GABF officially rewards Ravens

March 30, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

-Kanhai is tournament MVP

By Edison Jefford
The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) officially handed over the Championships trophy and prize money to Dyna’s Ravens at a cocktail reception that was held at the New Palm Court Friday night.
President of the GABF, Nigel Hinds opened his remarks with the famous Barack Obama quote: “They said this day would never come…” which was a direct quip at the fact that the new GABF Administration managed to host a successful National Championships.
The GABF Nation-wide tournament, called ‘Road to Mecca’, was played over five weekends at local basketball’s Mecca, the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall with Ravens emerging Champions from the 16 participating teams,

Ravens’ Marlon Rodrigues receive the team prizes from a GABF Representative Friday night at the New Palm Court.

Ravens’ Marlon Rodrigues receive the team prizes from a GABF Representative Friday night at the New Palm Court.

winning $400,000 in the process.
“We held a successful National Championship and we plan to hold on to the momentum; we have a lot to be thankful for and it is important that we continue to raise our game and improve the level of basketball in Guyana,” Hinds continued.
Admittedly, he said that Guyana seems to be in the deficit when compared to countries in the Caribbean, but if efforts are made to continue lifting the game, then there is no doubt that the country will be able to compete at “the highest level”.
Vice-President of the GABF, Michael Singh indicated that the players shortlisted to go into the training camp for the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships in July will be known soon. He said that the three sub-associations will provide names.
Among those that also received awards were Raiders, for finishing Runner-up, earning the right to be the nation’s second best club and Akeem Kanhai, who was unanimously adjudged the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament.
Ravens guards Dominic Vincente and Rodwell Fortune shared the Finals MVP Award while the Colts guard, Shelroy Thomas was Scoring Champion. Colts finished third in the tournament with Amelia’s Ward Jets finishing fourth after losing to Colts.
Raiders’ Dwayne Roberts won the award for Most Rebounds with Kanhai also picking up the Most Assist prize.
Meanwhile, the forum at New Palm Court was also used to officially announce ‘From Mecca to Mackenzie’ Basketball Playoffs that will be held at the Mackenzie Sports Club Court in Linden this Saturday, beginning at 7pm.
The tournament is aimed at giving Lindeners an opportunity to see what they may have missed at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall last Sunday night. It will feature return games with Ravens taking on Raiders; Colts battling Jets and Kings coming up against Pacesetters.
Georgetown’s three best clubs will play Linden’s top three clubs in the return fixture, which will bring the national rivalry to Linden. Sports Management Inc. is hosting the event that GABF has sanctioned. Stag Beer is the official sponsor of ‘From Mecca to Mackenzie’.

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St Lucia Tri Nation Boxing Extravaganza…Ron Smith, Delon Charles register victories; Braithwaite loses first of trilogy

March 30, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

By Michael Benjamin in Castries St Lucia with the compliments of
Mings Products and Services Ltd, Vision Sounds and LIAT Airlines

A scorching display of power punching earned Guyanese boxer, Ron Smith a close 2-1 verdict in his 60kgs elite bout against St Lucian boxer, Ron Bastien when the curtains went up on the Tri Nation Boxing Extravaganza here in St Lucia at the Vigie Multi-purpose Complex, Friday evening last.
Elite 56kgs contender, Delon Charles, also kept the Golden Arrowhead fluttering high when he dug deep to defeat another St Lucian, Joshua Duberry, to cart off the honours in that division but the Guyanese suffered a setback in the 64kgs elite category when Bert Braithwaite, despite a spirited performance, surrendered a unanimous verdict to his nemesis, Lynden ‘The Russian’ Marcellin, in a bout that had all the ingredients of an Olympics encounter.

Guyanese Ron Smith (left) poses with Ron Bastian shortly after winning their 69kgs (elite) encounter.

Guyanese Ron Smith (left) poses with Ron Bastian shortly after winning their 69kgs (elite) encounter.

Charles was the first Guyanese to box and he threw a range of punches that pushed his man on the back foot and into the ropes where he (Charles) reeled off stiff combinations. The bout developed into a ‘no retreat, no surrender’ affair in the second stanza as both pugilists lashed out with vicious combinations, each attempting to seize the initiative. The Guyanese boxer demonstrated admirable courage and determination when he weaved inside and backed up his man in one of the neutral corners and unleashed a flurry of punches and though the punches rocked Duberry, the referee inexplicably refused to institute a mandatory 8 count. This was the case on several occasions when Charles unleashed vicious combinations to his opponent’s head yet the referee refused to at least issue a count.
If there was anything that could be said of Duberry, he demonstrated immense courage and though he was on the receiving end for most of the preceding rounds, he entered the third with renewed vigour and forced Charles to work overtime to stay in front. But the Guyanese was up to the task and unleashed several combinations that rocked his man and kept him at bay. It was also around that time that the effects of the gruelling encounter started to take effect on Charles and he was punished with several looping blows as Duberry launched a late assault.
However, Charles refused to say die and though his punches were less penetrative, he nonetheless battled right down to the sound of the bell to cart off a close split decision verdict.
Braithwaite started his bout aggressively against the southpaw Marcellin and landed some telling combinations before the St Lucian got into his act. The latter boxer landed some long range blows that disturbed Braithwaite’s rhythm as both pugilists enjoyed bright moments in the first round.
Braithwaite stayed in contention for about one minute into the second round before Marcellin turned up the heat and scored with some vicious blows that had the Guyanese in some trouble, Braithwaite attempted to match ‘The Russian’s’ aggression but Marcellin was more tactical and staved off the attack with several vicious combinations. The two pugilists then engaged in a delightful exchange in one of the neutral corners and though Braithwaite attempted to match his opponent’s aggression, it was clear that he was not having things his way.
With the crowd on his side and to their chants, Marcellin turned up the heat as the second round wound down, and forced Braithwaite on the retreat until the bell broke his flow.
A resurged effort by Braithwaite early in the third round rocked his man but the St Lucian responded with a vicious volley of punches that pushed Braithwaite backwards. The two gladiators then engaged in a wicked exchange of punches in one of the neutral corners and for the first time Marcellin appeared to feel the effects of the gruelling affair. Notwithstanding, he had worked hard in the preceding rounds and the general view among patrons was that he had done enough in the early stages of the bout to earn the verdict. The judges concurred.
Otherwise the St Lucians dominated their opponents from Martinique with only Gervais Capron breaking the monotony with a points verdict over St Lucian, Heslie Joseph in the 56kgs elite category.
Other decisions read: Juniors 64kgs: Ian Aubert prevailed over Jamal Mitchell in an all St Lucian affair while in the 64kgs category Luidji Michel (Martinique) failed to get past Adrian Louis (St Lucia). In the Novice, 81kgs class, Gregory Heloise (Martinique) suffered a knockout loss to policeman, Yatil Roberts (St Lucia) in 1:25secs of the 3rd round while in the 69kgs Elite category, Nyron David (St Lucia) prevailed over Yancy Megange (Martinique) in a fight where the latter fighter felt that he was ‘done in.’ The decision sparked controversy with Mengange’s trainers vociferously debunking the judges verdict and forcing the intervention of IABA referee, James Beckles to quell the dispute..
All three Guyanese boxers were expected to be in action again last night but up to press time we could not determine whether the second encounter with Braithwaite and Marcellin was on. The organizers were mulling the wisdom of the encounter after the gruelling first fight and were contemplating just one more encounter between the two tonight.
Meanwhile, President of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA), Steve Ninvalle arrived in St Lucia a mere hour before the card got underway and made a first-hand assessment of his charges performances.
He said that he was heartened by the performances of the boxers and feels that they are responding nicely to the developmental programmes of the GBA. Mr. Ninvalle said that though Braithwaite had lost, he had given a good account of himself but was undone by a superior boxer in Marcellin. Notwithstanding, Mr. Ninvalle said that Braithwaite still has the ability to overturn the decision should the organizers decide that it was safe for him to engage the St Lucian in the remaining fights.
The GBA President lauded the executives of the Saint Lucia Amateur Boxing Association (SLABA) for their hard work in making the tournament a reality even amidst the many challenges. Ninvalle also had kind words for supporting members of the corporate community including LIAT Airlines, the proprietor of Trustees Pawn Shop, Monty Braithwaite, and the Permanent Secretary (MCY&S), Alfred King, for their unstinted support towards the development of the sport.

