout in the 10th round.
At the signing ceremony, Austin had cited insufficient time to prepare as the reason for the loss. He said that this time around he is well prepared and will take the fight to his man. Gonsalves is an unassuming fighter with deadly and deceptive power.
His clinical approach has methodically cut his opponents down to size yet he is a man of few words. Asked for a prediction he simply said, “I will repeat my performance of the last fight and also take this verdict.
There are several other supporting bouts including the return of CABOFE middleweight champion, Lindener, Edmond Declou, after sustaining a broken jaw in a fight against Dereck Richmond in October 2013.
He will be out to avenge the loss when the two clash in an 8 rounds middleweight return bout. Declou will be out to prove that he has recovered sufficiently from the mishap to avenge the loss.
Another Lindener, Sharon Ward, will also grace the ring after a prolonged absence when she tackles Lorissa Rivas, an American of Trinidadian parentage, in a 6 rounds super/middleweight bout.
The card’s opener will feature another debutant, Travis Fraser, up against his Barbados based countryman, Charwyn Eswick over 4 rounds.

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Mecca II bounces off with Linden vs. Georgetown showdown

February 13, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Georgetown and Linden will immediately renew their basketball rivalry with four such clashes bouncing off Guyana’s National Basketball Championships this Sunday at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall Mecca IIbeginning at 5pm.
The number six ranked team nationally from the last National Championships last year, Pepsi Sonics begin proceedings against the number 11 ranked Half Mile Bulls from Linden from 5pm, before seventh ranked Kings take on the 10th ranked Georgetown Masters.
The third game features 2014 semi-finalist, Amelia’s Ward Jets against the 13th ranked Plaisance Guardians. The fifth ranked, Trinity Grid Holdings Pacesetters take on 12th ranked Wismar Pistons in the feature game Sunday night.
Four teams will advance to the quarterfinals. Another four teams will move forward when the  Round-of-16 continue on February 18 and 19 before the Super Eight (quarterfinals) start what is being called ‘The Basketball Championships Weekend’ from February 27; Semi-Finals continue the next day on February 28 with the title being decided on March 1 in three days of the best of local basketball.
The preliminary rounds will attract an entrance fee of $500 with $1000 being the entrance fee from the Super Eight round. Comedian, Chow Pow will be the nightly host with all the effects of entertainment, including sound system, DJs, and VIP Lounge in place. The VIP tickets will cost $3000 inclusive of food and drinks.
In addition, three couples will win dinners at exclusive diners in Georgetown while there will be lots of giveaways each night to get patrons involved. The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) has indicated that the tournament is all preparation for Guyana as the country gets ready to host Bermuda next month.

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Giftland supports National Basketball Championships

February 11, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Giftland OfficeMax yesterday continued its fine tradition of support for local sports

Marketing Assistant at Giftland OfficeMax, Breeanka West (right) hands over the official game ball and other items to GABF VP, Michael Singh.

Marketing Assistant at Giftland OfficeMax, Breeanka West (right) hands over the official game ball and other items to GABF VP, Michael Singh.

when it made a significant contribution to the technical administration of the second edition of the upcoming National Basketball Championships, dubbed The Road to Mecca II.
Giftland handed over balls and other paraphernalia that will be used to run the completion that will begin on Sunday at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, the Mecca of local basketball. Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) Vice-President (Operations), Michael Singh, collected the items from the mega store, stating that the event could not be possible without the corporate support of companies like Giftland.
Marketing Assistant at Giftland OfficeMax, Breeanka West said that the company has an unrivalled track record in support for local sport and giving to the National Basketball Championships continues that tradition.

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Hopetown Warriors slaughter Ithaca Hardliners in Anamayah Inter Club basketball

February 10, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Hopetown Warriors of West Berbice made a dramatic entry into the Anamayah Memorial first division basketball competition for teams in Berbice by drubbing fellow West Berbice team, Ithaca Hardliners 49-19, when play in the competition continued on Sunday at the Ithaca Basketball Court.

 Action in the game between the two West Berbice teams, Hopetown Warriors and Ithaca Hardliners.

Action in the game between the two West Berbice teams, Hopetown Warriors and Ithaca Hardliners.

Hopetown Warriors back in competitive Basketball after a lull were prepared for and never gave the Hardliners a chance in their own backyard.
Showing no signs of their absence from the court the Warriors were all over their opponents from jump ball and raced away to a 15-5 lead at the first quarter. They maintained their momentum trying a few different combinations, settings and plays to go to the half time break with a 20-10 lead.
It was more of the same thing in the third quarter as the Warriors continued with a few more experiments to end the quarter at 26-15.
The final segment was a complete blow out as the Hopetown Warriors let loose to demoralize their opponent, scoring 23 points to the softened Hardliners’ 4 for the eventual 49-19 demolition in their own backyard.
Jerold Allen led the way for Hopetown Warriors with a game high 15, while he was supported by Sherlon Gillis with 10.   Phillip Edwards and Deon Clements notched 5 points each for the shattered Hardliners.
President of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) Nigel Hinds was on hand to view the game and presented two pairs of trunks to each player from both teams. He also presented whistles, ball bags and referee’s jerseys to the teams to be used by officials during the games.
The competition is expected to continue on Sunday when Canje Knights come up against Rose Hall Town Jammers at the Rose Hall Town Basketball Court, New Amsterdam.
The competition is being coordinated by Vibert Garrett.   (Samuel Whyte)

