By Zaheer Mohamed
The Guyana Cricket Board has officially launched the third edition of its National Secondary School Cricket League at its office in Regent Street, Bourda yesterday.
The league, which commenced at the inter-school stage, will see 150 schools taking part. The successful schools will then move on to the inter-district stage which will be played using the GTU format. The top schools will then go through to the playoffs which will be followed by the finals. The top players in the respective zones will be selected to play in the combined elite stage forming district teams.
Speaking at the launching, Gervy C. Harry of the National Sports Commission lauded the GCB and sponsors Demerara Mutual Life Assurance Society Ltd as well as the Child Care and Protection Agency and Ministry of Education for their roles in the tournament. While urging the youths to remain committed to the sport and to strive for greater heights, Harry also advised them to make full use of the opportunity provided and called on the parents to recognize the importance of their children’s participation in sports.
Administrator of the Allied Arts Unit of the Ministry of Education (Ag) Lorraine Barker-King stated that the ministry has collaborated successfully with the GCB on a number of programmes including the kiddy cricket and child care and protection clinics for teachers. She noted the importance of health and social benefits in cricket and informed that the ministry has implemented a sports and culture programme in dormitory schools. Ms Barker-King added that they want what’s best for the children since they are the future leaders and expressed gratitude to the GCB.
Orette Francois senior child protection officer stressed on the importance of children’s safety and said they are happy to work with the GCB to ensure that the coaching programme has an element of child abuse. He stated that that child protection is everybody’s business and encouraged other sporting organisation to focus on mental development of children.
Demerara Mutual Life Assurance Society Ltd Executive Manager Marketing and Sales, Clarence Perry, said they are pleased to be associated with the tournament. He pointed out that sports have an important role to play in the development of the youths. Perry stressed on the importance of education stating that it plays a vital role in transforming success from the junior to the senior level which he felt has somewhat affected West Indies cricket. He urged the youths to grab the opportunities with both hands and to remain disciplined.
Secretary of the GCB Anand Sanasie indicated that the GCB realised the need to produced well rounded cricketers and as such they have implemented a comprehensive school programme starting with the kiddy tournament. He said the schools programme is getting better and those schools that spend time with their players are the ones who excel in the sport.
Sanasie made reference to Sachin Singh of Chase Academy who captained the West Indies U16 team on their tour to England earlier this year. He felt that schools should have games masters and players must have 65% attendance record to participate adding that a primary schools’ tournament is in the making. Sanasie expressed gratitude to all the stake holders.
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