Let’s end the foreign vs local debate in football

July 6, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Dear Sports Editor,
Social media erupted recently when our hastily-assembled men’s national football team featuring a significant number of overseas-based/born players was eliminated from World Cup 2018 qualification by Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, which, by the way, also included a number of foreign-based/born players. The old/divisive argument, condemning the use of “foreign” players as anti-developmental, spilled effusively from the twiddling thumbs and index fingers of a stubborn few, onto the virtual spaces of Facebook and Twitter. Thankfully, these comments were effectively countered by lucid arguments from a progressive majority of bloggers.
Mr. Sports Editor to further elucidate the pros and cons of the ‘FOREIGN vs LOCAL’ debate, and hopefully end it, I created the following scenario:
“In this modern era of globalization, where the world’s resources are available and accessible to competing organizations seeking the best and most cost-effective raw materials for their production plants, it is just plain dumb, to put it mildly, for any organization to limit its source of raw materials to the national/local level; the competition would eat their lunch”!
To which advocates of the “local” paradigm (let’s call them them ‘PRO-LOCALS’) would respond:
“Our organization and the nation’s interests would be better served if we invested in developing and utilizing the best and most cost-effective raw materials locally for our production plants.”
The ‘PRO-FOREIGNS’ would counter:
“But we lack the expertise, technology and funding (ETF) needed to develop the best and most cost-effective raw materials. If we invested our limited ETF, our raw materials would be inferior and/or inadequate, thus decreasing the quality of our final product and our competitiveness on the global market.”
The ‘PRO-LOCALS’ final stance would then be:
“Development is more important than winning. Our organization’s (and the nation’s) long term interests would be better served if we invested wisely at the local level, thus creating more jobs, increasing literacy and technological capabilities, and decreasing truancy and crime. We may lose to our competitors over the near term, but over the longer horizon, we will gradually increase our capabilities and the quality and quantity of our raw materials will be upgraded significantly.”
This cryptic analogy captures the essence of the FOREIGN vs LOCAL debate on social media regarding the composition of Guyana’s senior men’s and women’s national football teams.
Mr. Sports Editor, our competitors in the CONCACAF region are all using their best/eligible foreign-based professional players to complement their locally-based talent, many of whom also play in local professional or semi-professional leagues.
Without a competitive professional football league, Guyana’s best amateurs produced via the ‘PRO-LOCAL’ developmental channel would not even be on par with a Division III professional team!
Did someone say: “Hull City”!?  [*1]
Additionally, subsequent losses in FIFA-sanctioned games by our all-amateur local squads would negatively affect our international ranking and the professional aspirations of our most talented amateurs (and previously-capped professionals).
In contrast, if we were to field a well-prepared national team comprising an optimal mix of our best eligible overseas-based professionals and local amateurs, our chances of winning these FIFA-sanctioned games and tournaments (World Cup, Gold Cup and Olympic Qualifiers) would increase exponentially. So would the financial rewards to the GFF, and the professional opportunities for our best local amateurs and professionals.
That’s a WIN-WIN-WIN-WIN situation for the federation, the players, the sponsors and the fans of jaguar football, respectively.
It would then be up to the federation to wisely invest this windfall of funds into local developmental initiatives such as all-weather football-specific stadiums and training/housing facilities, video analytics, nutrition, equipment, advanced training of football stakeholders (players, coaches, trainers, referees, administrators, etc), and maybe even to launch a professional league in Guyana.
Winning national teams would also attract more deep-pocketed sponsors, increase demand for team-related merchandise and the federation’s leverage in negotiating lucrative TV/radio broadcasting and licensing deals.
Did someone say: “CHA-CHING”!?
Empirically, there are several precedents in both World Cup soccer and the major professional soccer leagues, of the direct benefits of player selection from a wider more diverse pool of talent, on the team’s bottom-line: i.e. winning games.
The 1995 Bosman ruling [*2] effectively gave all European club teams license to import the best talent their money could buy, from anywhere in the world. FIFA allows national soccer federations to use foreign-born professional players with at least one parent or grandparent who was born in the nation being represented.
The success of the first English-speaking Caribbean nation – Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz – to qualify for the World Cup finals in 1998, would not have been realized without the inclusion of 7 UK-born professionals, each of whose parent (or grandparent) was born in Jamaica. Jamaica instantly became a “Powerhouse” in the CONCACAF region and won the FIFA Best Mover award in 1998.
In 2011 (11/11/11), Guyana’s national men’s football team – our Golden Jaguars – climbed the highest peak in the team’s history of World Cup qualification by defeating Trinidad & Tobago 2:1 at the National Stadium and advancing to the third round of World Cup 2014 qualifications – for the first time ever!
And guess what Mr. Sports Editor?
This history-making Golden Jaguars’ roster comprised a well-coached blend of FOREIGN and LOCAL players.
Finally, all of the 22-man rosters of national teams that qualified for the 2014 World Cup Finals were made up of a blend of LOCAL and FOREIGN-BASED talent – from eventual champions Germany, to upstarts like Belgium, Costa Rica and the USA.
So, considering all of the foregoing, the PRO-FOREIGN and PRO-LOCAL arguments should not be viewed as mutually-exclusive tenets i.e. one or the other; but as complementary propositions in need of a national policy clearly highlighting the advantages of an optimal mix of foreign-based and local players, as well as setting maximum and minimum limits on the numbers of each group (foreign, local) that can be included in Guyana’s national football squads (men’s and women’s). Furthermore, opportunities can be created via football clinics and other community outreach initiatives, for the more experienced FOREIGN-based professionals to mentor and pass on valuable tips, techniques and best-practices to our young amateurs at the school and club levels, to help them maximize their potential as footballers.
It is time to shift the paradigm of what defines Guyanese beyond the traditional geographical boundaries, to embrace and include the rich, eclectic and talented pool of pedigreed Guyanese in the diaspora.
It is time to end the FOREIGN vs LOCAL debate because….. “ALL AH WE IS WAN FAMILY”!
By James G. Paul – MBA
Small Business Consultant
Published author of Under The Neem Tree

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Supligen Mr. Guyana Body Building C/ships… Clarke to defend TITLE ON JULY 19

July 5, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 
Kerwyn Clarke

Kerwyn Clarke

Chaitram Nagessar

Chaitram Nagessar

By Franklin Wilson
The King of Guyana’s bodybuilding, Kerwyn Clarke is set to defend the Mr. Guyana crown on Sunday July 19 when the Guyana Amateur Body Building and Fitness Federation (GABBFF) brings off the Supligen Mr. Guyana Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships.
For the first time, the championships would be held outside the city, it is set for the Park View Hotel, situated at Farm on the East Bank of Demerara.

Sylvester Andrews

Sylvester Andrews

GABBFF President Keavon Bess has disclosed that plans are going smoothly so far and he is anticipating an entertaining evening of muscle flexing featuring the best male and female exponents in the sport.
Bess noted that the quality of competition has been on the improve and he is anticipating a competitive evening, informing that so far, 35 athletes have registered; coming from Berbice, Linden, East Coast, East Bank, West Demerara and the City.
Cash incentives will be at stake for the top performers apart from the Mr.
Guyana receiving one 42″ TV compliments of Digital Technology, located on Brickdam and Diamond on the East Bank of Demerara.
Apart from Clarke, the likes of Sylvester Andrews, Alfred Jordon, Alex Hamilton and 2015 Novice Champion Chaitram Nagessar will be on stage. Seasoned female campaigner Alisha Fortune and Olivia Bess will be among the females on stage, while Emmerson Campbell will be among the Mr. Physique competitors.
Added quality to the evening will come in the form of Guest Poser Huskin ‘Biscuits’ Worrell of Barbados, a 16-time CAC gold medalist in the Under-176lb category.
Tickets are already on sale and can be obtained from the various gyms, Fitness Express (Sheriff & John Streets, Campbellville), Dreamworks Photo Studio and any member of the GABBFF Executive.