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A mystery why this government is allowed to destroy this nation

March 30, 2014 | By | Filed Under Letters 

Dear Editor,
In a letter to this newspaper (“Freddie Kissoon explains his non-response to Bacchus” July 17, 2013) I outlined my reasons why I will not reply to some of my critics. I listed some reasons which briefly I will repeat here. First, it has to with my complete lack of respect for these people. Secondly, I don’t believe they will be read by others and therefore when you reply to them, it gives them a chance to go on stage; I believe one should not help such people by providing them a platform, let them build their own platform
Thirdly, I believe these people have absolutely nothing to contribute to a healthy debate and should be ignored. Among those I included were Vishu Bisram and Minette Bacchus, two expatriates Guyanese who write from abroad. In a subsequent letter, I believe I include Harry Gill on my list. Gill is a pretender to knowledge and as a political employee of the Ministry of Education will continue to seek a role within the PPP by writing about Freddie Kissoon
I thought long and hard about responding to another of his sycophantic nonsense in the March 27, 2014 edition of KN’s letter pages in which he wrote; “Why this man (Freddie Kissoon) is allowed to poison the minds of your readers is as mysterious….” I decided to respond to Gill because it gives me an opportunity to address thousands of young minds in my country and Guyanese in foreign lands. The part of his letter that I grabbed at to reply was this question he asked about me: “How can anyone hate so much day after day after day.”
When I read that the thought occurred to me that Gill may be a friend of mine in that he dislikes the Government and said to himself that he will arrange his sentences in such a way that it gives me scope to expose the PPP. And Gill must have known that the concept he chose is the one any amateur analyst can use to devastate the PPP Government – HATE
So I now ask: “How can a population allow a government so full of hate to destroy a nation day after day after day?” Let us stick with Gill’s useful concept – HATE. So I spew hate day after day in my columns. Does the PPP party and the PPP Government spew the same hate? No point asking Gill that question and I am not directing this letter to Gill but to my fellow Guyanese
Interesting that Gill’s letter accusing me of hate comes at a time when two interesting things took place last week. First there was the interview KN did with the daughter of the President in which she said, in reference to herself and her brother: “We are Guyanese and we should have equal rights to build our lives here.” She went on to say; “We want a fair chance like any other Guyanese.” The other event was the demotion of the editor of the Chronicle by Ms. Ramotar’s father, the President, over the publication of an item that the President didn’t take too kindly to
What does one make of the latter action? Haven’t we been seeing this kind of victimization of Guyanese day after day and it has been going on day after day since 1992 even under President Cheddi Jagan?
Shouldn’t Guyanese ask themselves when will this hate stop? Do I spit out hate in my column? Should I? I should not? But then again I cannot remain aloof to the three times I almost lost my life; the termination of my contract at UG; the hounding down of my wife at her state job just before the 2011 election. Are these examples of the violations of my rights not the action of a government that practices hate?
Aren’t the following huge examples of hate; the arrest of Guyanese citizens for treason, the same for the charge of sedition; the withdrawal of subsidy to the Critchlow Labour College; the withdrawal of state advertisements to the Stabroek News and Kaieteur News; the overlooking of the applications of these independent newspapers for a radio license; the illegal dismissal of public servants for failing lie detector tests; the coercive imposition of fixed salary increases to public servants; the open admittance of the little dictators that Nigel Hughes will not be conferred with senior counsel status; the imposition of a Town Clerk on a City Council that refuses to accept her; the eviction of elected NDCs and their replacements with IMCs stacked with PPP supporters.
Shall I go on? The above are just a drop in the ocean of the hateful things done to the people of this country by those in power whose basic instinct is to hate others. And Gill has the temerity to tell me that I advocate hate. This is my last reply to a people like Gill. And I end with a confession. People like Gill I have nothing but absolute contempt for
Frederick Kissoon

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Guyanese pugilists commence battle for honours as tournament gets underway

March 29, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

By Michael Benjamin in St Lucia with the compliments of
Mings Products and Services, Vizion Sounds, LIAT Airlines

The three Guyanese boxers participating in Tri Nation Boxing Extravaganza in St Lucia March 27-29, were scheduled to commence their campaign for honours when the curtains went up on that tournament at the Vigie Multi-purpose Complex here in St Lucia last night and much is expected from them.

Francisco Hernandez Rolden is flanked by Ron Smith (r) and Bert Braithwaite moments after the team arrived in St Lucia.

Francisco Hernandez Rolden is flanked by Ron Smith (r) and Bert Braithwaite moments after the team arrived in St Lucia.

The team is coached and managed by Cuban coach, Francisco Hernandez Roldan and consists of Junior/welterweight pugilist, Bert Braithwaite, light/middleweight, Ron Smith and bantamweight, Dillon Charles. Braithwaite will have his work cut out for him when he battles against St Lucian, Lyndon ‘Russian’ Marcelin. The two boxers are scheduled to engage in a three bout contest than commenced last night, continues tonight and concludes tomorrow night.
When the two clashed in Brazil in August last year in the Olympics Qualifiers, the St Lucian had prevailed by knockout but Braithwaite had avenged that loss by points in the Tri-Nation Goodwill tournament in Guyana February last. The St Lucians felt that they were ‘done in’ and longed for a third encounter. They will get their wish starting last night when the two pugilists go after each other in the three bout contest.
Smith and Charles were also scheduled to be on show last night. The former boxer tackles St Lucian, Ron Bastine, while Charles goes up against Bastine’s countryman, Joshua Duberrey.
The host country has selected a full squad while Martinique, the first team to arrive, sports a large team of enthusiastic pugilists all rearing to go. The Guadeloupe boxers were slated to arrive on the Island late Thursday evening but later informed organizers that they were unable to keep their ring date because of transportation difficulties while the Guyanese touched down at the John F Charles Airport at around 16:00hrs Thursday afternoon last. Cuban coach, Francisco Hernandez Roldan accompanied the boxers in the capacity of manager/coach and shortly after checking in at the Golden Arrow Inn, the trio told Kaieteur Sport that they are ready for battle and are in an upbeat mood.
St Lucia has also selected one female but it seems as though she will not be required to enter the ring since no other country has fielded a female pugilist. Theresa London was scheduled to represent Guyana but Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) selectors had said that they were forced to omit her from the team after she had suffered a knockout in the South American games in Chile.
Yesterday, International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) Olympics referee, James Beckles said that he was surprised by the decision taken by the local boxing association. He said that London was not knocked out but rather, the referee had called a halt to her contest after she had received three consecutive mandatory 8 counts in the same round. “AIBA mandatory rules to rest from competitive activity do not include such cases,” Beckles explained. Consequently, the St Lucian organizers were attempting to organize a flight out of Guyana for London to travel to the Island but up to the time of this report were unsuccessful.

Lyndell ‘The Russian’ Marcellin

Lyndell ‘The Russian’ Marcellin

Meanwhile, the bouts were initially slated for the Gros Islet Secondary School but organizers were forced to change the venue to outdoor facilities at the Vigie Multi-Purpose Complex. President of the St Lucia amateur Boxing Association, David ‘Shakes’ Christopher, was somewhat disappointed and said that his team had incurred additional expenses following the abrupt change. He explained that the initial indoor facility would have curtailed the huge bill but organizers were forced to switch after the administrators of that institution said that they were concerned that patrons would have indulged in the use of alcoholic beverages and by extension, disorderly behaviour.
Mr. Christopher said that that decision resulted in a steep rise in the organizational costs as he was forced to rent additional equipment for the ring as well as to ensure the safety and comfort of patrons. He said that he has received support from the St Lucia Olympic Committee through the generosity of its President, Fortuna Belrose.  He also lauded the input of the Tourism Ministry whose Minister, Lorne Theophilus, has rendered tangible support.
Mr. Christopher also acknowledged the efforts of permanent Secretary of the Tourism Association, Donovan Williams, for his valued input. “These officials feel that the event is a national one that could promote local tourism and has decided to render firm support,” said Mr. Christopher.

