Jul 19, 2013 Sports
By Michael Benjamin
It had been a smooth and uneventful journey and 45 minutes after it’s commencement from the Ogle Airport, the 12 seater Cessna Aircraft circled in anticipation of a safe landing on the Mabaruma, Airstrip.
As one drank in the scenery below, small structures nestled in thick undergrowth give the impression of backwater territory in uncivilized habitat. This notion quickly changed as the aircraft swooped down and rolled to a stop in front of ‘immigration’ where police officers welcomed the passengers and processed their
documents before bidding them a pleasant stay.
We were in the Barima/Waini region, popularly referred to as the North/West district. Mabaruma is a tiny village and is one of the three sub regions in the Barima/Waini district; Matarkai and Moruca completing the topography.
The Digicel group (such reference stems from the fact that this telephone entity had facilitated the trip for media representatives and football officials for the highly anticipated football showdown between Santa Rosa Secondary and Mahdia Secondary Schools Wednesday evening last) consisted of football referees, coaches, and media representatives as well as Digicel executives.
Anticipation was high among residents of that community and many were casting wagers as supporters of both teams oozed confidence of victory.
One immediately got the impression that sport was not merely a part time vocation in the region but a vital part of existence. Regional Chairman of the Barima/Waini Region, Paul Pierre agrees with this notion, “Sports in general has been an integral part of the of the Region’s agenda,” he responded to my question. Formally the Regional Vice Chairman, Mr. Pierre succeeded Fermin Singh in January 2001 and said that since then he has overseen the steady development of sports in the region.
“Football is a big thing around these parts but we have also excelled in tapeball cricket and other disciplines,” he intimated. He also said that organizers are currently putting the modalities in place to facilitate the hard ball version of the sport.
Facilities are not necessarily of optimum standards but the Regional Chairman revealed that most of the football and cricket matches are played at the Hosororo, Wauna and the Mabaruma Settlement Grounds with the latter regarded as the best among the lot.
Touching on support, Mr Pierre said that they have benefitted greatly from Government largesse as officials from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCY&S) have supported their programmes through donations of gears, personnel and organizing input. Mr Pierre also said that the government entity has engineered the rehabilitation of 6 grounds over the past year. This apart, he said that he would welcome additional technical help as well as coaches in the system.
“Notwithstanding, the region has benefited from support of the business community and I must compliment the efforts of Digicel whose contribution has been outstanding,” exhorted Mr Pierre. He said that prior to the current tournament, Digicel had sponsored a coaching programme and the attendance had been more than commendable.
“Digicel’s intervention has given footballers a wonderful opportunity to realise their potential, said Mr Pierre. He said that he was extremely delighted by such chivalry even as he singled out the match between Port Kaituma and Santa Rosa at the Mabaruma Settlement Grounds last week in which the latter team had prevailed.
The experts have uttered advice that precludes the uninitiated from spontaneous judgement but as one glances through the window of the aircraft as it negotiates the airstrip in Mabaruma, it is difficult to expect much. Upon landing and a closer look, the caveat of the experts is fully endorsed.
Mr Pierre’s efforts are supported by former national striker and Alpha United player, Elton Brown who chairs the sports committee on the Regional Democratic Council. Both principals are pleased with the input and returns of Digicel to the extent that Mr Pierre is mulling the idea of a regional tournament among the three sub regions. “Digicel has been a vital part of our sports structure since 2007 and we are currently mulling the idea of their involvement in a regional tournament among teams from the three sub regions,” said Mr Pierre. He said that currently the rivalry experienced among teams in the sub regions is limited to activities in September during the yearly staged Amerindian Heritage Games. He feels that the time has arrived for competition among the three sub regions where the best unit goes on to represent the region.
He is adamant that sponsorship is the catalyst in the development of sports in the region and summed it up nicely, “Sports have been the glue that has kept us united from the tip of Moruca right across to Mabaruma and it will only get better,” he prophesied.
Jun 22, 2021Kaieteur News – Head Coach Marcio Maximo yesterday named a 23-man squad for the Golden Jaguars’ Concacaf Gold Cup preliminary round qualification match against Guatemala. The Golden Jaguars...
Jun 22, 2021
Jun 22, 2021
Jun 22, 2021
Jun 22, 2021
Jun 21, 2021
Kaieteur News – One of the more principled, morally focused Black voices in Guyanese politics is UK based activist,... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders More commonality was shown by CARICOM countries in a vote on Tuesday June 15 at the Organisation of... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, 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]