Women should be more visible in sporting arena - Teixeira By Donovan Matthews
Guyana Chronicle
September 3, 2002

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MINISTER of Culture, Youth and Sport Gail Teixeira is of the opinion that women should be more visible in the sporting arena.

Ms Teixeira made these comments while speaking at the presentation ceremony for the 17th West Indies Women's Cricket Federation Championships Sunday night at the Carifesta Sports Complex.

The Minister, a renowned advocate for participation of women on the sport field, said she would also like to see them getting more involved in areas like officiating, coaching and even sports journalism which she said is male-dominated.

In a wide-ranging speech, Teixeira also called on governing bodies to see sport as a development project, helping to keep young people away from the ills of society. She said society is very much aware of the prevalence of HIV/AIDS and other vices among the youths and sport could be the platform from which this project is launched.

Ms Teixeira, whose Ministry played a major role in Guyana’s hosting the tournament, said she was pleased and honoured that the championships could come here especially since this is only the second year of Guyana's return to the regional fold. She said it is obvious that developments are taking place at the regional level since recent years have seen St Vincent and the Grenadines and Guyana come aboard.

While thanking Wes Hall and Chetram Singh, presidents of the West Indies and Guyana Cricket Boards respectively for the support given to the WIWCF, Minister Teixeira said she hopes for stronger relationships among the bodies.

The Minister also expressed the hope that the teams would not wait until the next WIWCF tournament to meet each other, but that they should have exchange visits which would help to make the game stronger.

Also making presentations were Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Director of Sport Neil Kumar, WIWCF President Carol Whilby-Maxwell, WICB's Cricket Development Officer Michael Seepersaud and Guyana Women's Cricket Federation (GWCF) President Emily Dodson. The Chairperson was GWCF Vice-President Karen Davis.

The Prime Minister spoke of the need for CARICOM to intensify relations, if possible forming a CARICOM government. He also said that the weather didn't fail the Guyanese people this time, with beautiful weather prevailing throughout the two-week tournament.

Kumar congratulated the GCB on the smooth running of the tournament but said he was disappointed in the media coverage received. He also called for an end to insularity in regional cricket before launching a scathing attack on journalists and former players for not criticising the omission of Assad Fudadin from the West Indies Under-19 team.

Seepersaud said he thoroughly enjoyed the tournament and reaffirmed the WICB's commitment to assist in the development of women's cricket. He said that the women's game would no longer take a back seat and the Federation would be involved in coaching programmes and any activities aimed at the development of the game.

In her presentation Ms Whilby-Maxwell congratulated the GWCF for successfully hosting the tournament a mere year after returning to the regional fold. She also expressed her appreciation to Minister Teixeira, asking her to convey same to the Guyana Government, and to the WICB for the assistance received. The WIWCF head also said she was looking forward to more support from the WICB, not only financially but also otherwise.

She said with this assistance the regional team could become a major power in international women's cricket. Ms Whilby-Maxwell also said she would like to see more women participating in coaching, scoring and umpiring so that they would become more proficient.

Ms Dodson gave an overview of the tournament during which she identified special performances from Phillippa Thomas, Verena Felicien, Annabelle Lewis, veteran Vivalyn Latty-Scott, Sherna Assoon and Sheriann John.

She also said the aim of requesting to host this year's tournament was to have the interest in women's cricket rekindled and she was sure this had been achieved.

The GWCF president identified two areas of concern however, saying the many wides delivered and the numerous run-outs would have to be corrected if the West Indies team was to be a force at the world level.

Seven teams participated in the championships, with St Lucia retaining the league title. They were, however, dethroned by Trinidad in the knockout competition, after beating the same team in the 2001 final.