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HomeSports ScopeFemale basketball tournament starts despite poorly-lit St. George’s Gym

Female basketball tournament starts despite poorly-lit St. George’s Gym

The 20th version of the HOYTES (Helping Our Youth Through Education and Sports) Geneva Rutherford Girls Basketball Classic got started on Thursday afternoon as scheduled, in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Notably, the young ladies had to perform in a poorly-lit gym and the event got underway only after tables and chairs that covered the entire court were removed by retired Physical Education teacher Stephanie, several coaches and the players themselves.

I counted them – 10 of the high-beam ceiling lights were out and such was the environment that was afforded our young, fairer sex aspirants in basketball. In this space, often in the past, I have lamented a lack of attention to sporting facilities owned by the government of The Bahamas, and that are to be kept in order by respective ministries and staff members.

In this case, it is the Ministry of Education that has fallen down. I have been informed that the HOYTES Foundation paid $500 for the use of the gym during the February 20-33 duration of the tournament. It stands to reason that those in charge of the school, once the fee was accepted, were then obligated to ensure that there was absolute readiness about the gym.

This was not done and Ministry of Education officials ought to address this matter. More pointedly, they must in the interest of professionalism.

Once again, the national sports fraternity gets thrown under the bus. If any other sector of the government agencies or associated entities, education in particular, had arranged for the use of the gym, I submit it would have been properly prepared.

I bear personal witness to this gross imbalance, having observed such on far too many occasions. Last year for instance, a major sports/social affair had to be shifted to another venue, despite prior detailed planning and the impression being given by school officials that all would be in order.

Quite frankly, the poor attention paid to the gym does not justify the mindset of the investment by patriarch Edward St. George, when he donated the fully air-conditioned, top of the line facility. St. George was a sports patron. His contribution in that regard was almost equal to his capacity to entice meaningful investments to Grand Bahama.

I contend that what Grand Bahamian sporting personnel have to make do with at the St. George’s Gymnasium does not serve his memory well, to say the least.

Gladstone “Moon” McPhee shook his head resignedly when acknowledging the fate of the young players, having to compete in a mightily dimmed-down gym. He indicated that the scenario was usual, in that something or the other is always not attended to, in seeing to it that the gym is properly prepared.

This is one of the situations which causes the bottom line factor in government ministries, in this case Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd, to be criticized.

It is so true that a lot of the happenings down the line, not positive at all, government ministers know nothing about. Yet ultimately, the issues could fall on their desks. Maybe this is an instance that needs Minister Lloyd to read the riot act, something he is not fearful of doing.

The HOYTES annual competitive forum for young girls has reached its 20th year. This time around, 20 teams (junior and senior) from schools throughout New Providence and Grand Bahama, were registered.

The senior squads are: Anatol Rodgers, Bishop Michael Eldon, C.I. Gibson, C.R. Walker, C.V. Bethel, Doris Johnson, Eight Mile Rock, Freedom Baptist, Jack Hayward, R.M. Bailey, St. George’s and Tabernacle Baptist Academy.

Junior teams represented are Anatol Rodgers, Bishop Michael Eldon, C.H. Reeves, Eight Mile Rock, Jack Hayward, Mary Star Academy, St. Mary Patricia and Tabernacle Baptist Academy.

There is an added motivation this time around. Members of the all-tournament first team are guaranteed being selected to be a part of the HOYTES/Grand Bahama Sports Promotion Association (GBSPA) ‘Travel Camps’ in Mississippi, June 21 to July 2.

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.

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