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Lawrence Simon is new LABA President

February 10, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Basketball aficionado, Lawrence Simon of Amelia’s Ward, Linden, was on Sunday elected President of the

Lawrence Simon

Lawrence Simon

Linden Amateur Basketball Association (LABA) when that subsidiary of the national federation held its Annual General Meeting and Biennial Elections at the Toucan Call Centre.
The 2015-2017 LABA Executive also includes First Vice-President Andrew McBean, Second Vice-President, Eze Wilson, Secretary, Joseph Chapman, Treasurer, Chantel Brooks, Assistant Secretary, Danica Barker-Chase, Assistant Treasurer, Shawnette Smith, Organising Secretary, Christopher Pollydore, Public Relations Officer, Collin Adams and Committee Members, Ashton Angel (Jr.), Omally Sampson, Kevin Joseph, Eusi Francis and Shauna Chester.

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Fitness Express/GAPF Novice and Junior C/ships…Alleyne (Novice), Blackman (Junior) & Britney Mack (female) are overall winners

February 9, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

By Franklin Wilson
Orin Alleyne, Rudolph Blackman and 16-year-old Britney Mack were crowned overall winners of the Fitness Express sponsored Guyana amateur Powerlifting Federation (GAPF) 2015 Novice and Junior championships which were contested yesterday at the National Gymnasium, Mandela Avenue, Georgetown.page-29---Feb-09,-2015
A long and arduous day which commenced with the weighing in at 07:00hrs ended just after 21:00hrs with the presentation of trophies to the overall winners and some of the other top performers.
Orin Alleyne of Upper Demerara Barbel Club competing in the 83kg class staved off challenges from three other lifters to win that category which also saw him being crowned the overall Novice champion, a welcoming sign for the Bauxite Mining Town of Linden.
Alleyne, with a bodyweight of 70.70kgs achieved a total of 612kgs made up of best squat of 227.5kgs, bench press 147.5kgs and a deadlift of 237.5; his Wilkes total of 433.30 propelled him to the overall trophy.
Blackman, with a bodyweight of 75.80 out lifted his rivals to take bragging rights for the next year as the best junior lifter in the Land of Many Waters by totaling 725kgs having achieved a best squat of 272.5kgs, bench press 172.5kgs and a deadlift of 280kgs; his Wilkes points was 514.96.
Second in this category was Jeremy Chow while Imran Mohamed placed third. Stealing the hearts of the fans and even the lifters on the day though, was 16 year-old Britney Mack of Life Gym of LBI East Coast Demerara who upstaged her senior women athletes to first win the 47kg category before taking the overall title.
Mack, with a bodyweight of 47kgs, had a best squat of 107.5kgs, bench press 25kgs and deadlift 105kgs for a total of 237.5 (Wilkes 319.41). In Mack’s category, she outperformed Tricia D’Aguiar who had a total of 195kgs (squat 75kgs; bench press 25kgs; deadlift 95kgs).

Wife of GAPF President Peter Green, Shellon, presents the Junior Overall trophy to Rudolph Blackman.

Wife of GAPF President Peter Green, Shellon, presents the Junior Overall trophy to Rudolph Blackman.

Nadina Taharally of bodybuilding fame also showed that she is a force to reckon with in the powerlifting arena by winning the 63kg division from Shelloln Nicholas. Taharally achieved a total of 255kgs (squat 107.5ksg; bench press 47.5kgs; deadlift 100kgs). Nicholas’ total of 250kgs was made up of a best squat of 95kgs, bench press 47.5 and deadlift of 107.5, underlining the closeness of the battle with Taharally.
In the 83kg class, Tia Telford of Fitness Paradise powered her way to the top spot with a total of 272.5kgs (squat 87.5kgs; bench press 52,5kgs; 132.5kgs) ahead of Tracy Shamshudeen who managed 257.5kgs (squat 105kgs; 52.5kgs; 100kgs).
There were two guest lifters on the day, father of female overall winner Britney Mack, Osmand and Fazim Abdool.
At the end of the day, fans were treated to some raw powerlifting when former World deadlift champion Randolph ‘The Accomplisher’ Morgan, also a former Guyana and Caribbean Overall champion, performing a deadlift of 313kgs (701lbs) without the aid of any equipment save and except two knee guards.
Fans applauded the herculean effort of the Guyana strongman who did two reps with the weights which were one of the three new sets presented to the GAPF by the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport.

