The Guyana Netball Association is gearing up for a challenging year and already executives are preparing for their first meeting scheduled for Wednesday January 13.
In a release to this newspaper yesterday, Secretary of the association, Lawrence Griffith assured that his executives are prepared to work hard to ensure that its affiliates enjoy a successful year.
Activities get underway with a visit to the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Frank Anthony on Friday January 15. This meeting precedes the council meeting on February 4 followed by the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Subsequently, the association will host a take away lunch during the Mashramani celebrations to augment their fund raising activities. Executives are also mulling the launching of a raffle around that time.
Meanwhile, Griffith believes that while his organization underwent some torrid times last year local players were still able to achieve some amount of success.
The Secretary has since revealed that this year executives would be intensifying efforts to vigorously promote the sport. “In 2010 we expect to hit the ground running, this year can be the beginning of a decade of continuous netball activity as never seen before,” Griffith assured.
He said that the season would commence in March with the traditional march pass of teams followed by the Inter Club U-16 competition. Griffith further intimated that the Inter Club U-23 competition would get underway at April month end to be followed by the seniors competition sometime in mid May.
In July/August the seniors will be engaged in a competition at a venue to be named. Later in the year St Lucia will be staging a vintage tournament for players 40 years and over. Guyana may not be able to field a team however persons who has attained the age can attend and team up with other players from other Countries.
Griffith said that the GNA will be participating in 2 overseas tournaments starting from April 8-18 when the Caribbean Netball Association stages the Jean Pierre Youth Tournament. This tournament would be staged in Barbados and is open to players 16 years and under. Last year, the association fielded a team to these championships in Jamaica, a feat the secretary feels is more than commendable when the cost is taken into consideration.
This year, the tournament will be divided into 2 groups, the developmental group and the established group. The teams comprising the developmental groups are, Turks & Caicos, Anguilla, Cayman Island, Guyana, Bahamas, Nevis, Bermuda, BVI and St Maarten. The established groups comprise of Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent, Antigua and St Kitts.
Countries falling under the developmental group are those that have not attained a high level of play. This tournament will be used to give them an opportunity to qualify at the higher level.
“We also plan to organise a school tournament which will be sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, systems are being put in place to ensure that this tournament becomes a success,” Griffith noted.
Meanwhile, Griffith blamed the lack of facilities as the major bugbear to their progress.
He intimated that executives hope to work with the Government as well as the corporate community to make the acquisition of adequate facilities a reality.
He pointed out that there is a need for facilities in Linden, Bartica, Berbice, Kwakwani, Essequibo as well as Georgetown. He said that these are traditionally strong netball playing areas.
The secretary is grateful for the input of the media.
“We are grateful for the input of the media and we hope that our cordial relationship will continue in 2010,” said Griffith.
He is also grateful for the help received from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.
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