Kumar stops b/ball teams from training at CASH; GABF president calls the situation an atrocity
Director of Sport Neil Kumar yesterday told the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) that he was withdrawing with immediate effect permission for the GABF’s usage of the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) for its training of the various national basketball teams.
According to president of the GABF Nigel Hinds, the message from Kumar was conveyed the GABF vice president Mike Singh who met with Kumar yesterday.
Singh was tightlipped when contacted for a comment yesterday by Stabroek Sport and told this newspaper to contact Hinds for a comment.
Hinds yesterday called the action by Kumar unprofessional and said it resulted from an opinion piece in this newspaper which highlighted the fact that the National Sports Commission (NSC) was seeking to have Youth Basketball Guyana prepare the Inter Guiana Games basketball teams and not the GABF. Speaking in an exclusive interview via telephone, Hinds said: “It’s an atrocity for something like this to happen in this country. We are a democratically elected body in an elections that featured multiple candidates and we are recognized by FIBA as the solo governing body of Basketball in Guyana. This pronouncement goes against the grain of common sense.”
Hinds told this newspaper that Kumar’s decision to suspend the GABF related training sessions from the venue was relayed to him by the federation’s Vice President Michael Singh, who had met with the NSC director during a meeting yesterday.
He stated that this pronouncement was made due to the GABF’s dissenting against the NSC’s decision via a written correspondence, to authorize the Youth Basketball Guyana (YBG) organization with the necessary right and power to organize the Inter Guiana Games (IGG) basketball teams training. “To hear what happened today because someone wrote an opinion piece based on facts and standards and to have that kind of reaction is very unprofessional,” said Hinds. “All practice sessions are cancelled which are the Guyana U-19 Presidential squad, the Georgetown male and female squads preparing for the inter-association event to pick the National teams to complete at the CBC in the British Virgin Island. “We don’t have a facility to train and that centre is specifically for the training of basketball in Guyana. For him to cancel all the team trainings is very unprofessional,” added Hinds. He stated that the GABA association teams are slated to train today from 18:00hrs at the venue and will be turning up to do so.
“Only the GABF has the authority to select coaches and players for a national team. Only the national association or federation has that power given through the international body. The Ministry of Sports or Sports Minister or any incorporated body don’t have the power to do that”.
According to Hinds “We are simply trying to be in compliance with the mandates and statutes of FIBA. In the past the national body was overlooked and we will not have basketball overlooked and sidetracked like before.”
Questioned how the federation will attempt to rectify the situation, Hinds said: “We have written to the Minister of Sport in trying to engage him and copied it to other senior functionaries in the Government with the hope that better sense will prevail.”
“This is a state asset, the very first event held there was the Caribbean Basketball Championship in 1981. We feel very confident and faith and hope is taking the first step when you don’t see the staircase. We are optimistic that good sense will prevail and that the Government will be supportive,” added Hinds.
GABF’s letter to Minister Frank Anthony
Dear Minister Dr. Frank Anthony,
There is an article in today’s Stabroek News that has resulted in our practice sessions at the National Sports Hall for Georgetown Men & Women Senior squads and an interim Guyana U19 Male squad being cancelled based on a meeting this morning where Mr. Neil Kumar, JP, MP – informed the Vice President of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) Mr. Michael Singh of his decision.
The practice sessions are from 18:00 to 22:00 Hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays & 08:00 to Noon on Sundays. On Tuesday, May 13, over 40 basketball players male and female attended the practice sessions.
We take this opportunity to respectfully ask that the GABF be allowed to continue their practice sessions at the National Sports Hall as the teams are preparing for Inter-Association Games starting this weekend and the Caribbean Basketball Confederation 2014 Championships in Tortola, BVI from July 1-12; and Inter-Guiana Games scheduled for the end of July 2014.
The first attached letter is the GABF response to the attached letter from the Director of Youth and Sports. Stabroek News had access to the letter to view for informational purposes.
We again implore you to assent to the GABF being able to continue our practice sessions at the National Sports Hall as we make every effort to have our basketball athletes well prepared proudly represent Guyana.