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GABF launches National Basketball Championships

February 8, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

-Road to Mecca II begins next Sunday

With an impassioned plea for national support, Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation

GABF President, Nigel Hinds (third, right) and Vice-President, Michael Singh (second, left) hold the mammoth National Championship Trophy after yesterday’s launch; also in photo from left to right are National Coach, Darcel Harris, Coordinator, Edison Jefford and Georgetown subsidiary President, Andrew Hercules.

GABF President, Nigel Hinds (third, right) and Vice-President, Michael Singh (second, left) hold the mammoth National Championship Trophy after yesterday’s launch; also in photo from left to right are National Coach, Darcel Harris, Coordinator, Edison Jefford and Georgetown subsidiary President, Andrew Hercules.

(GABF) launched its National Basketball Championships called ‘Road to Mecca II’ yesterday at the New Palm Court on Main Street.
Following the success of Road to Mecca I last year, the GABF said that it is anticipating an even bigger tournament this year when the second edition of the country’s biggest competition bounce off next Sunday at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
“We are looking forward to an exciting and exhilarating tournament this year,” Vice-President of the GABF, Michael Singh, who is in charge of Operations, said after calling on players and clubs to support the event across the country.
According to Singh, if each player and club rallies their fans, friends and families to support the National Championships, the competition will succeed again. He called on all supporters of the game to come out and back the local players and teams.
“We are asking players and clubs to bring out their families to support them. If a team is booted from the tournament it should not be the end of any particular support. If your team isn’t playing, it does not mean you cannot come out and support the game,” he said.
Singh is hoping for a re-energising of the base of the sport. “The sport is big enough and has lots of players and teams to full the Sports Hall each night,” he believes, adding that the federation is working very hard on behalf of players, who must do their part to help.
The National Club Championships will be held at the Mecca of local basketball, the Sports Hall on six nights with the preliminary rounds set for next Sunday and continuing on Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 of February, featuring 16 of the country’s top clubs.
The Super Eight round will commence what is being called Guyana’s Basketball Championships Weekend on February 27 with the semi-final set for the following day on February 28 and Finals on March 1 all at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
Teams will be competing for $1M in total cash and prizes. “We are positive that Mecca II will be a huge success and as Mike (Singh) said, we want teams to rally their friends and families to give them and by extension us, the support we need,” GABF President, Nigel Hinds indicated.
“Sometimes it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to see our best players on show and see some of the fantastic plays we had last year,” Hinds continued, adding that the bigger picture is Guyana’s hosting of Bermuda, March 10-14 as part of its preparation for the Caribbean Basketball Championships in Tortola, British Virgin Islands in June.
The best players from ‘The Road to Mecca II’ will represent Guyana at both of the international engagements, but according to National Coach, Darcel Harris a preliminary list will surface this week. Harris said that the National Championships will be a good test of players and their fitness levels before Bermuda arrives in Guyana next month.
Singh informed that the preliminary rounds will attract an entrance fee of $500 with $1000 being the entrance fee from the Super Eight round. Comedian, Chow Pow will be the nightly host with all the effects of entertainment, including sound system, DJs, and VIP Lounge in place. The VIP tickets will cost $3000 inclusive of food and drinks.
In addition, three couples will win dinners at exclusive diners in Georgetown while there will be lots of giveaways each night to get patrons involved. The federation said that all is geared toward ensuring that Guyana is ready to host Bermuda next month.

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GAPF Novice and Junior C/ships on tomorrow

February 7, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

GAPF logo- record field of 28 athletes set to compete

With the aim of achieving another successful year, the Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation (GAPF) will commence its 2015 season with the usual Novice and Junior championships set for the National Gymnasium, Mandela Avenue, tomorrow.
According to the GAPF, tomorrow’s action which will lift off at 10:00hrs following the weigh-in of athletes at 07:00hrs will attract a record turnout of 28 athletes including six women one of who will be 16 year-old Britney Mack.
The average turn out of athletes over the years, especially since the sport returned to a high level of consistency from 2008 would have been between 18 – 22 athletes. The federation is encouraging fans and lovers of the sport to come out and support an exciting group of athletes.
A number of seasoned athletes will also appear as guest lifters tomorrow.

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LABA AGM and biennial elections set for tomorrow at Toucan Call Centre‏

February 7, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

The Linden Amateur Basketball Association (LABA) has announced that its Annual General Meeting and biennial elections are to be held tomorrow at 3:00pm at the Toucan Call Centre in Linden.
The clubs affiliated to the association have been invited to send two representatives who are eligible to vote, but they must ensure their annual affiliation fees of $1000 and registration of players, each at $100, are done before the meeting starts.
The clubs expected to attend are Kings, Retrieve Raiders, Victory Valley Royals, Half Mile Bulls, Block 22 Flames, Wismar Pistons, Bankers Trust Falcons, Amelia’s Ward Jets and Blueberry Hill.
Among the items on the agenda are reports from the president, secretary and treasurer.

