Labor Day Basketball Classic set in GB attracts large field
About 20 teams from outside of Grand Bahama are expected to converge on that island for the annual HOYTES (Helping Our Youth Through Education and Sports) Labor Day Classic, June 6-8.
All-Star squads from New Providence, Abaco, Bimini and Eleuthera, and host island Grand Bahama, will vie for the trophies in six categories.
Competition divisions for boys include: ages 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-16; for the girls, 13-14 and 15-16.
The action will take place at the St. George’s High School Gymnasium.
HOYTES Founder Gladstone “Moon” McPhee expressed enthusiasm on Friday.
“One of the great joys of my life has been to provide opportunities for young boys and girls to grow in life. I believe sports is one of the greatest forums for development,” said the veteran sports and education mentor.
He also challenged the government to act through the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and the Ministry of Tourism, as well as corporate Bahamas.
“Corporate Bahamas needs to continue to support organizations that are out there, especially ones such as HOYTES, to continue to provide assistance to help the young people grow and advance properly though life,” he said.
“We want to diminish the numbers of young ones who end up on the wrong side of the law, or the low end of the social, civil order. HOYTES has been able to depend on certain companies throughout our existence, but more could be done. This is a major job organizations such as HOYTES undertake.
“As for the government, it should never reach a point whereby the powers that be feel that too much money is going towards sports. They can never ever do enough to properly prepare our youth for taking over the controls of the country as adults, in a stable fashion.
“To the HOYTES alumni, I say one thing to them: look in the mirror.”
McPhee’s demeanor is actually bittersweet. He is joyous, as always, when about to present one of his development forums, but at this time the stalwart contributor to nation-building through sports is troubled about the increasing difficulty in convincing others to come forward in the interest of the country’s youth.
“It’s as if there is this great expectation for you to continue doing what you have been doing for years at a great disadvantage and withstanding many sacrifices, but yet the assistance level gets lower and lower every time,” he lamented.
“The country at large had better hope that the those who are driving independent programs do not get discouraged and stop what they are doing. It would be chaos in the land with the youth. So, let the message go out that we need continued, meaningful help.”
I fully support the sentiments expressed by one of the great sons of the soil, who has always been vastly under-appreciated.
– To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com or on WhatsApp at 727-6363.
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