After being locked out from the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) on Wednesday, the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) was granted permission for its players to use the facility yesterday afternoon to continue preparations for upcoming tournaments including the Inter Guiana Games and the Caribbean Championships.
Speaking with the media at the Sports Hall yesterday, President of the GABF, Nigel Hinds stated that the Director of Sport Neil Kumar cancelled their practice sessions after several articles were published in the Kaieteur and Stabroek Newspapers thus hampering the players’ preparations.
Hinds explained that he was invited to Parliament yesterday to speak with several senior parliamentarians after which he was told to let the players turn up at the venue.
“We had to wait for 40 minutes outside because the security guard said he does not have the keys which he eventually released after Vice President Michael Singh telephoned Kumar”, he added.
Hinds indicated that the issue has not yet been resolved because they have requested from the National Sports Commission the use of the facility on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and are still waiting on a response.
The Georgetown Presidential Under-19 team practiced at the venue last evening and Hinds stated that players will be added to the squad after the Inter Association senior and junior tournaments which will commence tomorrow involving Georgetown, Linden and Berbice.
The President said that Youth Basketball Guyana (YBG) selected national teams for the past few years which should not be. “The GABF should be the body responsible for selecting any national team”, he lamented.
Hinds explained that they do not receive any assistance from the Ministry of Sport and the executives have to utilize their personal resources to run the sport. “Basketball in Guyana has suffered tremendously under the current Director of Sport, Kumar but we will achieve our goals which include taking our senior team to the British Virgin Islands, we have got positive responses from several business entities but also need the Government’s support”, he said.
Hinds stated that the Government should ensure that the Sports Hall is made accessible to athletes adding that it was a sorry sight to see the players who are keen to represent their country being locked out from it. He said the GABF has to pay to use the facility.
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