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Powerlifting boosted by MCYS donation

February 6, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 
- Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony (3rd right) and President of GAPF Peter Green (3rd left) display some of the equipment with officials from both entities.

– Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony (3rd right) and President of GAPF Peter Green (3rd left) display some of the equipment with officials from both entities.

- three full sets of weight valued 6M handed over

With the powerlifting season set to get underway this weekend, the Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation (GAPF) yesterday received a timely boost from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport (MCYS).
Minister Dr Frank Anthony presented three complete sets of weightlifting equipment to GAPF President Peter Green totaling just over 2400 lbs and worth over G$6,000,000. Speaking at the simple handing over ceremony, Dr. Anthony said the ministry is pleased to be associated with the GAPF.
“Since we donated the first set of equipment to this organization a few years ago, we have seen rapid growth in the sport and we are happy with these investments, our athletes have put Guyana on the map in a short time,” he added.
The minister stated that Guyana didn’t have internationally certified weights and the GAPF approached the ministry which decided to furnish them with the equipment. “This gesture will move the sport forward and more international competitions can be held here,” the minister pointed out.
He indicated that plans are on stream to build a centre to facilitate the sport. “We want to erect a centre where strength training can be done. The ministry already did some drawings and has estimated it so we are hoping to start soon,” Anthony said.
Green stated that this is a special day for the sport in Guyana adding it is a culmination of a long term promise made by the ministry. “One of the sets will be used on Sunday when we stage our novice and junior championships at the National Gymnasium,” he informed.
The GAPF head explained that they are now in a better position to bid for international competitions. “Guyana will be taking part in the Commonwealth championship in Canada later this year and will bid to host the tournament in 2017. We will also be hosting the Caribbean championships in March and the South American Championship in August 2016,”said Green.

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CBC Zoning Policy will benefit Guyana

February 5, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

– says Hinds

By Edison Jefford
President of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF), Nigel Hinds has indicated that

GABF President, Nigel Hinds (standing left, third row) joins other member federation and FIBA Officials at the CBC Congress in Barbados last weekend.

GABF President, Nigel Hinds (standing left, third row) joins other member federation and FIBA Officials at the CBC Congress in Barbados last weekend.

Guyana will benefit from the proposed shift in policy of the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) to have member federations compete in different zones.
Hinds was speaking to Kaieteur Sport yesterday following his return from CBC Congress, which was held in Bridgetown, Barbados over last weekend. Hinds said that member federations will be grouped before 2017, as part of CBC policy, in three zones.
“I believe this new structure of sort of trying to facilitate home and away games in south, central and northern zones will help to improve the quality of the CBC Championships,” he informed in an interview with this publication after his return on Monday.
Currently, the structure of the CBC Championships brings together interested members under an umbrella to compete for the title. But that will change before 2017 with teams competing in three zones before advancing to the CBC Championships.
According to a CBC press release, the policy is aimed at targeting the development of boards on a “closer” level. According to Hinds, Guyana will be in one of the zones in which it will be able to really compete as opposed to what obtained in the past. The move is sort of setting up a level playing field so that member federations can authentically compete.
Guyana has played against countries like the British Virgin Island, US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico in the past. Those teams usually feature prominently their NBA and European professionals in the sport, which puts some member federations at a disadvantage.
The 2015 CBC Championships is set for Tortola, British Virgin Islands, June 9-20; Guyana had competed last year and placed fifth. To continue to strengthen its participation, which has already been registered, Guyana will be hosting Bermuda next month.
Asked if he was able to advance any programme aimed directly at developing basketball on the domestic level, Hinds said “the meeting was a formality, no territory was specifically able to do so, but what was on the agenda for me was election of a Treasurer”.
Hinds, who is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) at Hinds and Statia Financial, was nominated to contest the vacant CBC post of Treasurer. However, the Antigua and Barbuda federation head, Daryll Matthew defeated Hinds 10-5 in the voting process, and was elected to serve during 2015-2019 as the new CBC Treasurer.
International Basketball Federation (FIBA) President, Horacio Muratore, FIBA in the Americas President, Usie Richards and Regional Director, Alberto Garcia, along with Central American and Caribbean Confederation (CONCENCABA), President Ruperto Herrera joined 18 of the 23 CBC Member Federations in Barbados last weekend.
The member federations present included, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, and the US Virgin Islands.
“I think the presence of the FIBA President at the CBC Congress speaks directly to the concern of development of basketball in the region. It was a move that ensured that the Executive feel as though they are connected right to the top,” Hinds indicated.
Meanwhile, Guyana’s National Basketball Championships, The Road to Mecca II will begin on Sunday February 15 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall. The competition will be used to select the National Men’s Teams that will face Bermuda in March here in Guyana and compete at the 2015 CBC Championships.

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G.S.S.F. pays courtesy call on MCY&S after First Annual General Meeting

February 5, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Board members of the Guyana Sport Shooting Federation paid a courtesy call on the Ministry of

From left: Dr. Bhiro Harry, Mr. Ryan McKinnon, Ms. Vidushi Persaud, Permanent Secretary MCY&S, Mr. Alfred King and Mr. Roul Bhudu during the visit.

