The recent act by the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) to recognise the historic feat achieved by our national team is highly commendable and worthy of much praise.
The young team that won Guyana’s first Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championship gold at the recently concluded event in Suriname undoubtedly deserved the accolade for an outstanding performance, playing unbeaten throughout the competition.
All this was achieved in the face of the many obstacles that were placed in front of them prior to leaving these shores to participate in the Championship, but instead of arriving in the Dutch territory as mere competitors, the team’s determination to prove that they were worthy of support must have served as a positive inspiration for their superb performance.
The sport of basketball has been experiencing a lean period in terms of fan support, but the GABF executive headed by the indomitable Nigel Hinds went about the business of affording the teams every opportunity to prepare adequately unperturbed by low turnouts and piecemeal sponsorship and must be having the last laugh now.
Hinds, a former national basketball and hockey player showed how much he cared about the sacrifices that were being made by the players and their respective families and was determined to get the team to the Championship at all cost.
In Guyana many other administrators might have ‘thrown in the towel’ and abandoned the effort to get the team to the Championship and in the process lose the opportunity to make history, but the determined President aided by the understanding of the kind of damage not attending the Championship can cause to an athlete’s psyche, especially after putting in the hard work to compete at a high level, was not prepared to face those players with news that they could not participate due to financial constraints.
News of that kind can also affect the game’s viability and sustainability and cognizant of the sport’s struggling fan base it probably would have been unreasonable to deny them the chance to compete.
Hinds’ request for support from the Government failed to get approval, but even then with a huge cost attached to getting the team to Suriname, taking care of accommodation; transportation and meals, he stood his ground, even putting his integrity on the line, promising that they will participate in the Championship.
It was a bold statement, but as it turned out it was the right call and the rest is history, they made their President and the whole of Guyana proud.
What is instructive about the President’s resolve is that it rubbed off on the team and the coaching staff, but more importantly it clearly demonstrated the advantage of being a former player.
He showed the kind of love that is associated with being a good parent; he went through that phase of preparation and knew how crucial it was to reward them for their dedication and commitment and in return they rewarded him with the ultimate achievement, the gold.
While we agree that being a former player does not necessarily transform someone into an excellent administrator, having that background provides a distinct advantage because of that yearning to pull out all stops to make it possible.
Sports in Guyana is hungry for more individuals like Hinds, our athletes are being held back by some who are immersed with their importance than the athlete and are unwilling to go the extra mile to fulfill the dreams of our youths.
Hinds’ demonstration of sacrifice should serve as a shining example to other administrators and who knows we may begin to see more and more outstanding results across the sports spectrum.
Nov 15, 2018On Sunday last, Head of the IKD 9th Dan Shuseki Shihan Frank Woon-a-Tai, 8th Dan Shihan Maureen Woon-a-Tai (IKD Vice-Chief Instructor) and 8th Dan Shihan Bernice Hughes, assisted by Amir Khouri 7th...
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