BCBC convenes first-ever seminar workshop

By Isaiah Chappelle
Guyana Chronicle
July 28, 2004

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THE Berbice Cricket Board of Control (BCBC) took its administration of the game to another level on Sunday with the first-ever seminar/workshop to address cricket at the Berbice High School.

In the welcome, BCBC president Malcolm Peters said the seminar/workshop was to promote integration within the club structure with the objective of promoting cricket at all levels through partnership of the professional and recreational cricketing bodies, the business community and the public.

Another objective of the seminar/workshop is to establish effective teams for the administration, development and participation of cricket in Berbice.

Topics dealt with were: team selection (guidelines to winning combination), administration (effective execution of duties), general financing (sponsorship, fundraising, sustainability), cricket development and networking (using vibrant existing systems to foster growth and sustainability).

Minister of Sport Gail Teixeira congratulated the BCBC for the initiative, calling for more such seminars to address other areas.

The minister reiterated that sport associations must now look at sport as a science, finding persons with desirable physical attributes to enhance performance, looking at permissible drugs for illnesses and supplements, and preparing pitches. She also touched on nutrition.

Minister Teixeira pointed out that it was now critical for young people to stay and finish school, since it was now required that players be ambassadors of the sport. She noted that problems with the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) were of a disciplinary nature and the sport ministry had created codes of conduct for athletes and coaches.

“Coaches have to be as clean as whistle. But coaches alone cannot institute discipline; families have to play their part.”

The sport minister reminded that women’s cricket was important, too, pointing out that their male counterparts did not give them space to practise. Another participating group, she mentioned was persons with disability, disclosing that the ministry was working with visually impaired persons to play cricket.

“We must not see cricket for only those who are physically able.”

GCB president Chetram Singh called the seminar/workshop “a new dimension in cricket administration” and congratulated the BCBC for taking the lead.

He pointed out that for the past decade, the sport has been losing administrators and when elections come around, clubs were looking for people to put in positions.

“Gone are the days when there was competition for club positions. There is a dire need for people to administrate cricket. And at the end of the day, it is telling on the product you’re producing - the cricketers.”

Singh noted that Berbice has been producing a lot of youth cricketers, but very few go on to the West Indies level and in the past 30 years just Alvin Kalicharran, Leonard Bachan, Clayton Lambert and recently Mahendra Nagamootoo wore the regional cap.

“I would want to think that something is definitely wrong. You’re going up to a level and you just cannot make that little extra step, and that’s where I think discipline and dedication come in.”

Singh pointed out that players had some amount of ability to make the county and national teams.

“But suddenly after representing your country, you find that extra step to make it to the West Indies team is not there. I am attributing it to discipline and lack of hard work.”

The cricket boss said he hoped that at the end of the seminar/workshop, participants would discover what was lacking in going forward.

Former West Indies Test player and national selector, Joe Solomon, dealt with selection, and the floor disclosed that the county had at least one selector who did not know players, while others drank openly with some players, which could create a bias. It was suggested that selectors come from outside the county and selection would be based on statistics.

One of the most informative presentations was on administration delivered by General Manager of the Guysuco’s East Berbice Estates Aaron Dukia, who said it was time that boards look at cricket as a business involving investments for profits.

“An important part of business is the consumer - in cricket, the spectator. If you cannot attract spectators, you’re doomed as a club and board.”

Chairman of the Board of Directors of the New Building Society, Ramdial Bhookmohan, spoke on general financing, pointing out that persons who represent clubs and boards must have good standing in the community.

“Your attitude is important.”

He pointed out that many clubs and organisations were all going to the same set of sponsors who put aside a certain amount of money for donations, thus in seeking sponsorship, cricketers needed to sell the programme, then give a feedback to the donor.

President of St Francis Community Developers, Alex Foster, was down to speak on networking, but unfortunately apart from giving a definition of the subject, he had no details of organisations that could be tapped for resources. He spoke much about his personal achievements as a developer for nearly an hour before a late lunch.

West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Cricket Development officer, Dr Michael Seepersaud, made his presentation after lunch, disclosing that the Scotiabank Kiddies programme would be in Berbice in October.

He focused on the development pyramid and spoke on the four pillars of development - technical, mental, fitness and conditioning, and education and human resource development.

Participants then had group discussions to assess the state of cricket in the county and come up with recommendations. BCBC first vice-president Cyril Burrowes chaired the proceedings.