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Resolute Ravens continues rise

March 28, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

By Edison Jefford
From number four seed in Georgetown to National Champions, Dyna’s Ravens Basketball Club have credited their success on hard work and a team ethos that is founded on trusting each other, and more so, the Coach, former national point guard, Darcel Harris.
“We train hard; no team trains as hard as us; we train every day, even before competitions,” the Ravens Coach told Kaieteur Sport yesterday. Ravens won the National Club Championships on Sunday, earning them the right to be labelled

 Darcel Harris

Darcel Harris

the ‘best club in Guyana’.
But it was not always dandy for Ravens. They had to battle from slipping to the fourth ranking in Georgetown, following the 2013 League, after dropping games to Pepsi Sonics and Colts and the two-point heartbreak against Colts in the League Playoffs.
The series of defeats for Ravens last year prompted the then avid team official, Seiriah Clarke to admit “we (Ravens) are in a slump”. Clarke is not actively around the team currently, but his remark represented pitiable results from an otherwise quality team.
Hence, Harris began a journey to rebuild the superstructure of one of Guyana’s oldest basketball dynasties; the journey did not last as long as some expected since within months Ravens returned to its culture of winning. The awakening was a rather swift process.
“It was three loses in two or three months, before then, we did not know much about losing, so I went back to the boards, changed up some routines, rebuilt our work ethics and most of all added some youngsters for fresh legs,” Harris told this newspaper.
He said that the addition of Dominic Vincente and Darian Lewis to their Division I line-up gave them some energy. Harris said that he must admit that his senior players, Ryan Stephney, Akeem Kanhai and Ryan Gullen have also matured during their apparent transition.
“We had to learn how to trust the Coach and players; the discipline to execute plays and stick to the game plan, which is what got us going again,” the diminutive for national point guard, known for his sharp passes and long range three-pointers, indicated.
Ravens had won the first Phillip George Memorial title late in 2012 then went on to win a second accolade in two weeks with the Albert Bentick prize; the team then won the Pepsi Series for their third title to close 2012 before their “slump” early last year.
Since that time, Ravens have gone on to win the Brusche’s Classic in Linden, beating the number one ranked, Pacesetters to advance to the finals. They also won another Phillip George title while finishing just short of beating Suriname’s top club in an exchange programme.
The upsurge for Ravens continued with an unblemished record on their way to winning the 2014 Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) National Club Championships. It is an assertion that suggested that the club is back on its proverbial pinnacle.
“They (players) had a chance to expose and think through games. Being a former national point guard, a lot of thinking goes into my coaching. Things like different game plans, sound strategies and building players’ confidence are key elements,” Harris said.
According to the Ravens Coach, full credit must be given to his players for understanding their roles in a major assignment, which was to rebuild the Ravens brand. Harris said that most players struggled with some sort of injury at some time, but managed to win.
Asked what is next for Ravens, Harris informed that the rebuilding process will continue with the injection of three more youth players to the Division I team “because we have to continue to look at our future”. In addition, the Ravens Coach said that he will look at ways in which he could get further exposure for his club within the Caribbean.
Harris took the opportunity to pay tribute to the former Ravens shooting guard, Kevin Lawrence, who passed away on March 27, 2010 following an accident.

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Resolute Ravens continues rise

March 27, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

By Edison Jefford
From number four seed in Georgetown to National Champions, Dyna’s Ravens Basketball Club have credited their success on hard work and a team ethos that is founded on trusting each other, and more so, the Coach, former national point guard, Darcel Harris.
“We train hard; no team trains as hard as us; we train every day, even before competitions,” the Ravens Coach told Kaieteur Sport yesterday. Ravens won the National Club Championships on Sunday, earning them the right to be labelled

Darcel Harris

Darcel Harris

the ‘best club in Guyana’.
But it was not always dandy for Ravens. They had to battle from slipping to the fourth ranking in Georgetown, following the 2013 League, after dropping games to Pepsi Sonics and Colts and the two-point heartbreak against Colts in the League Playoffs.
The series of defeats for Ravens last year prompted the then avid team official, Seiriah Clarke to admit “we (Ravens) are in a slump”. Clarke is not actively around the team currently, but his remark represented pitiable results from an otherwise quality team.
Hence, Harris began a journey to rebuild the superstructure of one of Guyana’s oldest basketball dynasties; the journey did not last as long as some expected since within months Ravens returned to its culture of winning. The awakening was a rather swift process.
“It was three loses in two or three months, before then, we did not know much about losing, so I went back to the boards, changed up some routines, rebuilt our work ethics and most of all added some youngsters for fresh legs,” Harris told this newspaper.
He said that the addition of Dominic Vincente and Darian Lewis to their Division I line-up gave them some energy. Harris said that he must admit that his senior players, Ryan Stephney, Akeem Kanhai and Ryan Gullen have also matured during their apparent transition.
“We had to learn how to trust the Coach and players; the discipline to execute plays and stick to the game plan, which is what got us going again,” the diminutive for national point guard, known for his sharp passes and long range three-pointers, indicated.
Ravens had won the first Phillip George Memorial title late in 2012 then went on to win a second accolade in two weeks with the Albert Bentick prize; the team then won the Pepsi Series for their third title to close 2012 before their “slump” early last year.
Since that time, Ravens have gone on to win the Brusche’s Classic in Linden, beating the number one ranked, Pacesetters to advance to the finals. They also won another Phillip George title while finishing just short of beating Suriname’s top club in an exchange programme.
The upsurge for Ravens continued with an unblemished record on their way to winning the 2014 Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) National Club Championships. It is an assertion that suggested that the club is back on its proverbial pinnacle.
“They (players) had a chance to expose and think through games. Being a former national point guard, a lot of thinking goes into my coaching. Things like different game plans, sound strategies and building players’ confidence are key elements,” Harris said.
According to the Ravens Coach, full credit must be given to his players for understanding their roles in a major assignment, which was to rebuild the Ravens brand. Harris said that most players struggled with some sort of injury at some time, but managed to win.
Asked what is next for Ravens, Harris informed that the rebuilding process will continue with the injection of three more youth players to the Division I team “because we have to continue to look at our future”. In addition, the Ravens Coach said that he will look at ways in which he could get further exposure for his club within the Caribbean.
Harris took the opportunity to pay tribute to the former Ravens shooting guard, Kevin Lawrence, who passed away on March 27, 2010 following an accident.

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HRC Athletes/Managers Meeting deemed a success

March 23, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Hugh Ross Classic Committee Chairman, Hugh Ross, has described yesterday’s Athletes/Managers meeting which took place in the Board Room at main sponsor Banks DIH, Thirst Park, a resounding success.
The meeting, which was interactive in nature, sought to address a number of issues relating to Saturday’s fourth Malta Supreme Hugh Ross Classic Body Building and Fitness Show to be held at the National Cultural Centre.
Areas of focus were the final week of preparation, training, diet, water, tanning, posing, grooming, attire, music, weigh-in process, contest attire, punctuality and backstage expectation.

Athletes, Managers, GABBFF executives and Judges meeting with the HRC Committee yesterday in the Banks DIH Board Room, Thirst Park.

Athletes, Managers, GABBFF executives and Judges meeting with the HRC Committee yesterday in the Banks DIH Board Room, Thirst Park.

President of the Guyana Amateur Body Building and Fitness Federation, Keavon Bess and other executive members were also present at the meeting, including a number of the judges that will be working on competition night.
Time was dedicated to a discussion on the judge’s expectation on competition night. There will be three female categories: bodybuilding (females who are of a more muscular body type); Miss Figure (athletes who are symmetrical and toned) and the Miss Bikini (for the softer and more feminine eye pleasing type of figure).
The male categories are: Bantamweight – up to 65kgs (143lbs), Lightweight – up to 70kgs (144-154lbs), Welterweight – up to 75kgs (155-165lbs), Light Middleweight – up to 80kgs (166-176lbs), Heavyweight (176 and over).
The respective category winners will then face off in the Overall battle to decide Mr. HRC 2014.
Mr. Hugh Ross Classic 2012, Kerwyn Clarke, will be defending his title and will face stiff challenges from a number of seasoned and not so seasoned athletes. Tickets are on sale at the National Cultural Center at $1,500 each.

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GGMC releases Roberts, James for ‘Mecca’ Grand Finale

March 22, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

- players to complete teams roster for pulsating final

The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) have released Dwayne ‘Sugar’ Roberts and Rudy James ahead of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) National Division I Club Championship Final tomorrow at the Cliff Anderson

Rudy James

Rudy James

Sports Hall.
Roberts and James were uncertain whether they will feature on the rosters of finalists, Linden’s Retrieve Raiders and Georgetown’s Dyna’s Ravens respectively, in the biggest club competition to be held in Guyana in the New Millennium.
But following the intervention of the GABF and Kaieteur Sport’s article on the subject, GGMC have given permission for both players to abort operations in Guyana’s interior to join their team before the occasion that will decide the best club in the country.
Tomorrow nights Grand Finale is also the last pit stop on the ‘Road to Mecca’, the official name of the tournament, before a shortlist of players to represent Guyana at the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships surfaces within coming weeks.
Raiders’ centre/forward, Roberts and Ravens’ forward, James are key additions to both sides for tomorrow night’s game. Most likely James will be tasked with the difficult job of defending the ‘big man’, Roberts, who has a whopping 20 rebounds and 21 points for a double-double in the last game he played for the team in the quarterfinals.
No doubt the presence of both players make for an intriguing final since Raiders got to the mark without Roberts last weekend. The strength they will add to both teams increases the likelihood of a pulsating contest for the most coveted basketball club title.

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Let ‘Sugar’ sweeten ‘Mecca’

March 21, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

By Edison Jefford
Something must be horribly wrong with our sports culture, which continues to allow top sports men and women to bear the burdens of professional work while their sports teams and ultimately their careers, remain secondary on the corporate agenda.
We have had many cases where sports men and women employed at companies were prevented from meaningfully participating in sport locally and internationally because of their respective places of employment simply would not let them.

