Netball association in the red; faces uphill task to get sponsorship

—Vice president Lawrence Griffith

The Guyana Netball Association (GNA) is presently in the red financially says vice president of the association Lawrence Griffith.

“Right now we are indebted to some persons and organizations,” Griffith told Stabroek Sport in an interview earlier this week.

According to Griffith, it is an uphill task for the association to raise funds as netball is not really a spectator sport.

Griffith said the association would derive funds from the few fundraisers that they usually host.

“It is hard for us to get a lot of income for netball especially if we hold an entrance fee at the gate during tournaments since the sport is not a spectator sport locally. We usually hold fund-raisers like raffles and take-a-way lunches which would bring in income, so funding is difficult,” he said.

According to Griffith, the GNA is set to open its season with the annual Digicel senior tournament at the National Gymnasium in the June.

Griffith said the tournament was initially scheduled for March but the unavailability of a facility caused the hold up.

He said the inactiveness of netball players was due to the unavailability of facilities.

“We were supposed to have a senior tournament which is the Digicel tournament but because of the unavailability of the National Gymnasium we were not able to commence it,” he said.

Lawrence Griffith
Lawrence Griffith

He added that the gymnasium would be available for a few days in the month of June and said the tournament will be held on those three days which is expected to be the second weekend in that month.

Concerning international participation, Griffith said the country will not be taking part in any international tournament this year as there isn’t any tournament in the immediate future, according to Griffith.

He is of the belief that Guyana can host a regional tournament once an appropriate venue is available.

“I think once we have a proper venue at home we should be able to invite other teams and that is a problem with netball and it keeps the sport back. We do not have a venue where we can call home,” Griffith stated.

Presently there are three clubs in Georgetown, one in Berbice and one in Essequibo. The present executives and the incoming executives will try to sustain netball in Kwakwani, Linden and on the East Coast and East Bank, he said.

Preparations are also in the making for the recommencement of the schools netball championships.

Griffith said the GNA received permission from the ministry earlier in the year to host the tournament. Griffith said a training seminar was held for the teachers but attendance was a factor as the teachers were ‘no show’ at the seminar which was held at the University of Guyana.

“We held a training seminar for the teachers at the University of Guyana but every one turned up except for the teachers but then we were told that the teachers had exams and other activities so the training seminar was cancelled,” he said.

The seminar is expected to recommence shortly, targeting 12-15 schools for the reimplementation of the sport in schools.

“The teachers will be trained in the seminar so that they can return to train the students…we want to target the schools so we can start the players young.

“One disadvantage we have with the players is their height. The majority (of players) are short and the sport requires tall players and it will be an asset if we have taller players,” he noted.

Stabroek Sports was also made to understand that the Annual General Meeting (AGM) will also be held in June.

Griffith explained that the elections should have been held in April but the President of the Association Kim Kyte-John (Attorney-at-Law) was in the United States over the past few months.

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