Kindly permit me to make a few points in response to Mr. Neil Kumar’s letter to the editor of Stabroek News on the Inter Guiana Games – dated May 17, 2014.
Neil Kumar: “If the GABF is serious about our students’ development, it will first develop a system to foster such development at the schools level. Until then the current process will remain in place.”
Nigel Hinds: Less than 20% of the schools in Guyana participate in YBG school basketball tournaments. Who are the coaches that YBG employs to coach the 111 public secondary schools as listed on the website of the Ministry of Education website: http://www.education.gov.gy/web/index.php/who-we-are/schools/secondary ?
Using the U19 players from clubs affiliated to the GABF and working with sports administrators in schools to identify eligible U19 players across Guyana is the process being used by the GABF to select the Guyana U19 team.
The implication of keeping the current process in place is the non-participation by officials, coaches, referees and players locally, as the IGG would not be favourably sanctioned by GABF. Further, French Guiana and Suriname are very unlikely to have their representatives participate in an event not approved by FIBA or a FIBA representative.
Neil Kumar: “The NSC condemns this imposition by the GABF of randomly hand picking players who may not be eligible according to the IGG protocol on the grounds of age and/or academic status of students.”
Nigel Hinds: The players named in the Interim Guyana U19 Basketball Presidential Team were recommended by Club Coaches; the U19 squad will be expanded to include players from other regions and districts using the same approach, along with reaching out to sports administrators in schools across Guyana to recommend talented basketball players who are not in basketball clubs to participate in U19 training. We intend to name the full male and female squads in training during June 2014. The training sessions are open to eligible players.
Age and academic requirements will be adhered to for team selection. Having talented players just over the age threshold training with the U19 team will benefit the U19 players.
Neil Kumar: The NSBF provides a fair and open process for all eligible student basketball players. It is a proven and tested process. Case in point: Guyana females are IGG defending champions.
Nigel Hinds: Guyana won the IGG Basketball Tourney for several years prior to 2006. Back in 1979 and several years before and after – Guyana won the Male Basketball IGG competition. Mark Agard was the MVP of the IGG Basketball Tournament in 1979. Also, note my earlier reference to the limited number of schools that participate in NSBF.
For the 1979 team – coaches were Mike Brushe and Orin Cumberbatch, both employed by the Ministry of Sports and they were tasked with conducting basketball coaching in Schools.
The failure of the Ministry of Sports to employ school basketball coaches should not be used as rationale to undermine the GABF.
Neil Kumar: Funds are never budgeted for individual sports of the IGG. Actually an IGG budget is prepared for approval under the following heads.
Refreshment and meals
Field Materials and Supplies
Other Administrative Changes
Nigel Hinds: Lump sum budgeting is retrograde. We need to know how much is budgeted for each sport discipline and the sub-categories. Can you imagine the Honourable Finance Minister sending a Lump Sum Budget to the National Assembly? How much is the overall budget for IGG? How much of the IGG budget goes to Basketball Activities? What specific monies were paid to individuals or companies as it relates to IGG Basketball?
We of the GABF look forward to working with the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports and the Director of Youth and Sports to develop basketball in Guyana. We ask the Minister to ensure that the GABF is provided with the requisite funds for accommodation, transportation, meals, materials and supplies for IGG Basketball.
The senior functionaries in the Ministry of Sports should state publicly that the GABF is responsible for training, selecting coaches and selecting players for the IGG Basketball Games.
As an aside and clarification to Mr. Kumar: Linden, Georgetown and Berbice Basketball Associations are assigned to different zones across Guyana and these Associations fall under the auspices of the GABF. Thus, the associations’ mandates, agreements, bookings and principles fall under the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation. Thus, we have access to all bookings made by our Associations.