Dwayne Roberts

Dwayne Roberts

It is time to put an end to that phenomenon. But to do so will require national leadership in sport that underscores free time for athletes to not only train, but also compete. It is morbid to imagine athletes completing full work schedules then have to train and compete.
Then these very employers criticise the results of athletes when they do not perform at best. But their non-cooperation in allowing athletes to freely train and compete could be one of the reasons affecting proper performances from local athletes.
In the continued absence of the National Sports Policy, sport association must begin to take these matters into their own hands and seek to move in the direction of engaging employers to change their perspectives on athletes’ training and competition.
One such association, the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) was forced to move in this direction this week, seeking work amnesty for Dwayne ‘Sugar’ Roberts, who is employed at the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).
Roberts missed the semi-finals of the National Division I Club Championships dubbed ‘Road to Mecca’ on Sunday, after work pitted him in the interior for an undisclosed duration. Roberts had told this newspaper earlier this week that he had an ultimatum.
According to Roberts, it was either he miss the semi-final and be possibly available for the finals or play the semi-finals and miss the finals. It is an untoward situation for the player, who is likely to be among those shortlisted for the Caribbean Championship in July.
Hence, the federation wrote GGMC for ‘Sugar’s release to sweeten ‘Mecca’, the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, on Sunday after his team, Linden’s Retrieve Raiders’ Cinderella journey to a final it will play against Georgetown’s Dyna’s Ravens. The final on Sunday will decide the best club in Guyana.
In the quarterfinals, Roberts pulled down 20 rebounds and scored 21 points in a two-point win against Linden’s number one club, Kings. He managed to get his team to the semis and was not there last Sunday to guide them to the final owed to work commitments.
Up to press time yesterday, Roberts was still not sure whether or not he will be given the green light from his superiors to abort Guyana’s interior for a National Championship Final that could decide his fate on Guyana’s National Senior Men’s Basketball team.

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Here is the evidence of Guyana’s doomed future

March 21, 2014 | By | Filed Under Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon 

 

Time and time again, over decades as a columnist, I have pointed out that the danger facing this country is the delusional, irrational psychology of the PPP leadership, without exception. This was the legacy Cheddi Jagan left the immature minds in the PPP when he died.
After Jagan lost power in 1964, the hemorrhage of educated, thinking, well-intentioned leaders inside the PPP left Jagan with just three credible persons, “Boysie” Ramkarran; Harvard educated Ranji Chandisingh; and Vincent Teekah. Teekah and Chandisingh left the PPP for the PNC in 1976. Shortly after that, Ramkarran died.
The PPP of Cheddi and Janet Jagan was virtually bare, except for Ralph Ramkarran and Navin Chandarpal, both of whom had university education. They were later joined by Gail Teixeira and Roger Luncheon, both of whom were expatriate Guyanese; the former from Canada, the latter from the US.
The two Jagans schooled a series of young men and women from the deeper recesses of the countryside who had no proper formal schooling, no proper social upbringing and came from very humble roots.
They all looked up to Cheddi and Janet Jagan as the greatest Guyanese who were special human beings. These protégés virtually worshipped the Jagans. It was a horrible sight to see the 35 members of the Central Committee sitting around the table at Freedom House during a statutory meeting. A majority of them knew nothing about politics, Guyana, or maybe life itself.
Whatever the two Jagans did to this school of Pavlovian activists, they knew only two things about Guyana – that Cheddi Jagan was a hero in a class by himself and that the PPP is the greatest source of knowledge and virtue and the embodiment of Guyanese history.
When the PPP came to power in 1992, these protégés became the administrators of Guyana. To describe how they behaved would be treason against this country. But I will leave you with two examples and this was long after 1992.
I was on the same flight with one of them. As we deplaned he was wearing a pair of rubber slippers and madly clinging to the electrical blender and coffee-maker he no doubt had to hold in his hands because his suitcase was overfilled. He pushed his way through the immigration line as he was an animal hunting a prey.
The second example was at the wedding reception of the editor of the Mirror newspaper, Earl Bousquet, at the Ocean View Hotel. The Minister came in drunk, grabbed some pastries, devoured them, then loudly belched in my face and in the face of my wife and the others who were seated at the table. These people run Guyana. They are imbued with the psychological deception that they are superior to any and everyone in Guyana because they are from the PPP, the party of one of the “greatest” men in the world, Cheddi Jagan.
This psychological make-up explains why there is never going to be any recognition by the PPP that it is a minority government, that it didn’t win the election in 2011, that Parliament can make laws that the President has to assent to, that it has to offer concessions to the opposition that when combined has a majority in Parliament.
You deconstruct the words of Roger Luncheon at his press conferences; you put Freudian interpretations to Jagdeo’s and Ramotar’s utterances and you see vividly rulers who believe they are special, monarchial and superior.
When Ramotar said that he was disgusted with having to engage in blackmail politics with the opposition, he was assuming a superior status, and was quite ignorant of the fact that he himself was engaging in blackmail politics.
When Ramotar exclaimed; “For Christ sake, don’t let our opposing ideas paralyze Guyana,” he meant the negative ideas of others, not the PPP’s. When Ramotar exclaimed that Guyana needs a new political culture, he is referring to the politics of the PNC. When Neil Kumar said the Sports Ministry cannot open the Colgrain swimming pool to the public because people must understand they have to bathe first, he was simply echoing the contempt the PPP has for Guyana.
Now read the March 19, 2014 edition of this newspaper on page 3, Clement Rohee exclaimed to a reporter; “You are asking the General-Secretary of the ruling party of this country.” An amateur Freudian analyst can tell you this indicated the working of a superior mind. Those who are afraid of the consequences of Guyana not having a proper anti-money laundering Bill had better start praying to their God. We are not going to have one, because the “great” PPP will not bow to anyone.

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Territorial boxing associations in dire straits

March 16, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Barbados boxing president mulls creative initiatives

By Michael Benjamin
In association with the Loft nightclub
Despite the high level of confidence placed in them, and after expending hundreds of thousands of dollars in their

Anthony Jones

Anthony Jones

preparations, Guyanese boxers failed to pass the qualifying rounds of the London 2012 Olympics staged during the qualifiers in Brazil that year.
Undeterred, the executives of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) have signaled an intention of attending the Brazil 2016 Olympics and have intensified efforts to provide as much international exposure for local pugilists. Consequently, the recent upsurge in activity has witnessed local boxers pitting their skills against their Caribbean counterparts as administers of the GBA attempt to increase their chances of procuring lucrative medals at the imminent 2016 Brazil Olympiad.
Consequently, local boxers were matched against their Caribbean counterparts from Trinidad and Tobago and St Lucia in a tri-nation, three nights tournament staged in Guyana, February last. They then traveled to Barbados for a one night goodwill tournament on March 8.
Further, even as this article is being written, three local boxers, Dennis Thomas, Theresa London and Eon Bancroft, are in Santiago, Chile battling for honours in the South American Games and within the next two weeks, local pugilists would be heading for St Lucia to participate in a 3 nights Goodwill tournament organized by the St Lucia boxing authorities.
However, despite this hive of activity among the Caricom nations, all is not well on the boxing front and President of the Barbados Amateur Boxing Association, Anthony Jones, feels that the time has come for territorial associations to unite towards a common cause if they are to see improvement among Caricom nationals at high profiled tournaments.
Mr. Jones spoke to Kaieteur Sport at the finals of the two days Horace Phillips Memorial Boxing Tournament at the Springer Memorial School, Barbados, March 8 last and remains adamant that the fortunes of Caribbean pugilists would only be improved when the territorial associations lock horns towards one cause. Despite his prognosis, the Barbados Boxing Association President is hardly optimistic and adamantly proclaimed that “the Caribbean people seem not to love their own.”
“There is a need for Caribbean integration and while this view has been touted before it seems that we are only observing this concept in the breach,” lamented Mr. Jones. He also said that behavior of this nature is responsible for the poor showing and meagre returns of Caribbean representatives at international games.

