Guyanese girls showed fighting spirit against Dominican Republic

Dear Editor,

Rawle Toney thinks the young women representing Guyana in basketball were “Humiliated”.

One of the headlines in the Sports section of Guyana Chronicle, “The Nation’s Paper” dated June 21, 2018; claimed “Guyana humiliated 24-112 by Dominican Republic”. The Cambridge English Dictionary defines humiliation as: “To make someone feel ashamed or lose respect for himself or herself”.

Our young women certainly were not ashamed of their performance nor did they lose respect for themselves at the June 2018 Caribbean Basketball Confederation Women’s Championships hosted by Suriname; instead the Guyanese girls showed the fighting spirit that defines Guyanese; by giving their best effort and playing with a never quit attitude. The Dominican Republic has medaled thirteen of the twenty-two times they participated in the much higher level Centrobasket, where national teams from Central America and the Caribbean have competed since 1965. Dominican Republic won the Championships three times 1977, 2004 and 2012, after first contesting 1969. Guyana has competed twice at Centrobasket: 1971 and 1973. Toney’s use of the word humiliation is unsuitable and thoughtless to describe the loss by our young women – to one of the most dominant teams in Central American and Caribbean Basketball. If Guyana ever gets an opportunity to play Brazil National Football Team and lose 10-1; Guyanese will celebrate the one goal scored by Guyana. We must look for the positive at all times, and especially in challenging times.

Of the twelve players listed on the Guyana Team in their contest against The Dominican Republic, seven are High Schoolers, re: President’s College – four; Marian Academy – one; MacKenzie High School 1; and Bishops’ High School – 1. The experience these young ladies gained from withstanding the battle charge of the Dominican Republic, by rising again and again to the challenge, augurs well for their academic development and their contribution to the development of Guyana. The Guyanese young women in their game against Suriname were leading by one point at half time and had stunned and impressed all in attendance. The Guyanese Women overcame many obstacles to participate in the June 2018 FIBA Caribbean Basketball Confederation Women Championships hosted by Suriname, and the character strengthening experience, reflected Guyana in a positive way, as the young women showed admirable self-esteem, courage and perseverance. History will show Guyana participated and competed in the Championships; and the experience and benefits gained can never be taken away. To credit and paraphrase Robert A. Heinlein it is worth repeating “Victory in defeat, there is none higher.  Our young women represent all the unsung heroes who couldn’t make it, but never quit.”

Toney is the same journalist who failed to write an article on the fact that our Government did not provide needed funding, to support Guyana’s participation in the June 2018 FIBA Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championships hosted by Suriname. A fundamental principle of journalism is to serve as an independent monitor of power. Toney needs to embrace this principle.

I close with a few extracts from the epic poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou: “You may shoot me with your words… But still, like air, I’ll rise. Just like Moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise”.

Yours faithfully,

Nigel Hinds

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