In light of the Minister of Social Cohesion with responsibility for Sport, Dr. George Norton, stating in the media that the Government of Guyana will be unable to fund the $10 million that Guyana’s senior men and women’s teams need for participation in the 2018 Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships, head of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF), Nigel Hinds, is hoping that the administration’s reconsiders.
”We hope it’s (the decision) not final. But we assure the athletes and the nation that we will attend the tournament which will be held in Suriname with or without government support,” contended the GABF boss.
He further stated that, “We will use funds from the Executive and corporate community to ensure the development programme for the young men and women is not interrupted by the announcement of Minister Norton.”
The GABF had written letters to both Social Cohesion and Ministry of the Presidency, neither of these entities has sent a formal response to date. In addition, the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) was approached and Hinds noted that although they have not given a written response, based on talks, it seems as though the GOA will provide assistance. Also, the National Sports Commission (NSC) has pledged its intention to supply buses to take the athletes to Suriname.
Currently, for a few weeks now, the GABF has been paying out of pocket to fund the costs towards preparation for the CBC event which adds up to over $150,000 a day while Nigel Hinds Financial Services sponsored the uniforms to the tune of $1.5 million which includes home and away kits, travel and warm-up gear.
In addition, as a means of giving the men’s side an added boost, the Federation has funded a trip to Barbados where the Guyanese will battle the home team in a three-match friendly series.
During an interview with Kaieteur Sport yesterday, Hinds reiterated that, “It’s baffling, I was dumbfounded by the response. They haven’t even indicated a willingness to give a portion, not even a dollar. Kids from schools all over the country are part of the national setup and it is a wrong message to send to the lads (by the government).”
He further posited, “It would be silly if my writings on the sugar industry, oil and gas sector to name a few were linked with the disapproved funding and we in the GABF will consider the decision to fund or not to fund final, when President Granger makes a pronouncement.”
The $10million adds up to less that 2% of the $520million that was allocated in the 2018 budget for sport. “Clearly the government has broken their policy”, Hinds explained, referencing the APNU/AFC pre-election manifesto which stated that, “Both men’s and women’s (national) teams should have guaranteed funding for travel and accommodation to attend Caribbean Championships since to represent our country at such events is the ultimate achievement in sports for an athlete.”
The men will jet out for their three-game series against Barbados this morning with 18-year-old Stanton Rose selected as the youngest Captain in the history of the men’s side. The full list reads, Stanton Rose (Captain), Anthony Moe (Co-Captain), Shaine Webster (Centre), Timothy Thompson (Centre), Harold Adams (Small Forward), Orlan Glasgow (Small Forward), Kevon Wiggins (Shooting Guard), Dominic Vincente (Shooting Guard), Nikkoloi Smith (Shooting Guard), Travis Burnett (Small Forward), Chris Williams (Shooting Guard), Domair Gladstone (Point Guard) and Travis Belgrave (Point Guard). Nigel Hinds is the Team Manager and Dennis Clarke; Assistant Manager.
The women squad comprises mostly of local student-athletes, they are: Annalisa Barclay – President’s College, Jada Mohan – Marian Academy, Damelza Nicholas – Guyana School of Agriculture, Kenasha Leacock – Kwakwani, Makeda Rogers – Kwakwani, Lydia Roberts – President’s College, Lowquantor Gibson – Guyana Police Force, Roschelle Campbell – President’s College, Carron Bobb-Semple – President’s College, Ashley Khan – St. Rose’s High, Cliffanna Hunter – Mackenzie High, Saffiya Greene – President’s College, Adela Roache – St. Rose’s High, Kesann Charles – Bishop’s High and Ginelle Ifill – Oklahoma College.
Troy Green is the Head Coach while Ann Gordon of Kwakwani will serve as Manager. (Calvin Chapman)
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