President of St Lucia Boxing Association David ‘Shakes’ Christopher

President of St Lucia Boxing Association David ‘Shakes’ Christopher

He noted that other than the Michael Parris bronze medal feat in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, no other Caricom boxer has been able to break the jinx. He further said that the cost factor is another variable that precludes boxing administrators in the region from effectively addressing their mandates even as he noted the laissez-faire disposition of governments in the region in promoting the sport. “We are operating on a shoestring budget and sadly, fail to attract meaningful funding from the (Barbados) government or the corporate community,” lamented Mr. Jones.
He further explained that his executives are forced to dig into their pockets to ensure that the boxers remain active. “We do receive a little assistance from the Barbados Olympic Association but though such support is welcomed, even that proves to be inadequate,” bemoaned Mr. Jones.
The aggrieved Bajan official said that after a survey was conducted in Barbados two years ago, boxing officials decided to host a boxing card among the territorial members and to simultaneously plan a symposium to ventilate strategies to correct the many anomalies plaguing the sport.  He said that eleven countries, including Guyana, attended the forum, at the end of which, a motion was moved to examine ways of reviving boxing in the region. “That is as far as we got because the members returned to their respective countries and nothing further was done to promote the idea,” Mr. Jones explained.
Despite such debilitating challenges Mr. Jones said that his executives have been implementing ways of counteracting these grave difficulties and the just concluded Horace Phillips Memorial tournament was just one of the many initiatives Barbados boxing authorities have implemented to keep their boxers occupied. “Barbadian boxers have not competed in international tournaments for the last five years and have only competed across the border in a goodwill tournament in Trinidad and Tobago last year,” Mr. Jones explained. Notwithstanding, he said that over the years, his organization has hosted boxers from Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, St Lucia and Martinique just to ensure that Bajan boxers are kept active. “On all those occasions the bulk of funding came out of our pockets and when you take into consideration that we hardly get support from the government and business community you will understand the challenges we face,” bemoaned Mr. Jones.
Determined to improve the lot of boxers in the Caribbean, Mr. Jones said that he attempted to strengthen the Caribbean Amateur Boxing Association (CABA) but was given the thumbs down by officials of the parent body, the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA). Mr. Jones said that after disbanding the entity, AIBA did an about turn and said that permission would be granted to reenact the entity provided that CABA officials were prepared to meet the costs and criteria. “We were being asked to foot an astronomical bill and even before that, we were required to engage in a bidding process among Caribbean countries,’ explained the Barbados boxing president. He said that upon closer examination no Caribbean country could have conformed to such draconian criterion and so the CABA became defunct.
How then could Caribbean boxing entities extricate themselves from this conundrum? “We will just have to return to the old strategies where we as a Caricom body will have to pool our resources and organize domestic tournaments while hoping that our boxers garner valuable activity for bigger engagements,” suggested Mr. Jones.
He said that his executive is currently preparing local boxers for three important engagements; the Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC), the Commonwealth Games and the World Youth Championships. “It is the best we could do under the circumstances but it is my hope that a more concerted effort is made towards a unified approach at the Caricom level,” he said.

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US Soccer Coach to host EBFA Coaching Programme

March 16, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Coaches attached to clubs in the East Bank Football Association (EBFA) will benefit from a coaching programme organised by the EBFA and facilitated by United States based US Soccer Federation B license Coach, Ralph Green.

Ralph Green

Ralph Green

The programme which is set for tomorrow at the Grove Community Centre commencing at 09:00hrs will see Green touching on the Fundamentals of coaching; What makes a good coach (speaking to players, portraying a positive image, being a mentor to your players, role model).
A practical session will be held on Wednesday from 16:00hrs at the Grove Playfield and will see the coaches being taken through the paces on the following areas; working on defense, midfield, attack and goalkeeping among other areas.
Green, who arrived in Guyana yesterday was approached by EBFA Secretary Franklin Wilson to lend his expertise to the association and readily agreed to assist.
The former Camptown defensive player is an accredited United States Soccer Federation ‘B’ Licenced Coach, having also completed the C and D licences. He represented Camptown in the early 1970s.
Green migrated to the USA in 1979 where he played in the Amateur League (Bankers Athletic League) in New York which was made up of ex professional players working in the financial industry and was Manager for European American Bank team.
His coaching career commenced after the Camptown New York chapter was formed in 1992 and Green is the current President.
His career in coaching at the youth level kicked off in 1998 with Woodhaven Soccer Club in the Long Island Junior Soccer League where he currently still coaches.

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GABBFF President predicts a successful year

March 15, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

- female participation continues to be a challenge

Following the success of their Fitness Express sponsored Novice Championship at the Theatre Guild Playhouse on March 1st, 2014 where Sylvester Andrews of Total Fitness Gym was crowned Overall champion after winning the Light Heavyweight category, Guyana Amateur Body Building Fitness Federation (GABBFF) President Keavon Bess has predicted a successful year for the sport.
Commenting on the overall outcome of the show, Bess said that he was satisfied that the athletes came out in their numbers and put on a good display while the fans enjoyed the show and went away pleased.

Keavon Bess (right) and Jamie Mc Donald of Fitness Express with 2014 Novice winner Sylvester Andrews copy

Keavon Bess (right) and Jamie Mc Donald of Fitness Express with 2014 Novice winner Sylvester Andrews.

Bess noted that the federation was heartened with the responses they got from the various gyms with regard to sending up athletes to compete, noting that it is always a challenge to find athletes for Novices.
“It’s more easy to find athletes for seniors but I am pleased that we were able to find so many athletes to put on stage for this competition.”
The GABBFF President indicated that they would be placing more emphasis on working with the lighter athletes given the fact that Guyana has been excelling in this area at the CAC level in the past couple of years.
Bess informed that there will be about four to five major competitions for the remainder of the year.
“We have the Hugh Ross Classic coming up this month end and this would be followed by the Seniors, Muscle Explosion and the Flex Night would be capping off the year and these are competitions of high standards, so all in all, I think body building is doing fine.”
Female participation in the sport according to Bess continues to be a major challenge for the federation.
“A lot of persons are still under the impression that women should not be in body building but we are trying to get them to come out more and to encourage them that body building is not the only category that they can go into. We have other categories like the Ms. Body Fitness, Physique and Bikini segments that don’t require them to go and lift the heaviest weights.”
The GABBFF according to Bess, will be trying to secure a female guest poser (Bikini) for their Seniors who can showcase and help to motivate more females to come back into the competitive aspect of the sport.

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LABA to hold U-19 b/ball meeting with schools today at MSC

March 12, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

The Linden Amateur Basketball Association (LABA) has planned a meeting involving the six Secondary schools vying for this year’s 10th Linden Secondary Schools Under-19 championship, which will bounce off from April 4 through to April 25, today at 3:00pm at the Mackenzie Sports Club Pavilion.
In a release, LABA indicated that this afternoon’s briefing is for representatives of the six participating schools which are defending champions Christianburg Wismar Secondary, New Silvercity, Linden Technical Institute, Linden Foundation Secondary, Mackenzie High and Wisburg.
Organising Secretary of LABA Ashton Angel (Jr.) is tasked with informing those attending of the plans for this year’s championship and contact with him can be made on telephone numbers 444 2712 or 644 6657 for further information.
The LABA is asking that the schools be represented to receive the details of the playing dates and other related rules.
Secretary of LABA Joseph Chapman said that plans are on stream to have the tournament played from April 4 through to April 25 during the height of the Linden Town Week celebrations.
It is hoped that the six schools that were presented with new uniforms for that tournament will make them available for this year’s championship.
Chapman also informed that the tournament was the brainchild of former National Women’s Coach, Linden Alphonso, who now resides in the United States, and he has taken the responsibility to ensure sponsorship is garnered for the trophies and replicas for this year’s event.
Last year the LABA took over the running of the tournament which was staged through the Victory Valley Royals Basketball Club.
However, Chapman said that based on discussions there will be the involvement of members of the club in an effort to ensure the tournament remains the premier one among schools in Linden.

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GABF General Secretary resigns

March 12, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

- citing work commitments

General Secretary of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF), Dr. Richard Blair has resigned from the federation, citing escalating responsibilities at work. Dr. Blair was elected this year when the federation held its AGM and Elections.
“When I was approached by the current (GABF) President (Nigel Hinds) for my concurrence to be nominated for the position of General Secretary, I readily agreed because I shared the vision for the return of basketball to the heights I experienced as fan and player in the 1980s. The vision firmly remains but circumstances on the work front have drastically changed… severely affecting my abilities to function effectively in the post,” Blair said in his resignation letter.

