The seventh annual Guyana Floodlights Softball Cricket Association (GFSCA) coordinated ‘Guyana Softball Cup’ was officially launched yesterday at the Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) ground pavilion, Queenstown.
The event, which will run from November 3rd-5th, features more than 20 local and international teams competing for over $2,000,000 in cash and prizes in the Open and Masters divisions.
Among the overseas teams set to compete are New York Masters, Tri-State Masters, Orlando Masters, Tri-State Muslim Masters and Canada Masters. The Open Section winner will receive $800,000 and a trophy with the runners-up pocketing $200,000 and an accolade.
The Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the final will collect a trophy. Similarly, the MVP of the division will receive a cricket bat and a gold pendant.
In the Masters Section, the winner collects $600,000 and a trophy while the second place finisher will receive $150,000 and an accolade. The MVP of the final will receive a trophy and a cash incentive, with the division’s MVP walking away with a cricket and a gold pendant.
Dr. George Norton, Minister of Social Cohesion with a responsibility for Sports during the feature address said, “I am happy to be here for the launch of the Guyana Softball Cup, which is dubbed the premier softball event in Guyana.”
According to Dr. Norton, the event will have significant benefits to the local sporting sector, as it attracts many overseas individuals, noting, “Cricket is certainly a wonderful sport which brings together everyone from all background.”
He declared, that the venture “augurs well for the development of sports and softball cricket, and the Ministry is proud to throw is support behind the sport.”
Dr. Norton praised the executives of the GFSCA for their hard-work in sustaining the event and the sponsors for being “great corporate citizens”, adding “Best wished to the GFSCA for a successful tournament”.
Roger Harper, President of the Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) and Vice-President of DCC said, “We the members of the sports fraternity look forward to working under his [Dr. Norton] leadership for greater emphasis, greater application, and of course see this drive forward as far as sports is concern, because from my perspective, we talk a lot about sports, but it’s time we start acting, and I look forward to this happening under the new minister.”
Meanwhile, GFSCA President Ramchand Ragbeer, said that while the organization and administration of the tournament has been a challenge, the event’s success would not be possible without the invaluable contributions of the sponsors.
GFSCA Assistant Secretary/Treasurer Anil Beharry commended the other associations around the world for keeping the event alive and declared that this year’s tournament will surpass the quality of the previous tournaments.
GFSCA Vice-President Jailall Deodass said that the entity is chiefly responsible for the development of the sport in the preceding six years especially at the Masters and Women’s level.
Rhonda Johnson, representative of tournament sponsor Rubis Guyana, declared, that the company knows the value of the tournament and is eager to continue its support of the venture for the foreseeable future.
Similarly, Sheldon Hazelwood, representative of Ansa McAl under the Stag Beer Brand, disclosed that the entity is a proud supporter of the event. Moreover, making similar remarks were Mark DeFreitas of Survival Travel Agency and Ajay Jha of Mike’s Pharmacy.
The inaugural International Softball took place in 1999 in Orlando, Florida.