From left: Dr. Bhiro Harry, Mr. Ryan McKinnon, Ms. Vidushi Persaud, Permanent Secretary MCY&S, Mr. Alfred King and Mr. Roul Bhudu during the visit.

Culture, Youth and Sport and presented documents which were adopted at the 2015 AGM of the
G.S.S.F. held on the 29 January, 2015. The Federation was lauded by Permanent Secretary, Mr. Alfred King as the first body to do so for 2015, in keeping with the requirements set out by the
MCY&S and the National Sports Commission for all sport organisations in Guyana. These included copies of the Federation’s Report for 2014 together with externally audited Financial Statements and a copy of their updated Constitution.
During the visit the Board members discussed with the Ministry its plans for the future and gave an update as to the accomplishments in 2014. They also previewed the happenings of the recent AGM where President of the G.S.S.F., Ms. Vidushi Persaud categorically stated that the success has been due to all of the members who un-hesitatingly came on board to promote sport shooting in Guyana in a safe and well regulated manner.
She paid tribute to the work of the Directors of the founding Board who have all given so freely of their time and energies to make 2014 the success it has been.
At the AGM, the Secretary of the G.S.S.F., Mr. Steve Ninvalle delivered a comprehensive Report to the membership, from establishment in August 2014 to the end of the reporting period of 31December 2014. He indicated that though a young entity, the Federation has successfully hosted two Steel Challenge competitions and a Practical Shooting Match and saw members participating in two international matches earning for Guyana prizes for Practical Shooting and also conducted three of the G.S.S.F.’s Range Discipline & Firearms Safety Courses utilising Government’s National Sport Resource Centre.
The Secretary further reported on affiliations, stating that the G.S.S.F. is affiliated to two international bodies, the Steel Challenge Shooting Association and the Amateur Trapshooting Association.  Affiliation was also sought to the United States Practical Shooting Association and all duly completed and required documents were forwarded to the Regional Director of Guyana representing the International Practical Shooting Confederation for signature which is still pending.
In relation to local affiliations, the G.S.S.F. is sanctioned by the N.S.C. and sought affiliation to the Guyana National Rifle Association in keeping with their Constitution. Such an affiliation would allow for open and equal participation for all registered local sport shooters both locally and internationally. Though not yet affiliated the G.S.S.F. will continue to welcome the participation of established practical shooters of the Guyana NRA in their Practical Pistol Matches through match invitations which are currently sent to the Secretary of the Guyana NRA.
Through partnership with the MCY&S and the N.S.C. the G.S.S.F. has secured permission to utilise an Indoor facility in the National Gymnasium and an Outdoor Facility (Ministry of Sport –
GNS Ground) and will be pioneering the sport of Archery in the very near future.
Sincere gratitude were expressed to the following persons who assisted in one way or the other for 2014: The Honourable Minister of Culture, Youth & Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony, Director of Sport, Mr. Neil Kumar, the National Sports Commission, Chief of Staff, Brig. Mark Phillips, the Guyana Defence Force, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Seelal Persaud, the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Revenue Authority, Mr. Dennis Dias, DD Signs, Dr. Pravesh Harry, Doc.com Pharmacy, Mr. Harish Lakhanpal, Capital Recycling Inc., Trophy Stall, Rohandev and Harrinand Persaud, Kings Jewellery World, Mr. Ryan McKinnon, Neutrino Inc., Mr. Julius Simon, Ken’s Mufflers, the Media, the Founding Board and members of the G.S.S.F.
The Report of the Auditors was presented to the membership along with the Financial Statement of the G.S.S.F. This was duly conducted and issued by Auditor, Mr. Harryram Parmesar from the Parmesar Audit Firm.
Mr. King congratulated the G.S.S.F. on their achievements to date and being able to achieve clear success in a short period of time. He lauded the Board on being able to produce audited financial statements by an external auditor and expressed the hope that other sporting organisations can follow suit.

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Book Review… Bible of West Indian Cricket is a must read!

February 1, 2015 | By | Filed Under Book Review…, Features / Columnists 

Book: WI in Test Matches…Facts and Feats 1928-2013
Author: Ramnarine Sambhudat (Shako)
Review: Dr Glenville Ashby