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Former Magistrate named Director of Consumer Affairs body

July 4, 2015 | By | Filed Under News 
Dawn Holder-Alert

Dawn Holder-Alert

Former Magistrate Dawn Holder-Alert has been named as Director of the Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission (CCAC) with effect from July 1. Holder-Alert’s appointment was announced by Chairman Ramesh Dookhoo, according to a statement yesterday.
CCAC is a body corporate established under the Competition and Fair Trading Act of Guyana (2006) (CFTA) and is charged with administration and enforcement. It has been fully operational since September 2011; its office is located at the Sophia Exhibition site.
Holder-Alert is an Attorney-at-Law with almost 18 years post-qualification experience.
She has served locally as a Magistrate and also Legal Officer at the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company Limited, where she made several appearances before the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in consumer-related matters.
She worked in Anguilla at the Attorney General’s Chambers as Crown Counsel and later was appointed Registrar of the High Court in Turks and Caicos, in 2005.  In 2006, she took up an appointment as Senior Crown Counsel – Criminal in Anguilla.
In 2008, she entered private practice in Barbados, Anguilla, St. Kitts and Nevis.  Most of her matters were before the courts in Anguilla and included prosecutions on behalf of the Crown including their first money laundering case in which she was successful.  Recently she has maintained a small practice in Guyana.
“Holder-Alert is keen in the area of Competition Law and has attended a CCJ conference on that area,” the Commission said.
She is also a sports enthusiast and served as Vice President of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation and was a member of the Electoral College of the Guyana Football Federation.
She is a Queen’s College alumna who was recently awarded for being one of four outstanding females for the 40th anniversary of co-education by the Queen’s College Old Students Association, New York Chapter.

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GAWA host successful Developmental C/ship in observance of Olympic Day

July 4, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 
Participants and officials of the GAWA Olympic Day Developmental C/ship.

Participants and officials of the GAWA Olympic Day Developmental C/ship.

The Guyana Amateur Weightlifting Association (GAWA) in observance of Olympic Day 2015 held a school aged Developmental Championship on Sunday last where seven (7) youths braved the inclement weather to participate.
The athletes competed against each other in four weight categories and the results are as follows:
The young lifters received prizes which were donated by the Guyana Olympic Association GOA), former lifter and national referee Mr. Winston Bentham, Second Vice President Mr. Bertram Austin, B.E Fitness Gym Instructors Ms. Semonica Duke and Mr. Kurt Braithwaite.
All the participants were encouraged to take their training seriously and focus on the holistic development of their bodies as they continue training for the next GAWA competition, scheduled for the end of August next.

Name Age Bodyweight Snatch pulls Clean & Press Total Place
Under 50kg class
Ted Kenswil 14 48.3kg 35kg 23kg 58kg 1st
Melech Ramsay 14 48.9kg 30kg 16kg 46kg 2nd
56kg class
Darrel Abrams 18 50.4kg 45kg 30kg 75kg 1st
Andrew Bulla 14 52.1kg 35kg 23kg 58kg 2nd
62kg class
Chris Lewis 16 62kg 40kg 43kg 83kg 1st
69kg class
Christian John 18 65.7kg 55kg 45kg 100kg 1st
Sage Melville 15 68.7kg 40kg 38kg 78kg 2nd

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Basketball is more than a sport

July 3, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Basketball_large– says Starr Computers President

President of Starr Computers, Michael Mohan said that while his knowledge of basketball maybe limited, he knows for a fact that the sport is a discipline.
Mohan was speaking briefly during a simple presentation ceremony for the Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association (GABA) ‘King of the Hard Court’ Open and Under-23 Championships at the Starr Computers Conference Room.
“While my knowledge of basketball might not be so good, we all have something in common, which is that basketball is more than a sport but a discipline,” Mohan said.
According to Mohan, his purpose at Starr Computers is to train individuals to become leaders as well as teams to accomplish an objective. In that regard, he informed that his company is pleased to support sports organisation. He said that he will continue to assist in the development of the sports. GABA President, Junior Hercules, during his brief address, said that while the tournament posed several challenges, the Executive was happy to see it concluded.
Hercules said that the anticipation in successfully concluding the tournament was especially high given that it was the first event for the newly elected Executive. In his view, the tournament was of a high quality in both formats.
In the Open Category, Dynas Ravens collected the Championship Trophy after defeating Trinity Grid Holdings (TGH) Pacesetters, the current National Champions. Nevertheless, Pacesetters got the U-23 title after finishing unbeaten.
Ravens’, Ryan Gullen was adjudged MVP in the Open Category while Devon Murray (West Side Ballers), Ryan Stephney (Ravens) and Darian Lewis (Republic Bank Nets) collected the Most Rebounds, Most Assists and Most Steals awards respectively.
Pacesetters’, Nathan Saul bounced away with the U-23 MVP accolade while Travis Belgrave (Eagles) won Most Rebounds, Kelvin Yorrick (Plaisance Guardians) Most Assists, and Keon Evans (Eagles) Most Steals awards respectively.
Each of the divisional winners received a basketball. Ansa McAl, under the Mackeson Brand, Starr Computers, KB Construction and Trophy Stall were the sponsors of the event.

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Boxing Coach Roldan completes successful stint with GABA

July 1, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

By Zaheer Mohamed
Forty eight-year old Cuban Boxing Coach Francisco Roldan has successfully completed a three-year stint with the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association (GABA). During his stay Roldan held a number of Coaching Clinics and had overseen boxers to World Championship, Commonwealth, Goodwill and South American Games.

Coach Roldan Francisco, fourth from left with officials of the GABA

Coach Roldan Francisco, fourth from left with officials of the GABA

Speaking with Kaieteur Sport at farewell dinner held at New Thriving Restaurant, Roldan said he is satisfied, but not too happy since a lot more can be done to help the boxers improve. He feels that Guyana has a lot of talented boxers, but talent alone cannot win.
“At this moment there is a lot of economic potential. My country Cuba is one country that is poor but our government has invested in sport and it has paid off. So talent is important but if we do not put the resources in the sport it will be very difficult to improve,” he added.
“Guyana can win world titles and medals in Olympic Games, we can bring the world best coaches here but if we do not invest we will not get the desired results. I am confident that if the Government invests in the sport Guyana will get results rapidly because they have the main thing which is the talent, and I am confident the new Government will do that.”
Roldan added that local boxing tournaments are important because it is from these tournaments that the national team is being selected, and it also motivates the boxers. In closing Roldan stressed the need for the boxers to continue working hard to improve adding that he wants to see Guyanese boxers excel.
Local Coach Terrence Poole said Roldan has made a tremendous impact to the sport here. “He has imparted a lot of knowledge to us and has motivated the boxers well. “Our boxers are more confident and have seen training as one of the main areas to achieve their goals, “he said.
Poole feels the local coaches are now more equipped to harness the talent of the younger boxers. “The coaches now have a platform where they can work to achieve better results,” he added.
Poole added that Roldan came with a lot of plans which could have taken the sport to another level but said there was not much support. He hopes the new administration will put the resources in the sport.
Poole said that he wants the bi-lateral agreement between Guyana and Cuba to continue so athletes from both countries can benefit. President of the GABA Steve Ninvalle stated that he is saddened to see Roldan leave but understand he has to.
He added that local coaches Seibert Blake, Terrence Poole, Winston Thomas and Clifton Moore would have tremendously benefitted from Roldan and expressed confidence that the quartet can pick up the mantle. Ninvalle said he hopes to see Roldan return in the near future to assist with preparation of the Guyana team for the next Olympics.

