GT&T Softball Underway
The moment softball cricket players and fans have been waiting for arrived yesterday after Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Telephony and Telegraphy Company (GT&T), Yog Mahadeo, bowled the ceremonial first delivery to Sports Minister Dr. Frank Anthony at the Everest Cricket Ground to signal the commencement of the country’s largest softball cricket tournament.
The GT&T 10/ 10 knockout competition has attracted 1224 teams, 209 of which are female units. Last year’s inaugural competition was contested by 584 teams. The tournament is being held in collaboration with the Culture, Youth and Sport Ministry and the Guyana Softball League ( GSL). A massive $10 million in cash and prizes are up for grabs.
The tournament has been divided into eighteen zones and will be played under the rule book of the GSL. This year the winning male team will receive $2 million, while the female team will receive $1 million.
Dr. Anthony described the event as a massive undertaking which will lead to huge development in the sport and will serve as a model for other countries to follow. The minister said his ministry is once again proud to be part of the historic event. He said that at the commencement of this tournament last year there was lots of skepticism on whether such a huge tournament can really work in Guyana, but the methodology used have really paid off.
The minister said that while this year’s tournament is already set to be bigger than last year, he encourages the communities to support the teams participating. He also lauded the organisers for introducing a female segment to this year’s competition. He stressed the fact that the initiative compliments the ministry’s tireless plot to institute sports at the community level.
Meanwhile, Mahadeo, who was at the bowling end of the ceremonial first ball, expressed gratitude to the organising committee for once again putting together the largest tournament in Guyana. He also expressed gratitude to the Sport Minister and the GSL, along with the co- sponsors for their support.
The CEO further mentioned that he was amazed at the response of so many teams to this year’s competition, which he said will go a long way in promoting team spirit, collaboration, and a disciplined minded approach to problem solving. The CEO reiterated the company’s support to sports development and community involvement through sport activities.
The competition will continue throughout the country on weekends with the grand final set for the National Stadium on April 10 where a splendid Caribbean- style entertainment package, including overseas artistes, is planned.
GT&T, along with the co- sponsors, Coca-Cola, Vitamalt, Tropical Mist, Impressions, Auto Fashion, Cell Phone Shack, Buddy’s Night Club and King’s Jewellery World, will be giving away several prizes during the preliminaries to teams and spectators and these prizes will become more attractive as the competition progresses. Ultimately, everyone will be a winner. The grounds will be branded by GT&T and co-sponsors and entertainment will be a sober party-style with several promotions and free giveaways throughout the games.
Ten/ 10 merchandising, including jerseys, will be on sale at several prominent venues. Updates on the tournament can be viewed on “We Linkin” television programme aired on NCN Channel 11 on Monday evenings at 21:00h, as well as the weekly 10/ 10 Round Up to be aired on Thursdays at a time to be announced on NCN. In the inaugural tournament, Trophy Stall XI emerged champions over the Crabwood Creek Unstoppables by 51 runs, and walked away with the top prize of $1 million.