WI in Test Matches: Facts and Feats 1928-2013 is an exhaustive study of a game that hasThe Book Cover of WI in Test Matches revolutionised the region on multiple levels. This work is biblical in scope and depth. Ramnarine Sambhudat has produced a tome that will occupy a revered place in the archives of cricket enthusiasts.
Admittedly, there are some editorial hiccups that nag the discerning reader. But all is forgiven, given but the captivating spirit of this work. Despite its overriding use of tables and statistics there is driving narrative that trumpets the raw talent, élan, and cultural synergy that has defined a region for over a century.
Cricket is more than a sport. It is palpably existential. It builds bridges, promotes regional camaraderie and homogeneity. The cricketer has succeeded where politicians and so called religious leaders have stumbled. The region’s nostalgia for the glory days of WI cricket cannot go away that easily. And between every line of this seminal study is the haunting question: What went wrong?
In many ways, though, Sambhudat’s undertaking is hopeful. It rekindles the embers of change.
The writer’s passion for the sport is reflected in his simple but significant words, “Cricket to us is like a religion. It was like going to church every Sunday. We played the game as a pastime, the same way the Americans played baseball,” but is quick to mention the implications of his research, “…whether you are a known or unknown writer, an amateur or professional, what matters at the end of the day is, as long as you have your facts and figures correct, that is what matters.” He cements his argument, “cricket, as we know is a game of facts and figures and every player is judged by his records.”
For sure, Sambhudat is a Caribbean man – a proud one at that – but he wears his Guyanese nationality on his sleeves – an unmistakable badge of honour. It’s a dual role that he plays with the fluidity of an island batsman.
That he devotes a chapter to Guyana’s outstanding cricketers is only fitting. His words ring true, “Spectacular and solid batting performances – super and devastating bowling and magnificent fielding and world class leadership are just some of the hallmarks of Guyanese contribution to world cricket and West Indian cricket.”
His list of players is impressive, comprehensive: Rohan Kanhai, Lance Gibbs, Basil Butcher, Joe Solomon, Clive Lloyd, Steve Camacho, Roy Fredericks, Alvin Kallicharran, Colin Croft, Roger Harper, Carl Hooper, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan.
But of the less familiar, Cyril Browne and Maurice Fernandes, he writes, “They were the first two Guyanese to represent the WI in its first ever Test match. MP Fernandes captained the WI in only his second Test at Bourda in 1929/30 and WI won that Test – thus WI first ever Test win was under a Guyanese captain.”
And in featuring these obscure feats, Sambhudat has proven his salt as an authentic researcher.
We all know the accomplishments of Brian Lara, Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Garfield Sobers, the three Ws, and the 1980s fearsome pace attack. But how familiar are we with those that are less heralded but equally meaningful?
For example: Who is the youngest player to take five wickets in an innings? (P. 168). Who holds the records for the worst bowling average? (P.165). Name the two bowlers of rival sides taking ten wickets in the same test? (P.164). Who has the highest partnership by runs? (P.215). Who holds the ignominious record of the most runs conceded in an innings by a bowler in the WI? (P.210). Who has the best bowling average in the WI? (P.210). Who has taken a wicket with the first ball in a career? (P. 164). Who has scored a half century batting at number 11? (P.130).
This is but a tip in a giant iceberg. The records, the feats are meticulously categorized and detailed.
Truly, this is a stupendous, staggering display of indebtedness to the game of cricket.
Not surprisingly, bowling legend Lance Gibbs applauds Sambhudat’s Herculean undertaking. Charged with the responsibility of writing the preface, the lanky off spinner is more than up to the task. His words and sentiments echo.
“This reference book is compiled by a talented but unknown writer…who has great knowledge of the game which he followed and played from a little boy growing up in Berbice, Guyana….All important records in WI cricket from all departments of the game are covered…and a host of other topics I am sure you will find to be very interesting. Mr Sambhudat knows his cricket. The man seems to have a library in his head. The most important factor is that this book has all up to date information…”

Feedback: glenvilleashby@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter@glenvilleashby
WI in Test Matches: Facts and Feats 1928-2013 by Ramnarine Sambhudat (Shako), 2014
ISBN #978-1-62847-567-8
Available: amazon.com
Rating: Highly recommended

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LABA holds meeting today

January 31, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

With plans to hold its Annual General Meeting and Elections in two weeks time, the Linden Amateur Basketball Association (LABA) will today hold a special meeting for its affiliated clubs at 3.30pm at the Mackenzie Sports Club Lounge.
Those clubs invited to send two representatives are Kings, Amelia’s Ward Jets, Retrieve Raiders, Half Mile Bulls, Victory Valley Royals, Block 22 Flames, Blueberry Hill, Bankers Trust Falcons and Wismar Pistons.
Tentatively set for this meeting, are plans for the staging of the Annual General Meeting of the Association, which is tentatively set for Sunday 15th February, at 3.30pm at the Linden Enterprise Network, Macaw Boardroom.
Also to be looked at are the staging of Referees and a Table Officials’ Clinic, National Club Championship 2015 Road to Mecca, Linden club competition (s) among others will be discussed.
Each club is asked to attend by sending two representatives who will register their players on the official LABA Players Form and Club Affiliate Form to be returned before the AGM.

