President Ali: ‘Sport unifies people, breaks down social barriers’

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By Akeem Greene

The Georgetown Softball Cricket League Inc.  in collaboration with Guyana’s Honorary Consul – Florida, Ramzan Roshanah Ali, will host the President’s T20 Softball Cup in Guyana from March 5-7.

Main patron of the tournament, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Dr. Irfaan Ali, was present at Sunday’s launch held at the Everest Cricket Club.

In his feature address, the President stated, “The greatest output of sport is its ability to unify people, ability to bring people together, ability to break down social barriers.”

He added, “The first fundamental that we have to fix is that we remove the disparity when it comes to sports across the country. We have to invest in facilities, programmes, that will give all of our young people across the country an opportunity to be the best they can be in various sport disciplines.”

The President further revealed they have embarked on a project to have international standard multi-purpose facilities in each region and they have already started in three regions.

The government will invest in the human resource potential starting with programmes in the schools, the community, regional and national level, to ensure there are sport facilities or coaches in districts.

“I am hoping soon the Softball League can launch a school programme so that we can have the various schools involved also,” the President expressed.

President Dr. Irfaan Ali addressing the gathering at the launch

Anand Sanasie, Secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), expressed: “Softball has played a great part in opening up back this country given the tension we were under because of this serious pandemic and cricket as a whole has brought some relief to our citizenry.”

He added, “I trust you have a safe tournament and you always have the support of the Guyana Cricket Board once I am around, and you can count on that. You will also have any usage you want of the LBI [La Bonne Intention ground] Facility.”

Speaker of the National Assembly and President of the Everest Cricket Club, Manzoor Nadir, spoke on behalf of Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr, and expressed that the Minister offered congratulations to the President and the Softball League for initiating another worthy programme for sport in the country.

Nadir added that the Minister said he will support sport at all levels and across the entire country and added that all these tournaments don’t compete, but complement the work towards the wellness of the nation.

Meanwhile, President Ali, who is a member of the Everest Cricket Club, was given life membership at the Camp Road club.

The President receiving a token from the Georgetown Softball League Inc.

Winning teams in each of the three categories will pocket $500,000 and runners-up $100,000, while Man-of-the-Series in each division will cop a 32” Television and Man-of-the-Match in the final will get a trophy.

The grounds which will be utilised are Police Sports Club, Queen’s College ground, LBI Cricket Ground, MYO Cricket ground, GYO Cricket Ground, Demerara Cricket Club and Malteenoes Sports Club.

The sponsors are Banks DIH Limited, under the Banks Beer and Rainforest Water Brands, Trophy Stall, Danny Persaud (YouTuber), Elegance Jewellery and Pawnshop, Star Party Rentals, P&P Insurance, Crown Mining Supplies, Regal Stationery and Computer Centre, Regal Sports, Dinar Trading, Mohamed’s Enterprise, King’s Jewellery World and Roraima Group of Companies.

Participating teams

Legends (Over 50): Regal Legends, Savage Legends, President’s XI (New York), Floodlight Legends, Parika Defenders, Sunshine State Softball Cricket Association Legends (Miami Florida), Enterprise Legends, Rockaway Legends (New York).

Masters (Over 40): Regal Masters, Wellman Masters, Better Hope Masters, Fisherman Masters, Success Masters, Corriverton Masters, HS Masters, Ariel Masters.

All Stars: Regal All Stars, Speedboat XI, Pigeon All Stars, Sunshine State Softball Cricket Association All Stars (Miami), Cotton Field Wild Oats (Essequibo), Ariel All Stars, Xenon All Stars, Avinash All Stars.

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