GFSCA To Host International Softball
-lucrative prizes at stake for October 28- 30 tournament
History will be created on October 28-30 when the Guyana Floodlight Softball Cricket Association (GFSCA) stages the first ever international softball tournament here in Guyana. The Guyana Cup Open 20/20 and the Guyana Cup Masters (Over-40 years) 20/20 tournaments have already attracted 10 teams from North America and another six from Guyana with lucrative prizes at stake.
At the official launch at the Ministry of Sport Boardroom yesterday, vice president of the GFSCA, Ricky Deonarain, revealed that five teams from New York have confirmed their participation, while another three from Florida and two from Canada have also indicated an interest in the tournament.
The six local teams are Memorex, Cotton Field Wild Oats, Trophy Stall and Regal in the Open category, and Regal and Savage in the Masters division. Deonarain said that the local sides were chosen based on their performance in the Stag Beer/El Dorado softball tournament, which concluded earlier this year. If there are no other overseas teams beside the 10 that have confirmed, two other local teams will be drafted in.
The champions of the Open tournament will pocket US$4,000 (G$800,000), while the winner of the Masters category will receive US$2,000 (G$400,000). The Most Valuable Player in each category will receive a gold bracelet, compliments of Steve’s Jewellery.
Deonarain explained that teams from Guyana have been participating in the international tournament since 1999, but the GFSCA as a uniformed body has been sending teams to the event for the past five years.
“And all the teams have been asking ‘When are we coming to Guyana?’. So this is the time for us and we hope the tournament will be a success. All the overseas teams are looking forward to the competition,” Deonarain commented.
He added that the GFSCA has received tremendous support from Sport Minister Dr. Frank Anthony, PS Alfred King, and Director of Sport Neil Kumar with respect to hosting the three-day tournament, which will cost the association a whopping $4.3 million. To offset the expenses, the GFSCA has received corporate support from Trophy Stall, Survival, Digicel, Mike’s Pharmacy, Clear Waters, Steve’s Jewellery, Bel Air Texaco Gas Station, and Guyana Beverages Company through its Busta soft drink brand.
Head of Sales and Distribution at Digicel, Nalini Vieira, and Rowling Khan of International Pharmaceutical Agency (IPA), the distributors of Clear Waters, both expressed pleasure at being associated with the tournament, which will be played at three venues in the city: Everest Cricket Club, Carifesta Sports Complex and GCC ground, Bourda.
The Sports Minister commended the GFSCA for taking up the challenge of hosting the tournament for the first time. He expressed confidence in the executives and noted that a tournament of this nature will positively impact the sport as well as tourism.
“We’re confident the tournament will be a success and we want to call on the public to come out and support the games. We also want to wish the association and the various sponsors well during the three days,” Dr. Anthony said.
Meanwhile, on the day of the finals (October 30), there will be five games at the Everest Cricket Club ground. Apart from the finals of the two competitions, there will be a four-team female tournament, featuring two semi-finals and a final.
Also present at the launch yesterday were GFSCA president Rahaman Khan, treasurer Lakeram ‘ Mike’ Singh, and other executives of the GFSCA, including Lalta Gainda, Steve Narine and Dharam Persaud, among others.