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Ravens down national champs to win hard court title

June 30, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Dyna’s Ravens maintained their stranglehold on current National Division I Champions, Trinity Grid Holdings Pacesetters Saturday night to win the inaugural Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association (GABA) ‘King of

Ravens Division I team Saturday night at Burnham Basketball Court. (GABA Photo)

Ravens Division I team Saturday night at Burnham Basketball Court. (GABA Photo)

the Hard-Court’ title.
Ravens won 74-61 on Burnham Basketball Court with Ryan Gullen top scoring with 21 points in the game. Ryan Stephney was the next best scorer with 18 points while Dominic Vicente scored 14 points.  Guard, Travis Burnett led Pacesetters with 21 points while Ruel Ritch, Stephon Gillis and Travis Williams chipped in with 10 points apiece.
Ravens jumped out to a huge lead in the first quarter, compliments of a 13-0 run that put them up 19-5 with 2:55 remaining in the first quarter. However, Pacesetters scored 11 points to close out the period down 16-24.
Pacesetters continued their surge, outscoring Ravens 14-10 to go into the halftime break still down 30-34, even though Gillis caught fire from beyond the arc with two three-point daggers.
The keen contest continue in the third period with both teams exchange points, but Ravens still managing to hold on to the lead at the end of the period. Ravens led 20-18 to head into the final period ahead 52-50.
Burnett and Williams led Pacesetters’ offence in the period with Burnett, who is known for his penetrations, nailing a three pointer and a jump shot. Williams also got into the jump shooting act to ensure Pacesetters were in with a chance at the end of the penultimate period.
However, the national champions could not continue their momentum in the final period. Ravens outscored them 22-11 to bring home the bacon. The tournament was the first for the new GABA Administration. Pacesetters won the Under-23 title.
In the earlier game, Republic Bank Nets crushed West Side Warriors 117-53. Guard, Pelham Doris top scored with 22 points. Mortimer Roberts and Michael Richards had 21 points apiece, while Fabian Johnson and Mortimer Williams scored 19 and 14 points respectively.
For West Side, Devon Murray had 24 points. Orin Joseph had 12 points while Deon Barnes and Samuel Hollingsworth added eight and seven points respectively.

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Something went horribly wrong in Tortola

June 27, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

By Edison Jefford
Forensic analysis has become common parlance for most Guyanese in this post-election era that necessitated righting the many perceived wrongs. It will not be ad hoc if a forensic study is done to ascertain information as to where Guyana’s male basketball team went wrong in the Caribbean Championships in Tortola.

Guyana’s National Basketball Team along with management poses for their official CBC photo in Tortola, BVI last week. (www.caribbeanbasketball.com photo)

Guyana’s National Basketball Team along with management poses for their official CBC photo in Tortola, BVI last week. (www.caribbeanbasketball.com photo)

This team left these shores with the hope of at least a Final Four place after it finished fifth last year. Instead, Guyana finished tenth overall this year, albeit costing Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) in excess of $5 million.
The GABF procured the funding from Government, and with a shrewd finance expert at the helm of the federation, it is almost certain that there will be an investigation into Guyana’s substandard performance at the just-concluded Caribbean Championships.
Nigel Hinds, who knows all about accountability, being the head of Hinds and Associates, which is an Accounting Firm, will not let this pitiable showing slip, since he was the one who projected at minimum a Final Four place for Guyana.
The team must be held accountable since it is obvious that something went horribly wrong in the British Virgin Islands. Five million plus dollars was expended on the national team, as such, it is reasonable to expect respectable performances in return.
To allow the team to escape without analysis and/or penalties would be to deflate the Caribbean Championships as an outing or mere tour where creditable performances was never the aim. The GABF cannot set such a dangerous and comical precedent.
From fifth in 2014 to last in 2015 cannot be ignored. The financial investment in the team, which raised its profile, cannot be ignored. The nights of housing and feeding out-of-town players and a hydration process that included regular fruits for players cannot be ignored.
Psychologically, how many players approached the flagship regional basketball competition with the seriousness of knowing a significant investment was made, or knowing that what is required is nothing less than an improvement from fifth place last year?
Or did the beaches and other tourist attractions impacted the mind of players so much that they forgot the reason they were sent to Tortola? The point is the federation, as a representative of the nation, has to demand answers for Guyana’s freefall.
It is no secret that Guyana is undersized and even perhaps unskilled in certain fundamentals and in certain positions, but at least the federation created the mock situations where they played two of the teams in their group at the Caribbean Championships.
Before winging out to Tortola, Guyana had beaten Bermuda 3-0 in a series in March and lost 1-2 to Suriname in Suriname. Both Bermuda and Suriname were in Group B along with Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas and Guyana that finished without a win in the group.
Bahamas lost to Virgin Islands in the Championship game while Antigua finished third overall in the Caribbean Championships. The GABF had fancied Guyana’s chances after beating two of the four opponents in its group leading up to the competition.
But while in Tortola, the Guyanese suffered monotonous meltdowns to the point that Surinamese blew them out 81-48 in their game. They also lost heavily to The Bahamas (69-89), Antigua (60-80), and Cayman Islands (89-60); Guyana’s closest game came against Bermuda, losing 65-74 in the latter stages.
After Guyana’s campaign against an impressive Bermuda team in Guyana it was widely believed that the local players are capable of accounting for themselves against quality opponents. Guyana went to Suriname and reinforced that popular perception.
Hence, the federation fed the team with its needs from its international roster: a proper ‘big man’ in the form of US-based, Gordon James and shooting guard, Keron McKenzie. The remainder of the 12-man team came from the locally-based players.
From assessing the FIBA stats during the competition, Guyana’s overall efficiency was poor and their psychological strength and fitness in the fourth quarter were also detrimental factors. Coach Darcel Harris and Manager, Andrew Hercules should produce reports; these documents will give further insight into what really went wrong in Tortola.

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13 year-old Amy Grant for Individual Sprint Triathlon

June 27, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Amy Grant, known for her singing and swimming ability will be competing today in the Individual

Amy Grant

Amy Grant

Sprint Triathlon for the first time in her young life, as the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) and its affiliates stage a team and individual triathlon competition as one of the Olympic Day 2015 activities.
Grant will swim for 750m at The National Aquatic Centre, then cycle for 20km and finish with a 5km run in the National Park. She had entered the event last year for the first time but not in the Individual category.
This year however, she is taking on all three disciplines by herself. She was out of the pool for a little over one week due to exams but started back her swim training on Monday for the up and coming July Sprint Meet which will also serve as the Goodwill swim trials for the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association team to the Goodwill championships set for Trinidad and Tobago in August.
All eyes will be on the Bishops’ High School second former to do well so that other young girls and boys can be encouraged to do the same, especially since she is expected to be the youngest athlete in the Individual category.
The event is slated to start at 06:30hrs today at The National Aquatic Centre, Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara.

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Pettiness and perceived right of ownership continue to plague local football

June 24, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

By Rawle Welch
As the football world continues to reel from the plethora of bribery scandals unearthed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the USA, sources close to the local scene is suggesting that the caretaker Normalisation Committee (NC) recent actions is threatening to destabilize the sport once again.
According to a source, the NC under its General Secretary (GS) had written the Upper Demerara Football Association (UDFA) stating that its right to participate in the upcoming Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Congress has been revoked.
The source added that the GS’s correspondence stated that following an international investigation the FIFA has advised that the UDFA right to attend and participate in the NC Congress be rescinded.
The UDFA responded to the GS by asking him to show cause for such an action since the executive seems unaware of an international investigation and moreso what that investigation was all about among other questions which this newspaper is cognizant of.
The letter to the GS also reminded of the whole purpose of the NC’s existence which is to bring about a stabilizing and cordial atmosphere among the sport’s stakeholders after a period of chaos which by the very actions of the current administration could resurrect its ugly head once again.
It must be noted that it was the very FIFA / CONCACAF officials, that mediated in the previous turmoil that, who said that there will be no recrimination towards anyone, while also urging the NC to stay far away from revisiting decisions taken by the previous administration.
To now renege on the verdict which was announced quite pellucid to the media and other stakeholders in the small room at the Pegasus Hotel last year, if true, is simply dishonest and a step backward, especially in light of what has been happening to the sport globally.
The NC is the Body charged with making the day to day decisions for football locally and if what the GS articulated in his missive to the UDFA implicating FIFA as the authority that made such a judgment then other affiliates should take that ruling as a forewarning for their own future attendance at Congress.
Today it is the UDFA, but who knows who it will be tomorrow.
To add even more intrigue into the current state of affairs is the rumour of certain members of the NC vigorous campaign to stay on after the September deadline for the Body’s dissolution.
There seems to be a creeping characteristic of authoritarianism being displayed right now within the corridors of football and if not checked could send us back to the dark days.
Nepotism and cronyism is still the order of the day and these acts of deceit is causing internal revolt and while it has been contained so far, the continued disregard for consensus will eventually find its way out.
Too many persons are depending on football for their daily existence, perhaps forgetting that the sport in Guyana is still regarded at best as amateur.
It must be recalled also that it was this same NC that met with the current executive of the UDFA during their fact finding and meeting with affiliates outreach so to now hear of such a development is surprising and perhaps sinister.
Could they be making room for one of their cronies’ only time has the answer, but the early signs seem to indicate that the move resembles a similar indulgence of the previous political status quo?
Pettiness and the perceived right of ownership continue to plague local football and it has resulted in many believing that unless these two impediments are eradicated from the psyche of some in the football fraternity, acrimony and the possibility of us being subjected to a severe punishment is not improbable.
Let integrity, transparency and accountability be the tenets of football governance, failing which who knows which local or international law enforcement agency might be watching.
Don’t be fooled by the tsunami occurring within FIFA right now it will dissipate at some point and those who’re thinking of taking advantage of the pandemonium taking place better think twice and do what is right.

