For yet another year, Our TV has revealed that it is going to televise the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association (GSSSA) basketball championships. This was announced at a press conference held at the Atlantis Resort yesterday.
A number of teams, in all four divisions, are currently engaged in fierce play in the semifinal round of the GSSSA postseason at the Kendal G.L Isaacs National Gymnasium. The championships get underway on Monday, February 4.
On hand at the press conference yesterday was Our TV’s Alexia Coakley, media operations manager. She said that it is a pleasure for them to be involved with the championships once again. Our TV has come on board as the broadcasting partner, continuing a decade-long relationship.
“We like to think of ourselves as providing a platform through exactly what it is that we do that these games – nationwide broadcasting while empowering young people. It is a part of our corporate social responsibility mandate across the many brands that are affiliated with our company to empower young people particularly through sports. Sports development is significant in developing character and skills that these young people will carry throughout the rest of their lives,” Coakley said.
She said that Our TV is happy to utilize its resources for this event – their key sports event to start off the year. Coakley hopes to keep the relationship going in the coming years.
Last year’s GSSSA senior boys champions, the C.C Sweeting Cobras, are on the ropes as they face a do-or-die situation tomorrow night against the C.I Gibson Rattlers. They are looking to even the best-of-three playoff series at a game apiece.
The championship games will be sponsored for the first time by Generali Insurance. This is not their first time sponsoring a basketball tournament, having come on board for the Battle 4 Atlantis Classic for the past three years.
Generali Business Development Manager Sherelle Johnson said sponsoring this tournament speaks to one of their core values which is showing support in the community.
“I am very pleased that we are able to do this. This basically helps us to live out one of our core values which is living in the community. For the most part, the players are from less than humble means and they will not always have the financial support but they have a lot of skills and talent. We looked at it as helping the community. Studies have shown that sports can help in your educational achievement and overall wellness and obviously as a health insurance company, that is one of our key roles. It is to help The Bahamas become healthier and live healthier lifestyles,” Johnson said.
She assured the Ministry of Education that they will lend their support for future school events such as this tournament.
The GSSSA is the government schools sporting association for the island of New Providence and encompasses both junior and senior high schools. It focuses on five core sports – basketball, volleyball, track and field, soccer and softball.
Another sponsor of the championships is the Atlantis Resort, the host of Battle for Atlantis, one of the most anticipated early collegiate basketball tournaments in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Vice President of Sports and Entertainment at Atlantis Rick Gallagher said that the resort is very excited to be a part of the event, and hopes to one day see one of the GSSSA athletes in the Battle for Atlantis tournament.
“It is our belief that sports is a powerful empowerment tool for young people. Atlantis is proud as we look forward to a day in the near future to see some of these same GSSSA championship tournament players playing college basketball on the court here during one of our very own Battle for Atlantis tournaments. To see them living up to the likes of our very own basketball stars – Buddy Hield and DeAndre Ayton – that would be ideal,” Gallagher said.
Sponsoring the event for a third time, is telecommunications company Aliv Media Champion at Aliv Sasha Lightbourne said this is a great opportunity for them to invest in the youth of the country.
“It is a great opportunity for us to invest in our boys and girls as they represent the future of the country,” she said. “The power of the Aliv brand, the strength of our partnerships like this one with the GSSSA and the Ministry of Education, and the passion of our people put us in a great position to have a lasting and a meaningful effect on improving the lives of thousands of young Bahamians. Our ultimate goal is to meet and surpass expectations,” she said.
Representing the GSSSA was Varel Davis, the president. She thanked all of the corporate sponsors for the boost given by them, and promised that this year’s championships will be very exciting.
In the junior boys’ competition, the D.W. Davis Royals, H.O. Nash Lions, C.H. Reeves Raptors and the A.F. Adderley Tigers are in the playoffs. In the junior girls’ division, the T.A. Thompson Scorpions, Raptors, Lions and the S.C. McPherson Sharks are the playoff teams.
The C.I. Gibson Rattlers, C.R. Walker Knights, C.V. Bethel Stingrays and the Anatol Rodgers Timberwolves are in the playoffs in the senior girls’ division. In the senior boys’ division, the Doris Johnson Mystic Marlins, Timberwolves, Rattlers and the Cobras are all vying for spots in the championship series.
Championship action will get underway on Monday at 4 p.m. at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism
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