Feb 07, 2009 Sports
By Edison Jefford
The inaugural National Sports Commission (NSC) high school basketball championships will open today at 1:00pm with a gala ceremony scheduled for the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in the presence of participating schools.
One of the coordinators of the event, Lavern Fraser told Kaieteur Sport yesterday that the two respective Ministers, Shaik Baksh and Frank Anthony will address the 17 schools expected to compete for the championship title.
Minister of Education, Baksh and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Anthony will be collaborating on various projects in an effort to return sport to schools. The two had met over today’s competition some time ago.
Director of Sport Neil Kumar, in a recent interview with this newspaper, had confirmed that the intention of the collaborative effort is to get basketball back in the schools after independent projects failed to full the void.
Kumar had first proposed the national schools’ basketball initiative after which he gave a mandate to Fraser for the execution phase. The Director of Sport had expressed concern over the playing of the sport nationally.
As a result, he said that he intends to hold this competition up as a standard with the hope that national junior and senior players will emerge. He informed that basketball is not the only sport that the commission will target. While the intention of this tournament is to make it a nation–wide event, Kumar believes that they had to start somewhere, which is why only 17 schools will participate in this year’s inaugural basketball event.
The NSC had sent out over 40 invitations to various schools and the response has forced the organisers to restructure the format. Initially, the contest was slated as a knockout event in anticipation of more schools.
“We have changed the format from what we had initially, we now have four groups with the top two teams in each group advancing to the knock–out quarterfinal stage of the tournament,” Fraser highlighted.
She also said that five games are slated for today from 2pm after Kumar takes the ‘jump ball’ while six games will be played tomorrow. “[The] schools are all expected to there for the opening ceremony in uniforms,” she added.
Charlestown Secondary, Plaisance Community High, Guyana Industrial Trading Centre and Bishops High School will compete in Group ‘A’ with Plaisance and Bishops going in as strong favourites to come out on top.
Guyana Technical Institute, Cove and Garden, New Campbellville Secondary and Guyana Educational Trust College comprise Group ‘B’. The technical institute are expected to this group if history repeats itself.
Group ‘C’ has Critchlow Labour College, Central High School, President’s College and East Ruimveldt Secondary. President’s College national junior player, Richard Mohandat will be eager to show–off in this group.
As a result of the imbalance, five teams will compete in Group ‘D’, which includes Saint Stanislaus College, Saint Roses High, West Demerara, the Business School and Marian Academy in the weakest of the four groups.
The female competition has only attracted three teams: New Campbellville, Plaisance and Charlestown. Fraser informed that the three teams will play round–robin to determine the winner while the male final is set for February 22.
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