Ithaca youths benefit from upgraded basketball facility

Minister of Culture Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jnr, on Sunday, assisted with the setting up of basketball backstops and hoops at Ithaca village, West Bank Berbice, fulfilling a commitment he made several months ago to young persons in the village.

Minister Ramson had promised to provide the new equipment to improve the existing facilities there.

Minister Ramson holds a discussion with the residents of Ithaca.

“The hoops that they had were only going to last a few more mornings, they were broken, the glass was broken, they were leaning, they were low,” Minister Ramson said on Sunday.

He explained that the procurement process and shipping issues had caused a delay.  

Minister Ramson had visited the community recently, where he made preparations for the hoops to be installed on Sunday. The new hoops cost more than US$5000.

A team from the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports, along with persons from the community was on the ground assisting in cleaning the court, and painting and repairing bleachers.

Minister Ramson greats a resident of Ithaca.

Minister Ramson later joined youths of the community in an impromptu basketball game.

“It’s tested ready, so the public can be assured that these are best quality basketball hoops that could be had anywhere. These will last them 10-15 years…it’s regulation size, it’s pro hoops. It means that for folks who really want to take the game to the next level and also be encouraged by having the equipment and the facility, it means that they now have an opportunity to do that,” Minister Ramson said.

The upgrade to the basketball facility was welcomed by members of the community including, Berbice All Star Player Shannon Wilson.

“There isn’t really opportunity for us to get out and reach certain places in terms of jobs and, they got a lot of school drop outs, so at least the basketball court is where youths like me, could come and express ourselves freely, in terms of just playing ball, just better ourselves playing the sport, so we could reach other places,” Wilson told DPI.

Minister Ramson helps install the new basketball backstop

Elroy Amsterdam, a player and member of the Ithaca Basketball Association also expressed appreciation, noting that more than 70 youths will benefit.

“Positive stuff spark positive change, so I think that this will benefit us tremendously in the long- run,” Amsterdam said.

Minister Ramson has committed to taking the president of the Basket Ball Federation to the community to host a basketball tournament on the regulation sized facility.