Education Ministry must come on board
By Edison Jefford
There is a successful model for schools’ basketball in Guyana after many trials and errors that plunged the sport into the abyss at the junior level. The National Schools’ Basketball Festival (NSBF) has evolved into an eminent event.
Basketball is not one of the sports that usually get the full support of Government and the reasons are many. However, this year, the National Sports Commission (NSC) has shown significant maturity with the well coordinated NSBF.
The Schools’ Basketball Festival was a product of the NSC with the intention of creating a platform for selection on Guyana’s national junior basketball team, but with the absence of a schools’ programme, the event needed evolution.
Next Level Entertainment (NLE) had indicated after its successful Super-Eight Division I nation-wide competition this year that the group was willing to work with the schools in collaboration with the NSC and major sponsors.
Before ‘Next Level’s intention, Chris Bowman had collaborated with the NSC in earlier years with the festival. Bowman regularised his movement with a new organisation that is referred to as Street Solutions Incorporated.
The genesis of the 2009 NSBF success was the basic NSC event’s partnership with NLE and Street Solutions in the administration phase of the project and the thrust toward the necessary corporate support and relationships.
In the dynamic movement where personal benefits and reward were clearly not the prime motivation, Banks DIH through its Sprite brand, Digicel, Giftland OfficeMax, Edward B. Beharry Co Ltd. among other sponsors were enthused.
The collaborative effort of the NSC, NLE and Street Solutions with the assistance of the corporate community created an unrivalled atmosphere in schools’ basketball over nine days last week at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall. Players were overwhelmed to just be present at the venue each day as sponsors benefited from the branding of the venue and free publicity. The administrators did not profit from a packed Sports Hall each day but that was not the idea.
The venue was illuminated, national junior scouts for the Inter-Guiana Games were seen active with notepads, sponsors’ logos decorated the arena and teams just wanted to play for bragging rights and the attention available.
In other words, for one of the few occasions in the history of the sport locally, money was not the primary motivator and that drizzled from the administrators to the court where the talented players performed with unquestionable zeal.
Critics would struggle to find reasons to chastise the 2009 NSBF except for the fact that it needed more support from the Ministry of Education. There were too many of the participating institutions without necessary support.
Marian Academy has to be identified in this regard. Both of the institute’s Under-15 and Under-17 teams were entirely uniformed and supported at each game by officials from the school, parents, friends and even well-wishers.
Marian did not turn up at the tournament boasting grossly talented teams, but the support they received was enough to propel them to both U-15 and U-17 final. The school had the right structure and they got due rewards. The Ministry of Education must be the missing link to fully connect this train. There must be complete coordination with the Ministry and the NSC, so that issues like players being compelled to attend lessons would not affect the sport.
The Ministry must also contribute, where possible, to schools being properly identified in the colours of the school like Marian. Each school must have its own uniform and not be like some in the tournament, who had to play with bibs.
These are areas that the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports can work to correct before next year’s schools’ basketball festival but for now, let’s hope the successful collaborative effort is sustained.
May 29, 2020The COVID 19 has affected the operations of many industries and organisations financially all over the world and the Lusignan Golf Club (LGC) is no different. The club has been closed since the...
May 29, 2020
May 28, 2020
May 28, 2020
May 28, 2020
May 27, 2020
By Sir Ronald Sanders Caribbean countries are, once again, being placed in a difficult position as they try to navigate... more
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]