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Gov’t orders audit into Rice Board

June 24, 2015 | By | Filed Under News 

– as GM declares willingness to go, if necessary

By Jarryl Bryan

Government has ordered a forensic audit to be conducted into the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB),

CEO of Hinds and Associates, Nigel Hinds

CEO of Hinds and Associates, Nigel Hinds

in a bid to uncover any potential financial irregularity and corruption, the latest in several such audits initiated by the A Partnership for National Unity/ Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) Government.
This audit was announced on Monday last, during a meeting the Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder had with millers. The accounting investigation will be carried out by Nigel Hinds and Associates, a local accounting firm that has been in existence for eight years.
When contacted yesterday, General Manager of GRDB Jagnarine Singh confirmed that the audit was initiated yesterday, with the auditors already collecting a few documents in order to comb through.
Singh also responded to his critics within the rice industry, who have been making demands for his removal from the GRDB, stating that it was only a matter of time that such calls would be made. According to the official, it was possible that he would willingly step down from his position as a General Manager, should it come to that.
“I’m a very open person. I have always wanted to serve any government,” the General Manager affirmed.
Though the rice sector has had booming production levels, it has lately been embroiled in several controversies, including the shocking revelations by the new government that money from the Petrocaribe ‘oil for rice deal’ was gone.
This was despite earlier assurances from former President Bharrat Jagdeo to rice farmers while on the campaign trail that the money to pay them was intact. The former Head of State had also said at the time

Dr. Turhane Doerga

Dr. Turhane Doerga

that only US$15M was used from the fund for projects such as the new Guyana Power and Light (GPL) power plants in Kingston and the Hope Canal, while the remainder was nestled safely in the central bank.
In addition, there have been demands from farmers for outstanding payments amounting to some $1.9B to be met by the government. The Government subsequently authorized the release of US$800M to go towards clearing their debts to the millers, thereby facilitating payments to farmers. These demands were formulated by the Rice Producers’ Association Action Committee (RPAAC).
These delays, which are a holdover from the days of the Peoples Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) administration, resulted in numerous protests from Essequibo farmers, the latest of which was as recent as last Friday.
During these protests, vociferous demands were made for the removal of GRDB head Jagnarine Singh, as well as General Secretary of the Guyana Rice Producers’ Association (GRPA) Dharamkumar Seeraj, and head of the National Drainage and Irrigation Agency (NDIA), Lionel Wordsworth.
However rice experts are of the opinion that things should have never reached as far as they did. According to former CEO of Alesie Rice Group, Dr. Turhane Doerga, the rice that Venezuela took off of Guyana’s shoulders was already paid for, yet there is nothing remaining of the fund to pay farmers. And this, according to Doerga, is after assurances were provided during the campaign that all the money was in the fund to pay farmers.
“They (PPP/C administration) left us with an empty bag and betrayed their own people (constituents).”
In lieu of this, Doerga was welcoming of the forensic auditing, stating that there is a lot of money that has to be accounted for.
Nigel Hinds and Associates has as its CEO, Nigel Hinds, CPA (Certified Public Accountant). He is also the current President of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Association (GABA). His firm has worked in collaboration with organizations such as Citigroup, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development (IIC) and other accounting firms.
Hinds, when contacted yesterday, affirmed that the aim of the audit would be to uncover and identify all irregularities that pointed to fraud and corruption within the GRDB. He confirmed that the handling of the Petrocaribe fund would be one of the many aspects in the accounting investigation.
According to Hinds, the team of auditors includes George Vaughn, Clement De Nobrega and Godfrey Statia.

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GASA host successful GALA in observance of Olympic day

June 23, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

The Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) successfully hosted a

Participants with their parents and officials of GASA after the GALA yesterday.

Participants with their parents and officials of GASA after the GALA yesterday.

GALA in observance of Olympic Day at the National Aquatic Centre Sunday.
The event which was sponsored by the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) attracted some 80 participants including current national swimmers, parents and officials of GASA.
Contestants took part in 15 events which contained Tandem Butterfly and Tandem Breaststroke; the day’s activities concluded with a mini cultural show.
Head of GASA Ivan Persaud said the event was a huge success adding that its main aim was to aid in the development of the sport.
He stated that their next swim meet will be held on July 10-12 and it will be used to select Guyana’s Goodwill Games team-the Goodwill championship is set for Trinidad and Tobago

Athletes take to the pool in one of the races.

Athletes take to the pool in one of the races.

from August 14-16.
Persaud pointed out that for the first time in 23 years Guyana will be represented by 40 athletes at the games. “We will participate in the relays this time around so we have an excellent chance to better out previous showings,” he said.
He thanked the GOA, clubs and parents for their input.

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Clean up campaign and pictorial boxing archives mooted as boxing community join forces

June 21, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

It seems like the nationwide clean-up campaign, which got underway shortly after the installation of

Steve Ninvalle

Steve Ninvalle

President David Granger to the Presidential seat has ballooned to immense proportions and residents of the various communities are demonstrating renewed invigoration to the task.
The bug has now bitten the boxing community and several pugilists are scheduled to join forces in a rigid clean-up campaign that targets the Andrew ‘Sixhead’ Lewis Boxing Gym (ALBG) and its immediate surroundings.
Former top amateur boxer, Johnny Griffin, is one of the key figures behind this venture which will also feature head of People’s Syndicate Promotions, Keith Bazilio, popular boxing coach, George ‘Canchie’ Oprecht and former professional boxer, Marcelle Daniels. They were scheduled to convene at the ALBG sometime yesterday morning to work out the ramifications while examining the cost of the project.
Speaking with Kaieteur Sport Friday afternoon at his South Ruimveldt residence, Bazilio said that while the idea was generated from the recent clean-up frenzy, he thinks that the gesture will truly underline the magnitude of the contribution of Lewis to the boxing fraternity and by extension, Guyana.
The ALBG has been dubbed the home of amateur boxing and is now under the purview of the Guyana Boxing Association. It is at this location that boxers preparing for overseas engagements are housed during encampment and Bazilio feels that there could not have been a more suitable venue for the exercise.
However, he noted that the building has been neglected over the years and there is a need for rehabilitative

Keith Bazilio

Keith Bazilio

works to restore the dignity to the gym for which it was constructed. The group will also ventilate possible ways of restoring the ‘Albouystown Pride,’ possibly with a face lift.
Meanwhile, former local lightweight, welterweight and Continental of Americas welterweight boxing champion, Michael Benjamin, will add some vigor to the process when he launches a pictorial archive of past and present boxers that have contributed to the rich legacy of the sport. Already, several of these portraits have been completed following support from several corporate entities. This initiative commenced around July last year but was temporarily placed on hold while the organizers awaited the response for corporate assistance.
Several of those entities have since approved and have donated handsomely to the project. Those are Abdools and Abdool Insurance, Kaieteur Sport Department, Dr. Max Hanoman, Ramchand Auto Spares, Lawrence Atherly Accountants, Mike’s Pharmacy, Bryden and Fernandes, John Fernandes Ltd, Modern Optical, Oasis Water, Raphael Real Estate and Eddy Grant Ringbang.
Mr. Benjamin explained that the initiative had its genesis from a discussion among several boxing enthusiasts and was birthed after the benefits of such an initiative were highlighted. Coupled with the portraits will be a log book that will depict the records of the various fighters which can be used for research purposes.