Dr. Richard Blair

Dr. Richard Blair

He believes that his resignation is in the best interest of the “efficacy” of the federation. He said that he will “remain a loyal fan and ‘veteran’ player of the game” and pledged to do whatever he can outside of holding the office to proliferate the federation’s vision.
Blair said that he read the manifestos of the President, Hinds and GABF Vice-President, Michael Singh in the lead up to the elections and both have inspired him. Blair believes the sport is in good hands and thanked the Executive for their confidence in him.
“I take the opportunity of thanking the Executive and those… who nevertheless contributed to me being elected to the post for their vote of confidence and sincerely hope that the resignation in no way resonates as a rebuff,” he continued in his letter to the federation.
In an email circular, Hinds informed that he accepted Blair’s resignation “knowing that under more permissive circumstances his tenure as General Secretary would have been a great asset to the federation,” but his work commitments have not allowed him to fulfil the functions required for the post of General Secretary.
Hinds said that he looks forward to Blair’s continued support. Dr. Blair is Coordinator for the Caribbean’s Regional Agenda at the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). (Edison Jefford)

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Stakeholders commission basketball court in Plaisance

March 8, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Stakeholders that included members of the corporate community, Plaisance Guardian Basketball Club and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony recently commissioned what will be home to the club, a full-sized basketball court, in Plaisance.
The commissioning exercise was part of the club’s celebration of its fourth anniversary with the court at the Plaisance Community Centre. Funding for the construction of the court came from a programme

Minister of Culture, Youth & Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony, (fourth, right) participates in the ribbon-cutting exercise to officially signal the commissioning of the Plaisance Community Centre Court that his home to the Plaisance Guardians Basketball Club.

Minister of Culture, Youth & Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony, (fourth, right) participates in the ribbon-cutting exercise to officially signal the commissioning of the Plaisance Community Centre Court that his home to the Plaisance Guardians Basketball Club.

under the ‘President Youth Choice Initiative’.
A release from the club stated that the Minister has committed government’s support in providing lights and bleachers around the court. The Minister commended the work of the club for what he believed is a good development initiative for the sport in Guyana.
Also in attendance at the ceremony were President of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF), Nigel Hinds, Chairman of Youth Basketball Guyana (YBG), Chris Bowman; Mackeson Brand Manager, Jamaal Douglas; Grace Kennedy Guyana Limited Marketing Manager, Natheeah Mendonca and officials from the Interim Management Committee of the Plaisance-Industry Democratic Council.
President and Coach of the Plaisance Guardians Basketball Club, Junior Hercules, gave all those who were present some insight into the establishment of the club. Hercules said that the initial intention was to teach basketball to a few players, who wanted to play basketball for a team they can identify with from foundation.
In the second year, he said the focus shifted towards growing the senior membership of the club while focusing on youth development and adding an academy in the third year. Meanwhile, this year, Hercules informed that the aim will be on building a core group of players to become role models to their peers, the community and the society.
Some of the sponsors included, Grace Kennedy Remittance Services Guyana Ltd through its Bill Express Brand; they donated uniforms for Plaisance Guardians Division I and III clubs while the beverage giant, Ansa McAal sponsored under its Mackeson Brand.

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GASA Mash Meet 2014…Raekwon Noel and Tzedeq Sekhel set new national records; Amy Grant notches 7 wins

March 8, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

There were some outstanding performances recorded when the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) held its Masharamani four-day Meet from March 1-4, 2014.
This year’s Meet brought a new dimension to the swimming pool as Raekwon Noel and Tzedeq Sekhel set new National records while rising star, Amy Grant notched up seven victories.

From left, Raekwon Noel, Amy Grant and Tzedeq Sekhel

From left, Raekwon Noel, Amy Grant and Tzedeq Sekhel

These youngsters ended the Meet with times they have never swam before, and only if they were to take the sport seriously will they improve their times to become more competitive locally in the Caribbean and further afield.
To break records locally takes some doing and to emulate such feats at the Caribbean level and further afield would mean some disciplined, dedicated and committed work along with a high level of financial investment.
Following are the results of the three swimmers achieved at the GASA Meet.
Raekwon Noel     of the Dorado Speed Swim Club competing in the Boys 8 and Under achieved had six wins.
Saturday Boys 8 and under 100 Meter Free Style LC    1:24.68
“    “    “    “     50 Meter Breast Stroke LC    57.15
“    “    “    “     50 Meter Butterfly LC        43.66 (new national record)
Sunday Boys 8 and under 50 Meter Free Style LC        38.22
“    “    “    “     50 Meter Back Stroke LC        47.76
“    “    “    “     200 Meter Free Style LC        3:11.26 (new national record)
Amy Grant, a member of the Silver Shark Aquatic Speed Swim Club took part in the Girls 11-12, swimming to seven victories.
Saturday Girls 100 Meter Free Style LC            1:20.12
“    “    200 Mater IM LC                 3:37.31
“    “    50 Meter Butterfly LC                39.52
Sunday Girls 50 Meter Free Style LC                33.03
“    “    200 Meter Free Style LC            3:04.53
“    “    50 Meter Back Stroke LC            40.00
Tuesday Girls 100 Meter Back Stroke LC            1:34.10
Tzedeq Sekhel competing as a member of the Dolphin Speed Swim Club took part in the Boys 9-10 category and recorded two wins including setting a new national record.
Sunday Boys 50 Meter Back Stroke LC            39.72 (new national record)
Tuesday Boys 100 Meter Back Stroke LC            1:33.19 (new national record)
Other selected results:
Monday March 3, Girls 11-12, 1500 Meter Free Style LC  Kenita Mahaich won in 33:34.66.
Monday March 3, Girls 15-17, 1500 Meter Free Style LC Britany van Lange won in 20:54.70 with Soroya Simmons taking the second place.
Tuesday March 4, Girls 15-17, 800 Meter Free Style LC Britany Van Lange took the top spot in 11:01.59.

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Nation’s top basketball clubs seek semi-final place

March 7, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

- GABF ‘Road to Mecca’ down to Super Eight

The Nation’s eight top clubs will seek places in the semi-final of the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) ‘Road to Mecca’ nation-wide club championships on Sunday with the Super Eight playoffs of the competition at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
The tournament attracted participation from the Linden, Georgetown and Berbice Basketball Associations with sixteen teams drawn from the three sub-associations for the first round last weekend at the ‘Mecca’ of local basketball, the

Nation’s top basketball clubs seek semi-final place.

Nation’s top basketball clubs seek semi-final place.

Sports Hall.
Eight teams were booted from the competition following eight games last weekend. Another four games, this time quarterfinal match-ups, will be played on Sunday to decide the teams that will be heading to the Final Four slated for March 16 at the same venue.
In the first half of the draw, Georgetown’s number two seeded, Colts will play the fourth seeded, Pepsi Sonics at 6am on Sunday, following first round wins last weekend. The next game will be a showdown between Linden’s second seeded, Amelia’s Ward Jets and third seeded Victory Valley Royals.
The third game of the night will feature Linden’s number one seeded, Kings against the fourth ranked, Retrieve Raiders. The last game brings together arguably two of the nation’s top clubs, number one seeded Georgetown club, Trinity Grid Holdings Pacesetters against fourth ranked, Dyna’s Ravens in an epic battle for a semi-final place.
The seeding has ensured that Ravens and Pacesetters do not meet in the semi-final or final as well as ensuring a long-awaited Linden vs Georgetown dual. In a press release yesterday, the GABF has asked that all clubs report to the venue one hour before jump ball.
“Please note on the fixture, uniform colours were already highlighted. We discussed directly with relevant team leaders and administrators, the need for certain teams to fix the number on the front of the vests for clear identification,” the release added.
In an effort to continue to raise the standards of local basketball, the Guyana Basketball Officials Council (GBOC) had circulated a set of rules that will govern officials’ administration of the game, which included teams arriving on time and uniform numbers.
The nation-wide club championships are being held to determine the best club in Guyana as well as to short-list players for the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships, which will be held during July 1-12 in the British Virgin Island of Tortola. (Edison Jefford)

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Pacesetters set up quarterfinal showdown with Ravens

March 4, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

- GABF ‘Road to Mecca’ gets bumpy this weekend

By Edison Jefford
The smooth journey on the  Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) ‘Road to Mecca’ is expected to end this weekend for teams, as the road gets bumpy with the quarterfinal round since Trinity Grid Holdings Pacesetters has set up a showdown with Dyna’s Ravens.
Pacesetters ousted Bulls Sunday night with a comfortable 72-52 victory that allowed them to go deep into their bench. The victory for Pacesetters ensured that they will meet Ravens on Sunday in the quarterfinal round of the nation-wide competition.
Randy Richardson scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Travis Burnett added 13 and Keith Tute 12 points for Pacesetters. For the opposing Linden-based Bulls, Michael Turner finished with 12 points while

Pacesetters’ Centre, Jermaine Hamilton releases a jumper, which he placed off the glass against Linden’s Bulls Sunday night at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.

Pacesetters’ Centre, Jermaine Hamilton releases a jumper, which he placed off the glass against Linden’s Bulls Sunday night at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.

