Government of Guyana commits $20M to the GABF for hosting of CBC U16 Championships in July
By Rawle Toney
The Government of Guyana, through its Ministry of Education, which also governs sports, committed $20M to the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) for the hosting of this year’s Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Under-16 Championship.
Guyana will host the Youth Caribbean Championship for the second time (the first was in 1999), which features both male and female participation at the event, which is set for July at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
The Government of Guyana’s announcement comes following a meeting held earlier today (April 28), between Minister of Education Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine and Permanent Secretary Alfred King, with CBC President Glyne Clarke, CBC Vice-President Patrick Haynes, GABF President Nigel Hinds and other officials of the GABF and National Sports Commission.
It was a prerequisite, for the GABF to have Government’s commitment of financial support, in order for the CBC to solidify Guyana as the host country for the 2016 Championships, of which the Education Minister, noted that “we (Guyana) are happy to be hosts; we have an interest in not only hosting events but also developmental work. We are happy to hosts these events because it puts Guyana on show,”
According to Dr. Roopnaraine, it is important that events of this nature be held, given the fact that the Government “want to advance sport in our schools in a serious way; we will be anxious to see a programme of worth that recognises a lot of capacity building”.
The CBC President, Clarke, said that so far, his visit unearthed his satisfaction of the “physical structure required for the Championships”, despite having several much-needed upgrade to the facility before the tournament in July.
“What we saw made us very hopeful. Guyana has always been at the forefront of our basketball in the Caribbean; Guyana has always been gracious hopes. We were assured that all the works to to be completed are mostly cosmetic,” Clarke said.
Meanwhile, Hinds, the GABF President, added that his Federation is “very grateful for the efforts and commitment of the Government. We had a vision that is now becoming a reality. This will not be just an event that takes place and vanishes. It will have lots of spinoffs”.
Hinds, a former National Hockey and Basketball player himself, believes that “this is a step in the right direction. We are in need of a sports culture. We believe that this is a great investment in Guyana’s youth. We are grateful to Government and Ministry of Education. This is a wonderful moment for us”.
To date, ten men’s and seven women’s national teams have confirmed their participation. This includes Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname and the hosts Guyana in the Men’s Championship.
The Women’s Championship will include national teams from Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the hosts Guyana.
The Youth Championship was last held in St John’s, Antigua in 2008 and both the Men’s and Women’s Championship winners were the Bahamas.