Michael Benjamin

Michael Benjamin

President of the GBA, Steve Ninvalle, was also instrumental in the establishment of this initiative and is very anxious to have it brought to fruition. He feels that the venture will further strengthen the efforts of his executive to promote the interest of the sport through the retention of key historical data.
“The first phase will be predominated with contemporary fighters but as time goes by the olden warriors will also be included,” Benjamin explained. To this end, Benjamin has recently spoken to some of the old stalwarts the likes of Michael Reid, Kenny Bristol and Brian Muller, all overseas residents, and placed them on guard. There will also be a special section that highlights the feats of Andrew Murray, Patrick Forde, Donald Allison (all deceased) and other boxers that have contributed to the rich legacy of boxing. Plans are also in train to feature the works of past and present administrators of the Guyana Boxing Board of Control as well as boxing trainers and managers. “This is a huge undertaking and will only be accomplished over time,” said Benjamin. He further explained that the idea is to transform the ALBG into a true home of boxing where modern day pugilists can find recreation even as they acquaint themselves with the intricacies of local boxing history. Discussions towards these initiatives were expected to be intensified at the meeting yesterday.

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GASA to host Olympic Gala today

June 21, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

The Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) will be hosting a Gala from 11:00 hrs today in observance of Olympic Day at the National Aquatic Centre.  The affair is intended to promote camaraderie among all participants through fun competitions.
All events will be contested as Relays.  Teams will comprise of six to eight swimmers (depending on the number of available participants).  The events to be held are Backstroke, Butterfly, Breaststroke and Freestyle. Teams may enter any number of events and a token will be presented to the winning team.
TANDEM RELAYS
Tandem Relays can be swim in two or four lengths.  Each length is swum by two swimmers; one in front pulling in accordance with the relevant stroke and one at the back holding the legs of the swimmer in front and kicking in accordance with the stroke.
Wet T-Shirt Relay
This game starts out like any other relay race. Two teams are created, and half of each team lines up on opposite ends of the pool. So what makes this relay race different? The wet T-shirt! The starting player for each team is given a soaking wet T-shirt. The players put the T-shirt on, completely — then jump in, swim across the pool, climb out, take off the shirt and hand it to the next player on the team. The first team to get everyone across the pool in the T-shirt wins.
Floatie Race
For this game, you’ll need two or more people, and two floaties of any kind — as long as they’re big enough to sit on. Two players line up on their floaties at one end of the pool and, on “go”, race to the other end. First one there wins. This game works best in a longer pool, and can also be played as a relay race with two teams.

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Andrews says she stayed in BVI to support male team

June 19, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

By Edison Jefford
National senior basketball player, Kean Andrews has indicated that she stayed in Tortola, British Virgin Islands,

Kean Andrews

Kean Andrews

following the completion of the Women’s category of the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships, to support the male team.
The CBC Women’s Final was played last Saturday night with Bahamas winning against Jamaica. Guyana returned home without Andrews that same day after their winless campaign. Contacted yesterday in the BVI, Andrews said she stayed back to support Guyana in the ongoing Men’s Championship.
“Yes, I did decide to stay in the BVI to simply to watch and support our male team; I paid, and extended my visa and bought a return ticket to Guyana with permission of the BVI Immigration authorities,” Andrews said yesterday.
She said she wanted to give the male team “some support” when asked if it was her choice to stay. “Yes it was my choice indeed, and it was simply to give the male team some support as I could have afforded to, as I said if I had known there were rules against it, I would not have,” she indicated.
Efforts to contact President of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) proved futile yesterday. But another section of the print media reported Hinds as saying that Andrews perhaps breached the stipulated regulations.
As a result, Hinds said that Andrews could possibly face some kind of disciplinary action once all the facts are gathered. Earlier in the article, he had said that he has not received all the facts, but the entire team was expected to return to Guyana.
Andrews is challenging that position, stating that she was not aware of any stipulation that bars her from staying in Tortola to support the male team. “I also wasn’t aware of no team stipulated regulations, or else I would have followed them,” she said.
“I am making my side clear; I really don’t know the reason for Mr Hinds blowing this thing out of proportion like this. I had also tried to inform Nigel, but he wouldn’t hear me out, all he said it would have been too expensive for me,” the forward added.
According to Andrews, she was apprised of what was happening here with her remaining in BVI via a photograph of the story that was sent to her on social media. She said she felt humiliated on receipt of the information.

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GSSF calls on Ministry of Education, Department of Culture, Youth & Sport

June 17, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Board members of the Guyana Sport Shooting Federation (GSSF) paid a courtesy call on Minister within the Ministry of Education, Department of Culture, Youth and Sport, Ms. Nicolette Henry on Monday

Minister Nicolette Henry with some of the Directors of the GSSF Board.

Minister Nicolette Henry with some of the Directors of the GSSF Board.

last at the Ministry’s headquarters, Main Street.
During the visit the GSSF President Ms. Vidushi Persaud, Vice-President Mr. Michael Blake and Assistant Secretary/Treasurer Mr. Ryan McKinnon discussed with the Honourable Minister Henry their plans for the future while giving an update on their accomplishments so far.
They reported on affiliations, stating that the federation is affiliated to three international bodies, the Steel Challenge Shooting Association, the Amateur Trapshooting Association and more recently the World Archery Federation.
In keeping with its objective to promote the growth of sport shooting locally, the federation indicated that they will be starting regulated Amateur Trap Shooting and Archery shortly. The Minister expressed her commitment to working with the federation and posited that she also looks forward to introducing Archery as a sport to Guyana with a focus on both indoor and outdoor archery.
Minister Henry said she will be giving crucial input in this area especially since it involves two other areas she is passionate about: youth and education. The federation is currently in discussion to bring an internationally renowned Archer soon to Guyana.
His years of experience in competing at World Cup Events and technical expertise will aid in the establishing of Archery on a solid foundation. Minister Henry further indicated she is excited to work with the GSSF in promoting and developing the various Sport Shooting disciplines.
The Ministry and the GSSF look forward to working together to build a stronger working relationship to the benefit of all Guyanese as the federation continues to uphold its recognition as a Sporting body promoting sport, specifically in the field of sport shooting locally, regionally and internationally. For more info visit the website: www.guyanasportshooting.com

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LABA unveils schools’ development programme

June 17, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

– aimed at addressing a number of issues
The Linden Amateur Basketball Association (LABA) unveiled its novel Schools’ Development Programme during this month under the theme: ‘Fan-Out Exercise’, with the aim of developing the sport through education.

