– Munroe hoping for a new lease on life for the sport
Despite struggling to gain the approval of important stakeholders, participation in Windball Cricket at the schools level still managed to hover around the 50% mark, but this according to Sports Officer attached to the National Sports Commission, Alister Munroe, was a disappointing average when considered the sport’s popularity among the students.
Munroe, who has been at the helm of the sport for over a decade, in a release to Kaieteur Sport said the year 2013 was a difficult one for the game due to the unhelpful posture of the major stakeholders which has made it difficult to procure sponsorship to run off some of the planned programmes.
The year according to the Sports Officer begun with the staging of the Easter Term Female Competition and this event experienced its lowest turnout in its history.
Institute of Professional Education (IPE) defeated tournament favorites Covent Garden Secondary in the final. However, Covent Garden’s opening pair of Kaysia Schultz and Marcia Singh set a record for the first wicket of 99 which they then eclipsed after posting 110 later in the tournament.
Munroe disclosed that the two players were part of the Al Sport & Tour Promotions (ASTP) Windball Cricket Development Programme.
This competition was followed up by the staging of the inaugural U13 Female Championship which saw four teams participate and which was won by Queen’s College. The other three teams that participated were IPE, Queenstown Secondary and Tutorial High.
Following the completion of those two tournaments, the 16th Annual End of School Year Primary Schools Windball Cricket Champions Trophy was organised and played in Regions #3, 4, 6, Georgetown & Region #5.
In Region #6 the programme returned to its individual zone competitions, this meant that each zone saw its top four school teams receive prizes. In 2012 each zone winner earned a qualification spot to the semifinals of the combined regional tournament.
It was decided by the Organisers that Region #6 be divided into five zones namely Upper Corentyne, Central Corentyne/Black Bush Polder, Lower Corentyne, Canje & New Amsterdam.
Upper Corentyne saw the largest participation of schools when the competition was played at the No. 71Village ground for the first time in the history of the sport in Berbice. The ground is home to Massiah Primary.
In Region #5 Ithaca & No. 5 were declared joint winners in the girls segment, while Novar took the boys title that saw nine teams compete in the inaugural tournament which was played, at the Seafield Community Centre Ground.
In Region #4, Upper East Coast Demerara defending champions Mahaica boys took that zone title, they also enjoyed other accolades when Trevon Lewis was voted Player of the final after recording bowling figures of 5-11, while Dale Ireland & Orland Haynes copped the joint Most Valuable Players (MVP) award for their record opening partnership of 113. Clonbrook girls won their first championship.
In the Central & Lower East Coast Zone, Vryheid Lust girls won for the first time, while IPE claimed the boys’ crown.
Eccles boys’ won the Lower East Bank Demerara Zone, while the Upper East Bank Demerara Zone was won by Timehri (Boys) and St Mary’s (Girls) respectively.
Over in Region #3, West Bank Demerara Kawall boys regained the title they lost over the past two years after defeating debutant Viva-La-Force, while Vreed-en-Hoop successfully defended their title in the girls’ category.
The West Coast Demerara / East Bank Essequibo Zone saw Leonora boys maintain their stranglehold which has been the case for the past three years, while Mc Gillivary won the girls. Tuschen made their debut in the competition and finished a creditable third.
In the Georgetown Zone, Redeemer secured their first title after capturing the girls crown, while Mae’s did the same in the boys’ division. Tutorial High turned in a commendable performance to win the girls’ U13 title, while in Region #6, Upper Corentyne primaries girls reigning champion No. 48 won. Massiah boys retained their title as well.
In the inaugural U13 tournament, Skeldon Line Path Secondary made a clean sweep winning both girls and boys titles.
In the Central Corentyne/Black Bush Polder Zone, McGowan won both titles, while in the U13 segment, Central Corentyne Secondary won and in the Canje zone, Besty ground carted off both titles.
Defending champion Edinburg retained their title in the boys’ category, while in the girls St Therese’s took top honours.
Vryman’s Erven captured both boys’ and girls’ titles in the Secondary Schools competition, while returning to Georgetown Dolphin Secondary grabbed the boys crown, while in the girls competition Queenstown Secondary & Dolphin shared the spoils.
Camille’s Institute and Friendship were the top performers in the East Bank Demerara Zone, while Friendship Secondary won the senior competition.
Munroe asked to assess the overall participation of students said that just over 2000 students participated in this year’s competitions a development he described as disappointing.
The NSC Officer added that while there were no regional competitions as is customary with exchanges usually occurring between the locals, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, he is hoping that this year brings a new lease on life for the sport which is embraced by students, parents and volunteers.
A team from T&T had visited Guyana three years ago to compete against the Guyanese and among those who met the players were Minister of Sport Dr. Frank Anthony, Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry Alfred King and Director of Sport Neil Kumar.
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