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Letter to the Sports Editor… Pondering on the Director of Sports 2014 review

January 28, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Dear Editor,
I read with great interest in Kaieteur News a story dated January 8, 2015 with Mr. Neil Kumar, Director of Youth and Sport, captioned “IGG Performance, Aquatic Center among highlights of 2014”. After holding that post for 21 years Kumar indicated that in his lifetime he did not expect to see a Cricket Stadium and an Athletic Track in Guyana. I know since Kumar was a small boy, cricket has been Guyana’s number one sport; Athletics was always there, so when Kumar became Director of Youth and Sport in 1994, his first vision should have been for Guyana to have a Cricket Stadium and Athletic Track.
Basketball
I noticed in his basketball review of the Inter Guiana Games (IGG); Chris Bowman received lots of praise from Mr. Kumar; someone has to tell the Guyanese nation the truth for information purposes. The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation executive was elected in January 2014 and sponsored two referees for participation in a FIBA Course in the Cayman Islands, namely Rawle Toney and Sherwin Henry, with Henry retaining his FIBA license.
The Federation also repaired the game clock and the shot clocks in the Sports Hall and also ran pipes for the 24 second clock so there is no more wrapping of wires when the shot clocks are being used. The Basketball Federation was also paying the National Sports Commission for use of the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall to train our basketball male and female National Squads to represent Guyana at the July 2014 Caribbean Championship in British Virgin Islands.
One of our female players Ms. Ginelle Ifill was spotted by scouts and got a full College Scholarship, also our Guyanese brother Mr. Patrick Haynes was elected to serve on FIBA Governance Commission with the support of the Guyana Basketball Federation; so Mr. Director of Sports stop being bias as it relates to the achievement of the basketball fraternity in Guyana.
The Director of Sports also spoke about upgrading facilities: when was the last time, persons on the National Sports Commission (NSC) visited the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall to see the pitiable conditions that our athletes have to endure:
1. Players changing their clothes in the toilet facilities in the back of the Sports Hall in view of the public because two of the change rooms are locked and used as storerooms. I am sure the NSC could find a storeroom so the venue could be used to benefit the athletes.
2. For the past two years only one bench is available for the basketball players, the one that is there needs replacing. I was in the Sports Hall when the Disciplined Forces 2014 Basketball Tournament was being played and one of the teams (GDF, Police, Prisons and Constabulary) was either standing or sitting on the floor on the side that did not have a bench, what a shame.
3. The officials table used for scoring is in a state of disrepair, sports journalists are well aware of this. The official entrance to the venue stands is being used as a store room on the side with the Car Park. Approximately ten Basketball Backboards are stored there when schools are in need of them, also balls are dry rotting in this area; schools such as Saints, North Georgetown and North
Ruimveldt among other schools are in need of basketballs. To top it off my Club (TGH Pacesetters) ran a fund raising tournament in 2013 where I had to actually beg for the venue; we were charged $400,000 for the first eight nights and $80,000 for the last two nights; why should Basketball suffer that faith, how is such high rental for the Sports Hall helping to develop basketball in Guyana.
I do not have a problem with School Basketball; as a matter of fact I ran several school tournaments without help from the NSC and before Chris Bowman mostly unsanctioned basketball activities. Tournaments funded by Guyana Secondary School Basketball Association, also school tournament under the Christopher Douglas Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association (GABA) that were all approved by the Late Col. McPherson, President of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF).
Now we have Chris Bowman and his Youth Basketball Guyana (YBG) group getting the Sports Hall free from the NSC; Bowman and the Director of Sports feel they don’t need sanctioning for basketball events and that is damaging the administration of basketball in Guyana. The National Federation is the head body of Basketball and approval should be sought as is done for other sports in Guyana and around the world.
I have nothing against Mr. Bowman or Mr. Neil Kumar but having a discriminatory Director of Sports is harmful to the development of Sports in Guyana.
The disrespect extends to Bowman’s YBG not seeking approval from the Ministry of Education and Allied Arts Unit to run the Titan Bowl School Tournament in December 2014.
Rugby
I read the sad story concerning the Rugby Players not being met at the airport and given a deserving welcome home after their victory in Mexico. Well it is unfortunate that our Director of Sports and the NSC has to be notified by the President of the Rugby Team that our team won a major championship, it is unbelievable that with the technology in the 21st century Kumar and his Ministry did not know just after the game that Guyana Rugby Team were the winners and planned a proper welcome for the guys who fully deserved it; because players left their families at home and abroad to represent this beautiful country. Mr. Kumar should not stoop to blaming Mr. Green for not informing him of the victory.
Boxing
I must congratulate President of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) Steve Ninvalle on his election to the executive body of the World Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA).
Cycling
Hats off to Mr. Hassan Mohamed who has served with distinction for over two decades and I can attest to his hard work and dedication to the development of cycling in Guyana.

