Mar 03, 2011 Sports
By Edison Jefford
With the burden of securing the future of basketball on his shoulders, National Basketball Coach, Robert ‘Bobby’ Cadogan’s Afterschool Basketball Programme has shown steady growth and has gained momentum for the seven weeks it has been in existing.
When Kaieteur Sport visited the home of the programme, the National Gymnasium, yesterday, it was obvious that the much-needed extra-curriculum activity has evolved with over 60 students at the venue undergoing training in the fundamentals of basketball.
“From the perspective of attendance, from week one to week seven, we have and have continued to improve 100 percent,” Cadogan said, adding that the participants in the programme are mostly from the schools situated in South Georgetown among some others.
The national senior basketball coach, who benefited from training in Hungary in 2001 then High Performance preparation in Mexico in 2009, both owed to Olympic Solidarity Scholarships, said that both the male and female participants are receptive to training.
“It is indeed encouraging to see them responding so well. Some people came here and they could not have even lay-up the ball; now those same players are laying-up with both hands,” he said as an example of how interested the budding talents are in the programme.
The Afterschool Basketball Programme is aimed at ensuring that the future of the sport is more secured following the rapid decline of basketball at the junior level over the last three years with Guyana failing, for instance, to retain and reclaim the Inter-Guiana Games (IGG) title; females in the sport has also been a sore point that needed remedy in recent years.
“It is a good sign to see females making a genuine attempt to get into the game. The students are so eager to learn that they now want weekend sessions,” Cadogan indicated. He, however, stated that the 3:30pm-5pm daily sessions are enough for the children.
The programme attracts players ages 9-15; Guyana’s former Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Technical Director, Cecil Chin, junior national coach, Mark Agard among others are in an established Coaching Panel for the Afterschool Basketball Programme.
National Director of Sports, Neil Kumar had endorsed the programme at its launch. Among some stakeholders is Dr. Colin Watson, Hilbert Weekes and former national captain, Hewley Harry but Cadogan believes that the time is opportune for corporate support.
“I’m waiting on a major corporate entity to step in and adopt this programme; financial resources are always necessary in major activities like these. I am certain that we have the human resources to make this a fully operational and successful programme,” he concluded.
The Afterschool Programme hosts fundamental training from Monday to Thursday while Friday is usually set aside for basketball games among the participants where their skill levels are noted for placement in the three categories: Beginners, Aspirants and Advanced.
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