Lawrence Simon

Lawrence Simon

“This exercise is to assist both primary and secondary schools in Region 10 along with existing basketball clubs and youth groups, to completely develop the game of basketball and attributes, as we continue to strive toward our aim of developing the sport through education,” President of the LABA, Lawrence Simon said in a statement.
The sub-association, which is under new leadership, believes that sport development in schools in the region leaves much to be desired. As such, the association indicated that it will be taking a proactive approach toward the development of basketball.
“LABA will be taking steps toward improving the sport we love. During the ‘Fan-Out Exercise’ there will be discussions with teachers, students, and members of clubs, and other Organisations, as it relates to the way forward,” the statement noted.
“At the same time, we will explore avenues where LABA can best contribute or solicit assistance to develop basketball in our schools, which will spill off into the clubs and communities at large,” the sub-association continued.
Based on the findings from the ‘Fan-Out Exercise’, the association will complete a proposal that it will disseminate with the relevant stakeholders. The LABA hopes to address a number if issues that have affected the development of the sport in Linden.
“Depletion of referees, Coaches and Table Officials in Region 10 has now become a plague, thus having a bottleneck effect on the sport. The few that are active, especially the referees, don’t take part for the love and the development of the game but rather, what they can acquire financially,” the LABA believes.
The association said that to improve their pool of officials, each registered club will be asked to provide the names of two referees minimum, table officials and coaches. This will be instituted in the revised constitution.
Those persons of interest from the ‘Fan-Out Exercise’ will be documented and selected for the relevant training programmes. The Linden sub-association plans to work closely with the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation, Georgetown sub-association, Referees’ association and the Coach’s association.
“I challenge sponsors to adapt and sponsor one of the affiliated basketball clubs; that alone will boost the sport and make players more eager to participate in this sport. At the same time I urge the Government to be more preemptive with the development of sports within this administrative region, especially at the school level,” Simon indicated.
In addition the LABA said that the sport facilities in Region 10 need urgent attention. The lack of equipment is also an area of attention. (Edison Jefford)

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Boxing Promoter Keith Bazilio sets eyes on Boxing Association Presidency

June 16, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Supports monument/national award for fallen world champion    
Less than two weeks after four local boxers failed to qualify after suffering losses at the Pan American Games

Keith Bazilio

Keith Bazilio

trials, head of the People’s Syndicate Promotions and popular boxing promoter, Keith Bazilio, says that such low performances will continue unless the laxity displayed at the level of the GBA administration is brought to bear.
Mr. Bazilio spoke with Kaieteur Sport at his South Ruimveldt home yesterday morning and voiced his disgust at the frequent failures of local amateur boxers at international championships. A veteran of the sport, Bazilio has played key developmental roles in the amateur as well as the professional arena and feels that the time has come to end the blame shifting even as he accuses the executive of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) of several shortcomings. Steve Ninvalle is the current President of the GBA.
Bazilio is so peeved at the turn of events that he has signaled an intention to compete for the post of President of the (GBA) at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for sometime next year. He said that he is confident of reinstating the passion synonymous with boxers of yesteryear.
“Amateur boxers of the late seventies and early eighties have distinguished themselves as true warriors and have left a rich legacy for their successors,” maintains Bazilio. He cited such names as Darius Ford, the late, Winston Richards, Donsford Brown and Anthony Barrow among other stalwarts whose fighting attributes are well documented.
Even though he feels that the GBA executive should shoulder some of the blame for the present dismal state

Peter Abdool

Peter Abdool

of the game, Bazilio was quick to point out the effective strategies of yesteryear as against the current lukewarm input. “Boxers of the past era were matched against qualitative opponents so even if they lost they still managed to procure valuable experience which served them well in future tournaments,” explained Bazilio.
Quizzed of his pivotal reason for contesting for the Presidential post, Bazilio explained that he is peeved that Guyana is yet to break the Olympics Gold medal jinx after thirty five years. Michael Parris had been the man to procure a bronze medal which remains the singular achievement by any Guyanese at this level.
“We need to solicit the views of those with boxing knowledge so that we could improve on the lot of our stalwarts,” said Bazilio. He said that boxing entails far more than simply punches and once he is at the helm he plans to inject these variables to enhance the boxers’ fortunes.
“Our boxers must attain optimal physical (and mental) fitness and must be taught the intricacies of the game,” Bazilio feels. He also noted the lack of motivation might be responsible for their poor showing. “That is why I believe we need to tap in on the available (human) resources to teach our young pugilists the intricacies of the sport.”
He also admitted that the present crop of boxers are talented but somehow are not motivated to aim for lofty goals. “This issue could be addressed by offering incentives to those boxers that attain specified goals,”

Steve Ninvalle

Steve Ninvalle

Bazilio explained.
Citing the need for adequate funds to address the developmental works of the GBA, Bazilio saw a need to enhance Governmental relations while strengthening relations with corporate entities with an interest in the sport’s development. He also suggested the resuscitation of the Cuba/Guyana exchange programmes as well as the initiation of similar programmes with Venezuela, Brazil and other Spanish countries. “The Spanish boxers have always provided the type of competition that helped our boxers to improve and I think we should refocus from the Caribbean countries to those that are more beneficial,” he posits.
Indeed, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and St Lucia have experimented with domestic tournaments which included other Caricom countries. Those efforts were stymied by lack of adequate funds and in some instances, non support of officials of the ruling amateur body, IABA.
Meanwhile, Bazilio supports the call by President of the Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC), Peter Abdool, to have a monument erected in honour of the late world champion, Andrew ‘Sixhead’ Lewis. He likened Lewis’ (world title) feat to ambassadorial quality and wondered aloud why the former world champion failed to clinch a posthumous national award at the just concluded Independence celebrations.
“A monument would forever serve as a reminder that a (lowly) ghetto youth dared to travel to the USA, defied all odds and procured a top accolade for this country, a feat that has lifted Guyana to international acclaim,” Bazilio reminded in his pitch for Lewis recognition. “It is not too late to correct this grave oversight,” said Bazilio. He has since committed to support the efforts of GBBC President, Peter Abdool, to have the monument sculpted and to ensure that Lewis is posthumously recognized with a national award.

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Vocal power prevailed at ‘Princess 2015 Karaoke Star’ auditions

June 16, 2015 | By | Filed Under News 

– NAMILO surprises three lucky contestants with food hampers
The venue came alive last Saturday evening as 30 very talented amateur singers battled for supremacy and a

Michael Spencer

Michael Spencer

chance to represent Guyana in Trinidad.
This was the first audition inside ‘Club Next’ (Princess International Hotel). Singers from around Guyana battled fiercely to receive the judges nods to take them to the first leg of the ‘Princess Star Karaoke 2015 Showdown’ which will take place at the same venue on Saturday.
At last Saturday’s auditions the battle was fierce as each singer fused vocal power with catchy moves to gain the judges attention. At the end of the event, three lucky singers were over the moon when they realized they had won three hefty hampers containing all the products of the National Milling Company of Guyana Inc, (NAMILCO)
It was quite evident that each singer was doing all they can to bring their ‘A’ Game to the stage as they presented for the audience and judges. The panel consisted of Karaoke Queen, ‘DJ Madonna, Ruff Kut Studio’s ‘DJ Cody’, top fashion designer and singer, Jason Shurland, overseas based musician and author Jamall Adams, and certified Guyanese musician, Devon Browne.
Tears were shed as a few were told by the judges, ‘to come again next year’ because of a perceived lackluster performances. But amongst the 25 who made it to the first round, three performers literally took the judges and audience to their feet in thunderous applause.
Those performers were Lashaun Charles and Junior Corbin of Georgetown, and Michael Spencer of Victoria, East Coast Demerara.
The event attracted entries from  Linden, Berbice, Bartica, and Georgetown, and the West Demerara district.
The 25 lucky contestants short listed will face off at the first round of competition inside Princess Hotel’s ‘Club Next’ on Saturday, June 30. Admission to this event has been set at $500.
Making it to the first round are Oquela Jones, DJ Mambo, Sandra King, La shaun Charles, Petal Bailey, Crystal Moore, Iodele Gilbert, Petal France, Winifred Mason, Junior Corbin, and Lisa Walcott, Michael Spencer, Damion Apple, Silyne Griffith, Oconell Morgan, Brian Gonsalves, Shawn Williams, Kevin Scott, Gino Fullington, Qusa Pollard, runway diva, ‘Maria’, Sharon Martin, Amanda Khani, Elizabeth Leung, and Sharon Jacobs.

