Prime Minister T/20 Softball tournament unveiled
DPI, GUYANA, Sunday, September 10, 2017
The Georgetown Softball Cricket League Incorporated (GSCL) in collaboration with the National Sports Commission (NSC) and the Ministry of Education Department of Culture, Youth and Sports launched the Prime Minister T/20 Softball tournament. Teams from Canada, Florida, Guyana and New York will be participating in the tournament.
Speaking at the launch of the softball tournament, on Sunday at the Everest Cricket Ground, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo expressed appreciation for being bestowed the title of Patriot of the tournament. He opined that as the competition offers limited overs it will serve to attract more teams to participate and provide great competition.
He acknowledged that softball has burgeoned in the worldwide sporting industry, particularly countries like Europe and Australia at international level.
“So the softball tournament that you will run off in October is not just a game, it is intended to build among the team players a sentiment of togetherness or sharing together and competing on the basis of talent, competing on your own basis of doing your best,” the Prime Minister explained. He added his ministry also intends to donate $300,000 as a prize to the players, who exhibit talent.
The All-star winners for the softball tournament will take home $600,000 in prize money and the runners-up will be awarded $100,000 along with trophies and medals as well as a 50-inch television. The Masters will win $500,000 and the runners-up in that division will take home $100,000 along with trophies and medals.
Though the tournament fields both young and old players, the Prime Minister expects to the younger players to excel in the areas of bowling, fielding and batting; to that end he has requested the executives set the parameters for these on the par with international standards.
GSCL President Ian John said that the three-day tournament is slated to start from October 27 to 29 and will be held at various grounds. Among the stipulated requirements for teams to compete: each team must field 15 players and players are expected to don brightly coloured uniforms.
John disclosed that a week before the start of the tournament, a live stream drafting session will be held to determine which teams will qualify. He expressed his intention to make the tournament an annual event, assuring that it will improve with each new year.
The GSCL President expressed his gratitude to Minister of Education Nicolette Henry for her support and to the people involved in making the tournament possible. He said it is expected that an official team will also participate in the softball tournament
Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that he is satisfied with the unveiling of the competition and with the support shown by the sponsors. Remarking, that the contest will keep the young people occupied instead of being involved in illegal activities.
“Sport will take away the idleness from the young people, from thinking the negative to doing something positive and that is playing a sport and also being competitive in the field, getting the discipline going and the sportsmanship among others…that is the big thing lacking and that is why I feel we have youth crimes, young violence to the extent that we do have, it is a problem we have in the entire Caribbean.”
Rawle Nedd, Banks DIH Branch Manager explained that his company is thrilled to be a sponsor of a tournament which provides an opportunity for local talents to be showcased. “We have team from Florida, New York and Canada, so we are coming out to see our regular (local) softball players which we will have the opportunity to see some uprising talent…. We have always been behind sports and will continue to do so.”
Troy Collins, representative for Hero MotoCorp Limited (HERO) said supporting the tournament was an obvious choice for the organisation since they have sponsored sport worldwide and views the tournament as a way to promote local talent.
Shawn Massiah, player for Regal Masters noted that though this is the inaugural year for tournament, it will sustain in the years to come. He believes the participation of the international teams will help to motivate the local players to excel.
By: Neola Damon