Mark Rose scored 10 points.
Bulls had taken an early 10-8 lead in the game with Travin Dryden driving baseline, but forward Richardson, put-back equalised midway through the first period before Naylon Loncke nailed an old-school jumper to put Pacesetters ahead. Turner finished a put-back to level at 15 points, but an And1 finish from Jermaine Hamilton and steal from Burnett gave Pacesetters a 20-17 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Burnett went to work in the second quarter with back-to-back penetrations, including an And1 finish before Gillis landed a huge three-pointer for a 31-23 lead. The physical nature of the game increased with Pacesetters pressing on defence, but Turner still managed to drag Bulls to a 29-36 deficit at Halftime.
However, the second half told a different story for Bulls as Burnett continued to put pressure on their defence with his intriguing inside moves that led Pacesetters on a 20-3 offensive run with two minutes left before the final period of regulation time.
The third quarter ended 58-38 and Richardson did not spare Bulls in the final period, exposing his full range with an inside-out game that was devastating. Pacesetters pulled its senior players from the game and allowed its bench to seal the deal.
Earlier in the night, Pepsi Sonics guaranteed that the first half of the draw represents Georgetown teams with a comfortable 95-46 win. Guard Jason Squires scored 26 points, grabbed 12 rebounds along with 13 steals for triple-double for the Pepsi Sonics.
His support came from Junior Lovell, who had 13 points, Collis Pluck and Kerwin Jackson, who both had 12 points and Drexel Amsterdam with 10 points. For the Pepsi Sonics opposition, Canje Knights from Berbice, Kevon Emanuel had 17 points and eight rebounds.
The round of 16 in the knockout competition continued when Victory Valley Royals won 66-58 against Plaisance Guardians. For Linden’s VV Royals, Harold Adams dropped 23 points and 18 rebounds, while Alwyn Rodney scored 10 points.
Colwyn Nurse scored 25 points with Ron Campbell and Enoch Mathews adding 11 and 10 points respectively for Plaisance, which had qualified for the competition through winning the wildcard playoffs that was played among eight teams for one spot.
Amelia’s Ward Jets blew-out Berbice Black Sharks 84-32 with national forward, Shane Webster putting up 24 points and 14 rebounds. Emmanuel Archibald ended up with 13 points. For Black Sharks, Jowell Fraser was their best player with 18 points.
The wins for Pacesetters and Pepsi Sonics ensured that the first half of the draw is fully devoted to Georgetown teams, while the wins for Royals and Jets guaranteed that the second half of the draw are booked for Linden teams. The draws ensure that a Linden team will play a Georgetown team in the final on March 23 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.

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Malta Supreme Hugh Ross Classic Body Building Show…

March 4, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

John Fernandes Ltd. lends a helping hand

With attention now shifted from the Guyana Amateur Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation Novice championships, which saw Sylvester Andrews crowned the new novice king, focus will now be on this month ends fourth Hugh Ross Classic Body Building and Fitness Show at the National Cultural Centre.

Bernie Fernandes, Marketing Director of John Fernandes Ltd. (centre) hands over the cheque to Dexter Garnett in the presence of Hugh Ross.

Bernie Fernandes, Marketing Director of John Fernandes Ltd. (centre) hands over the cheque to Dexter Garnett in the presence of Hugh Ross.

Joining the list of corporate entities showing support for the Classics is John Fernandes Ltd., Shipping Agents and Stevedore Contractors, located at 24 Water Street, Georgetown.
Marketing Director Bernie Fernandes handed over a cheque for an undisclosed amount to HRC Sponsorship Officer Dexter Garnett in the presence of HRC Chairman, Hugh Ross.
Fernandes in brief remarks said that the company was delighted to be on board with the HRC Classic that is slated for Saturday March 29 next at the National Cultural Centre.
“We at John Fernandes are very pleased to be a part of this event which allows our athletes the opportunity to compete against each other in a high level atmosphere. We commend Mr. Ross and team for having the show another year and we know that the athletes are looking forward to competing once again.”
Ross thanked Fernandes and his company for their timely support of the Classics, indicating that the HRC Committee will be pulling out all the stops to bring off a quality show.
“We would like to thank you sincerely for supporting this event. I want to let you know that we are having a quality guest poser in IFBB Pro Jeff Beckham who would be in Guyana a few days before the actual show to interact with athletes and fans.”

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Total Fitness/GABBFF Novice Championship…Sylvester Andrews emerges as the new Novice King

March 3, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

By Franklin Wilson
Parading a 170.6lb structure of well-defined and balanced muscles, Sylvester Andrews, a member of the Total Fitness Gym located at Soesdyke on the East Bank of Demerara was crowned the new Novice champion of Guyana when Total Fitness/Guyana Amateur Body Building and Fitness Federation (GABBFF) held its Novice championships at the Theatre Guild, Kingston on Saturday night last.

THE RESPECTIVE CATEGORY WINNERS IN THE OVERALL BATTLE:  From right, Raymond Stephen, Sylvester Andrews, Lloyd Thomas, Casey Vickery, Kemo Boyle and Tajpaul Gwensammy.

THE RESPECTIVE CATEGORY WINNERS IN THE OVERALL BATTLE: From right, Raymond Stephen, Sylvester Andrews, Lloyd Thomas, Casey Vickery, Kemo Boyle and Tajpaul Gwensammy.

The well put together show attracted 28 athletes from ten (10) Gyms across Guyana including Berbice, Linden, East and West Bank and the Capital City.
The confident Andrews, who reigned supreme in the Light Heavyweight class (166 – 176lbs, 80kg), defeating three other athletes, came back in the Overall showdown, which featured five other category winners, to stave off a stern test from Casey Vickery of Fitness Paradise to gain the thumbs up from the five-man judging panel as the best athlete on show, overall.
Vickery had won the Lightweight (144 – 155lbs, 70kg) division in a five way battle from John Seabra of Buddy’s gym.
The other category winners that faced off with Andrews were Raymond Stephen (Heavyweight 177lbs & over) of Buddy’s Gym, Lloyd Thomas of Total Fitness Gym who won both the Welterweight (155 – 165lbs, 75kg) and Masters 40 years & over categories, Kemo Boyle (Bantamweight 143lbs, 65kg) a member of Tower Gym and Power House Gym member Tajpaul Gwensammy who won the Flyweight (Under 132lbs) class.
The winner of the junior category (Under 21 years), Marlon Trim of Fitness Zone Gym was not included in the overall clash. This category attracted seven competitors as did the Flyweight class.
GABBFF President Keavon Bess, in welcoming fans to the show following the parade of athletes, informed that this year will be a busy year for the federation while acknowledging that 2013 was a very good year.
Bess said that the GABBFF was very encouraged with the interest shown by athletes leading up to this show, stating that they had visited Corentyne and Essequibo among other areas looking for athletes to compete. In the end he noted that they had lots to choose from.
Gratitude was extended to the sponsors, Fitness Express, Hand in Hand, Subs and Salads and Eddy’s Printery.
All the category winners were presented with hampers compliments of Fitness Express which also sponsored all the trophies.

Following are the full results:
Category: Junior Under 21 years
Name            Gym             Weigh in Weight        Position
Marlon Trim        Fitness Zone         156.4lbs            1st
Demetri Chan        Interline Fitness        141.8lbs            2nd
Jairam Seemangal        Interline Fitness        113.8lbs            3rd
Andy Grant (15yrs)    Total Fitness        130lbs            4th
Carlos Petterson        Body Max        176lbs            5th
Category: Flyweight Under 132lbs
Name            Gym             Weigh in Weight        Position
Tajpaul Gwensammy    Power House        131lbs            1st
Jairam Seemangal    Interline Fitness            113.8lbs            2nd
Andy Grant        Total Fitness         130lbs             3rd
Terrance Lall        Muscle Mania        125.6lbs            4th
Anil Persaud        Tower             132lbs             5th
Category: Bantamweight 143lbs (65kg)
Name            Gym             Weigh in Weight        Position
Kemo Boyle        Tower            143lbs            1st
Demetri Chan        Interline Fitness        141.8lbs            2nd
Deryck Scott        Interline Fitness        143lbs            3rd
Eon Hall            Total Fitness        142.3lbs            4th
Category: Lightweight 144 – 154lbs (70kg)
Name            Gym             Weigh in Weight        Position
Casey Vickery         Fitness Paradise        146lbs            1st
John Seabra         Buddy’s             148.2lbs            2nd
Shem Zammett        Interline Fitness        149lbs            3rd
Errol Smith        Total Fitness        148lbs            4th
Elcid Smith         Total Fitness        147lbs            5th
Category: Welterweight 155 – 165lbs (75kg)
Name            Gym             Weigh in Weight        Position
Lloyd Thomas         Total Fitness        164.9lbs            1st
Marlon Trim        Fitness Zone        156.4lbs            2nd
Category: Light Heavyweight 166 – 176lbs (80kg)
Name            Gym             Weigh in Weight        Position
Sylvester Andrews    Total Fitness        170.6lbs            1st
Coel Marks        Buddy’s             172lbs            2nd
Carlos Petterson        Body Max        176lbs            3rd
Rakesh Jaggernauth     Power House        166.2lbs            4th
Category: Heavyweight 177lbs & Over
Name            Gym             Weigh in Weight        Position
Raymond Stephen    Buddy’s             190.4lbs            1st
Royston Adonis        Interline Fitness        194.2lbs            2nd
Prince Sinclair        Fitness Zone         181.6lbs            3rd
Karl Marks        Upper Demerara        187.2lbs            4th
Barbel Club
Category: Master’s 40 years and Over
Name            Gym             Weigh in Weight        Position
Lloyd Thomas        Total Fitness        164.9lbs            1st
John Seabra        Buddy’s             148.2lbs            2nd
Karl Marks         Upper Demerara        187.2lbs            3rd
Barbel Club
Overall Winner
Sylvester Andrews    Total Fitness        170.6lbs

