Minister Harmon calls on cricket stakeholders to allow the sport to be a ‘unifying force’ – Demerara Cricket Club Induction

Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, last evening, called on cricket stakeholders to work together to resolve the existing differences so that young cricketers are not hampered in their development.

Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon addressing the awardees and special invitees at the Demerara Cricket Club's Annual Awards Ceremony last evening at the Club

Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon addressing the awardees and special invitees at the Demerara Cricket Club’s Annual Awards Ceremony last evening at the Club

Minister Harmon was at the time addressing awardees and special invitees at the Demerara Cricket Club’s Annual Awards Ceremony for 2015-2016, at which he was also inducted as the Club’s new Patron.  The Minister used the opportunity to address the importance of resolving the ongoing issues of plaguing cricket management in Guyana.

The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) has been locked in a court battle through a controversy, which erupted seven years ago, with the formation of an Interim Management Committee, following a ruling by former Chief Justice Ian Chang in a legal contest over the legality of the GCB’s Executive Elections after their Annual General Meeting.

Since then, there have been no elections and this has prevented the subsidiary Clubs of the Board from performing as they should.

Minister Harmon used the opportunity to point out that cricket has, for the longest while, been a unifying force in the Caribbean and this legacy must be carried forward. Speaking to the local challenges and referencing issues with regard to the West Indies Cricket Board, he noted that it is imperative that solutions be found to these problems, since division and segregation are affecting the great potential of the young, upcoming, talented cricketers and their chance at glory.

“Cricket brings people together. Irrespective of your race, class, color, creed religion or wealth, cricket brings you together. We need to unify the cricket administration in Guyana. We need to find some common ground that will make the cricket movement much more solid than it is right now. For too long, we have had too much pulling and tugging and as a result we are not getting our best talent from this country and we need to bring an end to that. If there is anything at all I can contribute to this club, I would lend my skill and expertise to making sure that we try to help these sides so that cricket can benefit in Guyana,” Minister Harmon said.

Minister Harmon receiving a token of appreciation from President of the DCC, Mr. Alfred Mentore

Minister Harmon receiving a token of appreciation from President of the DCC, Mr. Alfred Mentore

He noted that these issues must be addressed frontally and in an efficient manner so that every stakeholder can benefit for the good of the game and the country.

“We are too small of a country to [to be fighting]. Our pool of skills and players are too limited. Let us work in cricket, on the things that unite us and let us put aside the things that divide us. I promise to do my best to ensure that DCC rises and soars,” he noted.

In accepting the honour, Minister Harmon, said that selflessness from stakeholders and sponsors and investments in the young people not only help in the personal development of those individuals, but also goes a far way in positively impacting communities and the country.

I don’t know that there are many clubs that can boast of such a long period of history and such a rich history. I am indeed very honoured and privileged to have been selected to be the patron of this organisation… I welcome the sponsors here tonight. Without you, cricket will never go anywhere. Cricket is an expensive sport and it is the sport that guarantees until now, the greatest degree of social and financial mobility. So when you invest in a young person playing cricket, you are investing in the future of Guyana and this is why sponsorship is so important because you are investing in young men and young women. You are investing in the future of your country. You are a leading light in that regard,” the Minister of State said.

He noted that the sponsorship and investment in sport, ensures that the skills and talents of the future of Guyana, are honed, nurtured and exposed to international acclaim, thereby, putting Guyana on show.

West Indies Under 19 Player, Tevin Imlach receiving his Award from Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon during last evening's Awards Ceremony at the Demerara Cricket Club

West Indies Under 19 Player, Tevin Imlach receiving his Award from Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon during last evening’s Awards Ceremony at the Demerara Cricket Club

Meanwhile, Mr. Alfred Mentore – President of the Demerara Cricket Club, in his brief remarks, noted that the Club could not have found a better patron and role model for the young players, who frequent the organisation.

“Many may think that being the patron of an organisation is just about having one’s name associated with the organisation. However, we at the Demerara Cricket Club see the patron of the Club as a person of respectability, credibility, stature, care and whom is people centered. I say that we have found these qualities and many more in the distinct personage of this person, who has graciously accepted our request for him to become patron. This person is known throughout the length and breadth of this country as a man of the people, a man with the common touch, well liked, affable, and a stickler for rules. These are the qualities that cricketers must have and we at the DCC know that when we present ourselves we do so in a manner that reflects the emulating qualities that will make our Patron proud to be associated with the DCC,” Mr. Mentore said.

He noted that Minister Harmon’s acceptance to be Patron of the Club and his stature and respectability, will now be the distinct standard to which the Club will hold itself.

“It is a standard we must uphold if we are to vindicate our patron’s trust and confidence in us. I do believe that under the watchful eyes of our patron we will not only fly high, we will soar,” he said.

Second from left: Mr. Alfred Mentore, President of the DCC, Minister within the Ministry of Education, Ms. Nicolette Henry, Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Mr. Keith Scott, Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples' Affairs, Ms. Valerie Garrido Lowe, Executive Members of the DCC and Awardees at last evening's ceremony

Second from left: Mr. Alfred Mentore, President of the DCC, Minister within the Ministry of Education, Ms. Nicolette Henry, Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Mr. Keith Scott, Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Ms. Valerie Garrido Lowe, Executive Members of the DCC and Awardees at last evening’s ceremony

Minister within the Ministry of Education, Ms. Nicolette Henry, who has responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport, in her remarks, pledged her commitment to the sport, noting too that investment and attention on the young people, will only result in positive developments in the country.

“This is a simple but significant occasion. I am pleased to see the involvement of the young people at the Club level and I want to thank DCC for investing in the young people. This is a responsibility, which should not be taken lightly and I pledge my support,” Minister Henry said.

Among the awardees were Kemo Paul and Tevin Imlach, the two Guyanese Under-19 Players, who played in the Under-19 Twenty20 World Cup Cricket for the West Indies.

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