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National male basketball team departs for Caribbean Championships

June 14, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Guyana’s national male basketball team departed yesterday morning for Tortola,

National Basketball Coach, Darcel Harris (left, front row) joins other team management and the National Male Basketball Team yesterday morning as they depart the Windjammer International Hotel for Tortola, BVI to compete in the Caribbean Championships.

National Basketball Coach, Darcel Harris (left, front row) joins other team management and the National Male Basketball Team yesterday morning as they depart the Windjammer International Hotel for Tortola, BVI to compete in the Caribbean Championships.

British Virgin Islands, where they will compete in the 2015 Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Men’s Championships scheduled for this week.
The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) had named the senior national male team earlier this week. The team will play Antigua and Barbuda tomorrow. The other three teams in Guyana’s group are Bahamas, Bermuda and Suriname.
As part of preparation for the Caribbean Championship, Guyana defeated Bermuda 3-0 in an Invitational Three-game Series in March and lost a Challenge Series 1-2 in Suriname. Guyana would hope to replicate the winning performances in Tortola.
The national federation stated that Guyana is seeking to improve on its fifth place at the 2014 CBC Championships, where the Guyanese finished ahead of Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The national senior team include: Guard/forward: Akeem Kanhai (Captain); Point Guards: Dave Causway, Travis Burnett, Jason Squires; Shooting Guards: Shelroy Thomas, US-based Kerron McKenzie, Chris Williams and Ryan Stephney; Forwards: Jermaine Slater, Ryan Gullen, Europe-based, Gordon James and Rudy James.

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James eagerly anticipates CBC debut

June 12, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

By Edison Jefford
Guyana’s newly recruited forward, Gordon James, is excited about making his debut for Guyana at

Gordon James

Gordon James

the 2015 Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Men’s Championships in Tortola, British Virgin Islands on Monday against Antigua and Barbuda.
Speaking to Kaieteur Sport following his arrival in Guyana earlier this week, James stated that he has been well-exposed over the last 10 years, but was always eager to represent Guyana.
“In the last 10 years, I was playing in other countries; that was my job. My brothers and I always talked about representing Guyana. When I heard about this opportunity, I was just excited to be a part of this national team,” James said in an interview.
The 6’6″ forward has played on the European circuit; the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation was also pursuing his brothers, Shawn and Delroy James, who are also playing in Europe, to be a part of the ‘big man’ rotation on the national team.
James said he does not know what the other perspectives are on the team currently, but he wants the players to know that basketball can provide a productive avenue for them to showcase talents that would otherwise go unnoticed. He said he is an example.
“I have travelled the world in the last 10 years playing basketball. These guys can do the same if they are serious; the opportunity is really there. Hope is something that if I can give the guys, I’ll be happy with that,” James said.
Asked what he believes his major contributions to the team will be, the lanky forward indicated that in his view, the team does not need to be extravagant. He said that “cohesion” will be one of the biggest determining factors for the team.
With successes against Bermuda at home in Guyana and Suriname, national coach, Darcel Harris and other aficionados believed that the national team’s weakness was in the forward/centre posts. Hence, there was a concerted effort to fill that void.
“We have to do this together as a team. Our approach may be different, but at the end of the day, we are one nation and that has to be our message. It is time to settle in, and let us all work to put Guyana on the map at these Championships,” he said.
Apart from Guyana playing Antigua and Barbuda on Monday, the other three teams in Guyana’s group are Bahamas, Bermuda and Suriname. The US-based shooting guard, Kerron McKenzie is the other overseas-based player on the team.

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GABF names national senior male team

June 11, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

– Two overseas-based players included
The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) yesterday named the senior national male team for

 Kerron McKenzie

Kerron McKenzie

the 2015 Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Men’s Championships, scheduled for this weekend in Tortola, British Virgin Islands.
A release from the GABF said that the team leaves Guyana on Saturday, and will play Antigua & Barbuda on Monday, June 15. The other three teams in Guyana’s group are Bahamas, Bermuda and Suriname.
“In preparation for the Caribbean Championship, Guyana hosted Bermuda in an Invitational Series in March; Guyana won that series 3-0; then in early May, Guyana lost a Challenge Series in Suriname 1-2,” the release indicated.
The national federation stated that Guyana is seeking to improve on its fifth place at the 2014 CBC Championships, where the Guyanese finished ahead of Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The national senior team include: Guard/forward: Akeem Kanhai (Captain); Point Guards: Dave Causway, Travis Burnett, Jason Squires; Shooting Guards: Shelroy Thomas, US-based Kerron McKenzie, Chris Williams and Ryan Stephney; Forwards: Jermaine Slater, Ryan Gullen, Europe-based, Gordon James and Rudy James.
The team’s management include: Darcel Harris (Head Coach); Marlon Rodrigues (Assistant Coach), Troy Greene (Manager) and Junior Hercules (Assistant Manager).

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Guyanese women edged in CBC opening thriller

June 10, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Following a valiant effort from the Guyanese women, debut hosts, British Virgin Islands (BVI) edged them

Miriam McKenzie

Miriam McKenzie

64-61 in an opening thriller of the 2015 Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Women’s Championships at the Multi-Sport Complex Monday night.
After falling behind 27-12 in the first period, the Guyanese bounced back to press the hosts in the island of Tortola, winning all three of the other periods, but still coming up short within the final seconds of arguable the best opening game of the competition.
Tafara Phillip scored 28 points for BVI on 10 of 20 shooting from the field. Phillip also had eight rebounds, five assists and six steals. Tamara Phillip and S. Fahie scored nine points apiece in the grueling encounter, which came down to the last 19 seconds.
For the Guyanese women, the University of Florida’s, guard/forward, Merisa Lewis poured in 23 points on 9 of 22 shooting from the field with eight rebounds. Ex-Loyola University Greyhounds of Maryland star, Miriam McKenzie had a double-double with 16 points and 17 rebounds.
Texas-based scholarship recipient, Ginelle Ifill had six points and 10 rebounds, as Nicola Jacobs added five points and eight rebounds and Timike Joseph-De Rouche six points to round off what was a comprehensive offensive showing for the Guyanese.
After the first period, the game looked liked it was headed for a blow-out. But several short runs ensured that the lead was cut to eight with BVI leading 38-30 at halftime, following a three-point dagger from Lewis

Merisa Lewis

Merisa Lewis

12 seconds before the break.
Offence was hard to come by in the early stages of the third quarter, as each team netted only one field goal in nearly three minutes of play. The Guyanese pulled within having a lead on occasion, however, each time, BVI answered.
Then, with 3:13 to play in the penultimate period, BVI went back up by 10 on a Tiffany Jennings three-pointer, and again it looked as if the hosts would start to pull away. But buckets from Ifill and McKenzie with less than a minute to play got Guyana to within five again (48-53) at the end of the third quarter.
The Guyanese, despite flourishing offensively were never able to contain BVI as they searched for more contributors on the bench. The hosts went back up by eight in the fourth with Philip on the move again from downtown with 7:06 to play.
Guyana continued to chip away, eventually cutting the lead to two points with 19 seconds left on a McKenzie free-throw.  However, the Guyanese would get no closer, as Tamara Philip put away the game with a free-throw with nine seconds left.
President of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF), who was criticised in sections of the media, last year for investing in the women’s team, said that he is “exceptionally proud” of the female players.
“Their performance showed grit and determination that brought them back into the game. I hope they continue to fight in this way,” Hinds said when contacted for a comment. Guyana is playing in their second CBC Championship under Hinds in as many years.
The Guyanese women played Jamaica last night and will play Barbados today. Jamaica won 75-57 against Barbados Monday night; the top two teams from each group will qualify for the semi-finals. (Edison Jefford with additional reporting from Caribbeanbasketball.com)

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LABA congratulates players on national selection

June 9, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

– makes financial contribution to them
The Linden Amateur Basketball Association (LABA) has congratulated its players selected to represent Guyana at the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships in Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

LABA Treasurer, Chantel Brookes (left) hands over the sponsorship to a national female player, Shanna Chester.

LABA Treasurer, Chantel Brookes (left) hands over the sponsorship to a national female player, Shanna Chester.