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Berbice best bites the dust on ‘Road to Mecca’

March 3, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

- Colts, Raiders, Ravens, Kings into quarter-finals

By Edison Jefford
Four teams continued their journey on the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) Road to Mecca National Club Championships with Ravens, Raiders, Colts and Kings easily ensuring that they reach the quarterfinal round of the nation-wide competition.
Berbice’s best, New Amsterdam Warriors, ranked number one according to the Berbice Amateur Basketball Association (BABA) bit the dust with a 44-80 loss to Georgetown’s number four rated Dyna’s Ravens in a lopsided contest that was filled with entertainment.
Ravens got off to a great offensive start with Jermaine Slater throwing down a one-handed dunk for an 8-0 lead. Ravens continued to dominate the game for a 35-23 advantage at halftime, while Rodwell Fortune mesmerized the defence with his crossovers.
Ravens enforced its control on the game in the second half when Akeem Kanhai elevated on the baseline for a huge Tomahawk dunk that set the half-packed Cliff Anderson Sports Hall alight with its resounding might as the ‘oohs’ filled the air at the arena.
Ravens forward, Ryan Gullen led with 17 points while Dominic Vincente scored 14 points with guard, Fortune adding 13 points. Kanhai and Slater had 12 points apiece to keep Ravens alive in the knockout competition and send Berbice’s best team packing.
In the featured game of the night, the Linden Amateur Basketball Association (LABA) number one rated, Kings won an overtime low-scoring thriller 56-45 against Republic Bank Nets, after the scores were deadlocked on 43 points following regulation time.
It was a defensive start to the game with the scoreboard showing 2-1 within the first five minutes of game. Orin Rose drained a three-pointer to start some momentum on the offensive end for the Kings that led 13-7 after the first period owed to an Omally Sampson put-back.
With six minutes to play before halftime, Nets’ Mortimer Williams finished a runner in lane for a 13-15 deficit before Michael Richards equalised with a lay-up. Nets assumed a 23-21 lead at the halftime break with both teams applying excellent defensive pressure.
However, midway through the third period, Rose penetrated the paint for a 27-24 lead for Kings. Just two points were added to both totals in five minutes; the game was again equalised on 32-32 with six minutes to play in regulation time. The teams battled to a 43-43 stalemate.
Kings made light work of Nets in overtime with the latter adding just two points to its regulation score. Rose had 17 points, while Sampson had 13 points for Kings. Williams scored 16 points and Fabian Johnson added 10 points for Nets that became the first casualty for Georgetown.
In the other games played Saturday night, Colts inflicted a beating on Rose Hall Jammers 102-32 in the first game of the night. Shelroy Thomas had 29 points to continue his prolific scoring with Steve McSeen adding 16 points, Dave Causway 15 points and Nikkoloi Smith 14 points, blowing out the Jammers that had Antonio Aslam with 14 points.
Linden’s Retrieve Raiders also had an impressive 85-65 victory against the Berbice’s Smythfield Rockers. Louis James poured in 22 points, while Neil Marks scored 15 points with Dwayne Roberts and Alexander Rose adding 13 points each.
The tournament continued last night with four more games in the Round of 16 Playoffs.

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GABF ‘Road to Mecca’ starts at CASH tonight

March 1, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

- Georgetown’s Nets battle Linden’s King’s in feature game

The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) ‘Road to Mecca’ National Basketball Club Championship starts

Drumson McCullay

Drumson McCullay

tonight at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) with four games being played including the featured clash between Nets and Kings.
The Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association (GABA) number two ranked Colts will get the tournament going when they take on the Berbice Amateur Basketball Association (BABA) third-ranked Rose Hall Town Jammers in the first game from 6pm.
Then the BABA second-ranked Smythfield Rockers will play the Linden Amateur Basketball Association (LABA) number four ranked Retrieve Raiders at 7:30pm before BABA number one seeded team, New Amsterdam Warriors take on Georgetown’s Ravens.
The final game of the night will see Georgetown’s fifth-ranked Nets facing the herculean task of overcoming Linden’s number one ranked Kings. The battle is expected to be a humdinger among two good teams that have re-emerged over the last two years.
Nets’ guard, Pelham Doris will lead his side that includes Drumson McCullay, Fabian Johnson, Mortimer Williams and Hodayah Stewart against a formidable Linden side that includes Omally Sampson, sharp shooter, Orin Rose and forward Marvin Hartman.
At stake at the end of the road, is a top prize of $400,000 for the winning club while second place takes home $200,000 along with trophies. A total of $1.2M will be given out to clubs according to the structure that is set out below. The competition will continue tomorrow with four games at the same venue.

Results Club/s Cash Prize per Club Total Cash Prizes
Winner 1 $400,000 $400,000
Runner-Up 1 $200,000 $200,000
Defeated Semi Finalists 2 $100,000 $200,000
Defeated Quarter Finalists 4 $50,000 $200,000
Clubs Defeated – Round of 16 8 $25,000 $200,000
Total Cash Prizes for Clubs     $1,200,000
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‘Road to Mecca’ starts tomorrow

February 28, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

The Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) ‘Road to Mecca’ National Basketball Club Championships will start tomorrow night at 6pm with four games scheduled, and an aim to know which basketball club in Guyana is the best.
President of the GABF said yesterday that the tournament is very important to the federation for many reasons. He was at the time speaking on National Television at National Communications Network (NCN) Studio on Homestretch Avenue.
“This is a pivotal moment for the new (GABF) Executive… we really invested in it (tournament) and the aim is to establish our first National Club Champion,” Hinds said, before upbraiding the media for poor

GABF President, Nigel Hinds (third, right) addresses his audience yesterday on National TV as VP, Michael Singh, GBOC Officials, Chairperson, Kirk Jardine and players share the head table at NCN Studios, Homestretch Avenue.

GABF President, Nigel Hinds (third, right) addresses his audience yesterday on National TV as VP, Michael Singh, GBOC Officials, Chairperson, Kirk Jardine and players share the head table at NCN Studios, Homestretch Avenue.

coverage of local basketball.
While Hinds said that he has seen “two articles per week” from Kaieteur Sport and Guyana Time on basketball, he has not seen similar articles from the Stabroek News and Guyana Chronicle. He believes that the magnitude of the sport demands support.
He noted that in his time playing the sport there were articles and pictures of players in the papers on a consistent basis. The sharp criticism of the media on national television prompted the sports journalists present yesterday to walk out of the broadcast.
Hinds also reported that he has since received 20 molten balls and some heavy duty nets that will be used during the tournament, which starts Saturday night at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall. He added that there will be Halftime performances and giveaways.
Chairperson, Kirk Jardine also said that “support has been lacking for the sport” before pleading with patrons to come out and support their respective teams from whichever part of Guyana they team may come from. Jardine, whose stage name is Chow Pow, will be hosting the competition, according to GABF VP, Michael Singh.
“The foundations for the tournament are set. We have some giveaways for fans, and all systems are in place to host the tournament,” Singh said. Guyana’s Basketball Officials Council (GBOC) urged teams to be properly uniformed and on time during the competition. (Edison Jefford)

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Letter to the Sports Editor…Congratulations are in order

February 26, 2014 | By | Filed Under Sports 

Dear Sir,
Allow me a chance to congratulate the Guyana Olympic Association and the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association for providing the Guyanese public with boxing that reminded me of the good old days.
The just concluded International Goodwill Boxing Tournament has given hope that all is not lost in Guyana regarding the fistic sport; I enjoyed almost every fight over the three-day duration and must applaud the efforts of the two associations.
Kudos must also be extended to the Guyana National Team for restoring some pride in the boxing fraternity. Best Boxer Dennis Thomas and Imran Khan, who are both Policemen, gave heartwarming performances, while displaying true grit and determination.
It is my hope that we can have another such tournament in the near future. Well done guys!
R. Trim

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