Tennis
To the Tennis association and its hard working Executive, Coaches and Players -please continue to make Guyana proud.
To the Squash, Football, Hockey, Swimming Associations and players; let’s work hard together to bring full glory to our beloved Country.
I hope the Director of Sports will not continue to ignore upgrading the Burnham Basketball Court in Georgetown and also upgrade Vryman’s Erven Court in New Amsterdam and Retrieve Hard Court in Linden.
Keep Politics out of sports. I have been in the Basketball Fraternity for over 35 years. I know when the Sports Hall had over 100 white chairs for players, officials and the media; those chairs have disappeared.
Questions for Kumar: Was it the N.S.C. that gave the GABF two million dollars ($2,000,000) or was it the Office of The President? Which National Basketball Team was $3,000,000 given to? Did the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports give any funds to the GABF in 2014?
I must congratulate the GABF Executive for all that was accomplished in 2014 – their first year in office.
Congratulations to Mr. Michael Singh, President of the Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association (GABA) who worked hard to ensure an outstanding year for GABA.
I know 2015 is going to be a good year for Basketball. To the Basketball Clubs across Guyana all the best for 2015.
Yours in Sports,
  Mr. Dennis Clarke

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Harris tipped as National Basketball Head Coach

January 27, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 
Darcel Harris

Darcel Harris

The talk of Ravens Basketball Club Coach, Darcel Harris assuming the portfolio of Head Coach of the National Senior Men’s team edged closer to reality yesterday with the National Federation confirming that they had unanimously agreed that Harris is the man for the job.
The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) said that it was waiting for Harris to accept the appointment that was unanimously agreed on at their Ordinary General Meeting. The Ravens Coach verbally accepted the new responsibility yesterday afternoon.
Harris’ appointment is a direct consequence of his dominance at the helm of Ravens with only a single loss to Republic Bank Nets at the beginning of the Phillip George Legacy III tournament last year. They went on to win their third Phillip George title.
Ravens won the National Club Championships last year earning them the right to be labelled the ‘best club in Guyana’. That accolade came after they battled from slipping to a fourth ranking in Georgetown, following the 2013 League, after dropping games to Pepsi Sonics and Colts. They also suffered a two-point heartbreak against Colts in the League Playoffs then.
Ravens had won the first Phillip George Memorial title late in 2012 then went on to win a second accolade in two weeks with the Albert Bentick prize; the team then won the Pepsi Series for their third title to close 2012 before their brief 2013 slump.
However since 2013, Ravens have gone on to win the Brusche’s Classic in Linden, beating the number one ranked, Pacesetters to advance to the finals. They also won another Phillip George title while finishing just short of beating Suriname’s top club in an exchange programme in the neighbouring country.
The upsurge for Ravens continued with an unblemished record on their way to winning the 2014 Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) National Club Championships. It is an assertion that suggested that Harris continues to build the best club in Guyana.
Harris’ appointment means that he will be in charge of Guyana’s National Basketball team when they play one of the Caribbean’s top sides, Bermuda, here in March in a three-game series. He is expected to defend the National title at the National Championships, dubbed Mecca II slated for the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall next month. (Edison Jefford)

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Junior Hercules is new GABA President

January 26, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

President of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Coaching Association (GABCA), Junior Hercules, was elected to head the Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association (GABA) when the Annual General Meeting of the organisation was held at Duke Lodge, Kingston yesterday.

The new GABA executive (from left) - Assistant Secretary/Treasurer Nadine Luthers-Williams, Treasurer Joyce Sullivan, President Junior Hercules, Vice-President Adrian Hooper and Secretary Cheryl Thomas.

The new GABA executive (from left) – Assistant Secretary/Treasurer Nadine Luthers-Williams, Treasurer Joyce Sullivan, President Junior Hercules, Vice-President Adrian Hooper and Secretary Cheryl Thomas.

Hercules, who was nominated by Knights and seconded by Colts, was given the nod unopposed, receiving eight votes in the process.
The clubs voting at the AGM were Colts, Republic Bank Nets, Eagles, UG Trojans, Plaisance Guardians, Knights and Melanie Patriots, while Dynas Ravens, TGH Pacesetters and Pepsi Sonics were absent from the voting.
The new GABA Vice-President is Adrian Hooper who defeated Ewart Williams 6-3, while Cheryl Thomas was elected as Secretary beating Nadine Luthers-Williams 6-3.
Joyce Sullivan took the post of Treasurer unchallenged, while Luthers-Williams is the Assistant Secretary/Treasurer.
Returning Officer was Cecil Chin and the open ballot process was used.
Hercules, who is also the President of Plaisance Guardians Basketball Club said, “On behalf of the team, we would like to thank Michael Singh for pushing Basketball over the last two years especially with respect to Georgetown basketball.”
He intimated that the immediate focus of his executive would be the development of the game through a collective approach, stating they will try to build on what has been accomplished by the previous administration and building a positive image and reputation in basketball is critical.
He noted that he does not see a conflict of interest in his now dual role as GABCA President and now GABA boss.
Former President Michael Singh, who is also the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) Vice-President, welcomed the new executive, stating, “I am not out of Basketball.”  Singh informed that systems will be put in place to ensure a smooth transition from the previous executive to the new one.
Singh promised the new GABA executive the full cooperation of the GABF, urging them to work hard to keep GABA as the most vibrant association.

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