“Congratulations to Linden’s breed, Shanna Chester and Nichola Jacobs along with the captain Miriam Mckenzie and the entire national team, may the Almighty keep, guide and protect you all as the team represents our beautiful nation,” the LABA said in a press release.
The LABA also congratulated Linden’s Chris Williams, Harold Adams and Terron Welch along with the entire male team presently in training; they will depart to the BVI, Tortola to be part of the CBC Championships this weekend.
“To show our appreciation to the Linden players selected to represent our beautiful developing country, LABA and friend gladly provided a monetary contribution to those females mentioned. Same will be provided for the males,” the release noted.
The national female team departed Guyana last Saturday morning for Tortola. They played in the first game last night. Guyana is looking to improve its 2014 performance that landed Ginelle Ifill a full scholarship to a college in Texas, United States of America.

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Woodpecker Products, Digicel Junior National Squash Championship…Harding outstanding, Akeila Wiltshire and Joseph graduate on a high

June 8, 2015 | By | Filed Under Sports 

The local racquet wielders produced several stellar encounters on Sunday to conclude the Junior National Squash Championships, sponsored by Woodpecker Products Limited and hosted by the Guyana Squash Association (G.S.A.) in collaboration with its corporate sponsor Digicel. Played at the Georgetown Club, the event marked the final Junior category appearances for champions Akeila Wiltshire and Nyron Joseph, who both achieved 3-0 victories to graduate at the top of their respective classes.

Squash Champs show off their trophies yesterday.

Squash Champs show off their trophies yesterday.

Despite the exodus of the two experienced players, the dominance of several younger players suggests the conveyor belt of player production in the sport is still functioning as well as ever, especially with notable performances from the Most Outstanding Girl award recipient Makeda Harding, who swept the Under 13 and Under 15 categories, while finishing second to Rebecca Low playing with the Under 17 girls. Also impressive were the performances of Alexander Cheeks and Most Outstanding Boy Shomari Wiltshire. With the likes of Most Improved girl Sarah Lewis, Under 17 winner Ben Mekdeci and Most Improved Boy Daniel Islam also playing well, Guyana can be expected to continue its dominance at the regional level for some time to come.
The evidence of more youthful engagement in the sport was apparent as the tournament featured a competitive Under 9’s category, which was won by Beau Fernandes and Mohryan Baksh. This, according to G.S.A. member Raymond Islam, augurs well for the future of the sport. He also noted the rapid improvement of the younger players, exposed to a strong training programme, experienced coaches and regular competition- as a reason to be excited about Guyana’s chances on the global and regional scale in both the near and distant future.
Under 11 winner, and Under 15 runner up Kirsten Gomes battled to victory over Madison Fernandes 3-1 (11/5, 9/11, 11/5, 12/10) , relegating Fernandes to 3rd place in the Under 13 category. Paige Fernandes beat Haley Carpenter 3-0 to finish second and third respectively in the girls Under 11. However it was the dominant Harding’s performances which stood out, with 3-0 wins over Mia Collins and Abosaide Cadogan to secure her two titles. The towering right hander, who recently turned 13, is expected to be a part of a strong Junior Caribbean Amateur Squash Association (C.A.S.A.) team in July. In male results, Ethan Jonas, Michael Alphonso and Demetrius DeAbreu finished first to third respectively. Jonas secured his position with an enterprising 3-1 win over Alphonso in the under 11 category.
With participation at a high among the junior athletes, the boys novices group, added as a result of the near 50-strong competitors list, saw Jason Gomes beating Kamir Khan 3-0 to determine the first and second position, while James Mekdeci beat Mashal Allicock to take third.
Shomari Wiltshire earned the Under 13 boys first place award, but Samuel Ince-Carvahal and Gianni Carpenter together produced the most exciting boy’s game of the day with several long rallies. The game fluctuated back and forth as the two left-handers matched each other stroke for stroke before the second placed Ince-Carvahal rounded out the final game to take the match 3-2. Lucas Jonas finished third in that group.

Larissa Wilshire plays a backhand shot in the Girls U-19 final but could not prevent her elder sister Akiela from winning the match.

Larissa Wilshire plays a backhand shot in the Girls U-19 final but could not prevent her elder sister Akiela from winning the match.

Alexander Cheeks held off a compelling approach by the younger Shomari Wiltshire to take their match 3-1, and with it the top Under 15 spot, relegating his opponent to second, and the hard working Daniel Islam to third. Islam earlier beat his twin brother Anthony in a highly energetic game 3-0.
Rebecca Low and Sarah Lewis produced one of the feature female games in the Girls Under 17 category, fighting it out shot for shot in a game which Low won 3-2. The Under 17 champion Low took the first game 11/8, but lost the second 9/11, before going ahead 10/3 in the third. What followed was a nine point streak by Lewis, who placed third in the group, which saw her take the game 12/10. Low regained her composure in a highly emotional match to take the last two games 11/6 each.
The girls Under 19 game between Akeila and Larissa Wiltshire, a virtual final with Rebecca Low already assured of third place, saw the experience of the incumbent Akeila making her triumph over the youthful exuberance of her younger sibling. The two showed impressive fitness as each hard earned point was followed by another, with a mixture of thoughtful cross court strokes and deliberate drops employed to take the ball away from each other, matched by intuitive court movement. The final 3-0 score line, though fitting, did little to epitomize the competitive nature of the match, which ended with a 13/11 victory in the last game.
Nyron Joseph, in his last game at this level, held off a determined Ben Mekdeci 3-0 to finish atop the Boys Under 19 group, relegating his opponent to second and Alec Melville to third. In another close match, Joseph scrambled to victory in the first game 15/13, before taking the following games 11/7, 11/6 to finish on a high note. The players can now expect preparation for Regional foes as the top squash athletes look ahead to the Junior CASA tournament in a month’s time, where much is expected of them.
Full results:
Girls:
Makeda Harding beat Abosaide Cadogan 3-0 (11/0, 11/0, 11/1)
Aliyah Persaud beat Teija Edwards 3-0 (11/6, 11/7, 11/2)
Makeda Harding beat Maya Collins 3-0 (11/8, 11/2, 11/6)
Paige Fernandes beat Haley Carpenter 3-0 (11/8, 11/5, 11/3)
Akeila Wiltshire beat Larissa Wiltshire 3-0 (11/9, 11/6, 13/11)
Kirsten Gomes beat Isabella Ramjohn 3-0 (11/3, 11/0, 11/0)
Kirsten Gomes beat Madison Fernandes 3-1 (11/5, 9/11, 11/5, 12/10)
Rebecca Low beat Sarah Lewis 3-2 (11/8, 9/11, 10/12, 11/6, 11/6)
Boys:
Nathan Rahaman beat Shiloh Asregado 3-0 (11/5, 11/2, 11/1)
Gareth DaSilva beat Liam Carpenter 3-1 (10/12, 11/5, 11/6, 11/7)
Alec Melville beat Matthew Phang 3-0 (11/9, 11/8, 11/7)
Samuel Ince-Carvahal beat Gianni Carpenter 3-2 (5/11, 11/1, 11/4, 5/11, 11/5)
James Mekdeci beat Mashal Allicock 3-0 (11/7, 11/5, 11/9)
Demetrius DeAbreu beat Zach Persaud 3-0 (11/7, 11/4, 11/7)
Ethan Jonas beat Michael Alphonso 3-1 (11/9, 11/3, 8/11, 11/4)
Daniel Islam beat Anthony Islam 3-0 (11/7, 11/4, 11/3)
Louis DaSilva beat Noah Rahaman 3-0 (11/4, 11/6, 11/3)
Dominic Collins beat Lucas Jonas 3-2
Jason Gomes beat Kamir Khan 3-0 (12/10, 11/7, 11/6)
Alexander Cheeks beat Shomari Wiltshire 3-1 (11/9, 11/6, 4/11, 12/10)
Nyron Joseph beat Ben Mekdeci 3-0 (15/13, 11/7, 11/6)

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