The South Dakota circuit was bursting with excitement as motor racers and bikers from all across the Caribbean and North America converged for the electrifying staging of the November fixture of the Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship last Sunday, November 11, 2012.
I am not a motor racing enthusiast but I can definitely say that motor racing is a big deal. Spectators from near and far gathered to see their favourite race car driver or superbiker on display. The day featured motor car races in four groups (Groups 1-4); motorcycles and superbikes races and also shifter karts races. The thrills and stunts made for a very exhilarating day.
Drivers from Guyana, Jamaica and Barbados dominated all the main events. The most exciting race for the day would have to be the race in which Kevin Jeffery came out victorious after a very big scare from Summerbell who edge passed him at the finish. Unfortunately Summerbell did not complete the turn and as such did not space. Yikes!
Guyanese Stephen Vieira led the superbikers by winning the overall title. The biker boys were fierce in their races, stunts and all. The Go Kart race featured both young and very old karters a clear indication that motor racing knows no age.
It's all thrills and stunts until one biker goes down and we weren't short of that at this event. But luckily, the young man, Leroy Cort has no broken bones and is doing quite well.
Moving away from the competitions and rivalries, the actual Sunday at the races activity is a very enjoyable family event for people of all ages. The turnout is usually massive. And when the older ones are engrossed in the races, the little ones can be seen running around having their own activities.
Rent –A-Tent, owned by veteran racer Jad Rahaman, offered the ultimate VIP experience (for all who were willing and able to pay $22000 for the day). Food and drinks were provided and the very fortunate patrons got a superb view of the track.
Sunday at the races was quite an enjoyable event, congratulations to Jamaican David Summerbell Jnr. who recaptured the Caribbean Champion Driver Title and to Jamaica as well for capturing the Country Title. Well done to Mark Vieira who won the final leg of the Caribbean Race of Champions and Stephen Vieira for coming out as the top biker in the competition.
I'm already ready for the next race meet!
Prolific local striker Vurlon Mills scored two goals to put Guyana’s Golden Jaguars ahead of Bermuda in their second match in Group B of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers on Tuesday evening at the Guyana National Stadium Providence.
The first half of the game was evenly matched with both sides sharing possession of the ball. There were two chances created by the Jaguars but they were unable to convert, much to the disappointment to the fans. Shawn Beveney and Walter Moore both missed critical headers which struck the crossbar showing the lack in Bermuda’s wing defense.
It was the second half of the game that had all of the action however. Just a few minutes after the resumption of play Guyana captain Chris Nurse made a spirited run down the right wing and exploiting the weak defense, crossed the ball into Mills. He wasted no time in completing the opportunity by blasting the ball past the hapless Bermuda Keeper Fredrick Hall in the 50th minute from outside the penalty area. Boosted by the goal and fueled by the energy of the crowd the Jags went on the offensive testing their opponents’ resolve. The persistent probing at the Bermuda defensive line paid off in the 59th minute after a scramble in the Bermuda penalty area saw an excellent header by Walter Moore saved but mills was once again in the picture and scored once again off the rebound.
The visitors were however not going down without a fight as the captain Khano Smith scored a magnificent strike from outside the penalty box beating several defenders and keeper Ronson Williams in the process in the 90th minute. Guyana, though showing lapses in defense in the latter part of the game which undoubtedly resulted in the goal, managed to hold their resolve and hold on to the end.
Technical Director of the Golden Jaguars Jamaal Shabazz was pleased with the team’s performance in the last two games. He however expressed concerns that the foreign based players will be heading back to their respective clubs while the local players are at a disadvantage since no football is currently being played in Guyana. He said “the players have got to play matches to be fit.” According to Shabazz the ongoing disruption within local football administration only serves to reduce the level of football.
Acting President of the GFF Franklin Wilson said he echoed the sentiments of Shabazz but currently there is nothing that can be done until the matter is settled in the courts. Notwithstanding he is also pleased with the performance of the team. Guyana will face Bermuda and Barbados in their respective territories on October 7th and 11th respectively before taking on Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad and Tobago defeated Bermuda 1-0 and Barbados 2-0 and are currently at the top of the points standings.
By - Andrew Ross
Guyana’s national football team got off to a flying start by winning their first World Cup qualifying game in Group B against Barbados 2-0 at the National Stadium Providence on Friday night. The win is the first step on the long road to the 2014 World Cup to be held in neighboring Brazil.
It was clear from the opening whistle that the Golden Jaguars were intent on putting on a show for the local crowd. The team attacked the Bajans relentlessly and the superior quickness of the Jags showed with several players being caught offside. The Jags have a combination of young and experienced international players within their ranks. It is one of those international players, Shawn “Bubblie” Beveney who currently plays in the Asian Pro League, who took advantage of the sluggish Barbados defense and put one in the back of the net in the 26th minute.
All was not well for the local side however. With the resumption of the game in the second half the linesman keeping watch on the Barbados half of the field flagged the Jaguars several times for runs which appeared to be legal, much to the disapproval of the large crowd. The frustration even spilled on to the players when heated words were exchanged between two players from the opposing teams causing the game referee to intervene. The most disappointing call came after a shot to goal was saved by the Bajan goalie but JP Rodriguez took advantage of the rebound and sent a blistering shot past the stunned keeper only to be flagged offside. The Golden Jags also missed several scoring opportunities. This was an indictment on the local side which is touted to have skilled play makers but lacks effective finishers.
37 year old Charles “lily” Pollard, who was one of the players honored at the 2010-2011 Kashif and Shanghai Football tournament for his significant contribution to Guyanese football, showed why he is considered as one of the best. In the 76th minute with several Bajan defenders around Pollard struck a blistering shot past the keeper to put the Jags up 2-0, needless to say some fans were looking to see if the linesman had his flag up, this proved not to be the case.
After the game, Technical Advisor of the Golden Jaguars Jamaal Shabazz related that he was pleased with the team’s performance despite not being %100 fit. He also made a case for the inclusion of several international players into the squad. “When you have senior players like Charles Pollard at 37 and Trevon George at 17 on the same side it can only be good for Guyana’s football.” He said it is good to have young players see guys who have played football locally and have transitioned to the regional and international arena and that motivates them to train hard to develop their skills in hopes of one day achieving such goals and even higher. Shabazz added that though the team did not convert all scoring opportunities he is satisfied that plays were being created.
Guyana will face Bermuda in the second Group B match on Tuesday at the National Stadium Providence. Bermuda lost 1-0 to Trinidad and Tobago earlier in the day.
By - Andrew Ross
West Indies cricketer Christopher Barnwell showed that he could perform as well on the court as on the field when he managed a double at the 2nd Annual Celebrity Basketball game. Barnwell participated as a point guard for the Athletes who played against the Entertainers who won the title last year.
The game was evenly matched up to halftime with Don Gialiani drilling some smooth jumpers and layups for the entertainers, while reporter Edison Jefford and Barnwell led the charge for the Athletes. Heading into halftime the scoreboard read 23-22 in favor of the Entertainers.
The Athletes however were not daunted and went on a 6-0 run when play resumed. After this point it was all over as Jefford and Barnwell dominated the offensive boards. Barnwell finished the game with 20 points and 10 rebounds and was named MVP.
There were highlights too as singer Lisa Punch and table tennis player Jody Ann Blake provided some comical moments when they attempted to dribble the ball. Fitness trainer Curtis McKenzie was certainly fit and fast but lacked coordination thus giving the large crowd added entertainment.
In the supporting game Youth Basketball Guyana led by Akeem 'the sensational dream' Khanai defeated Knights Basketball club the evening's hosts 44-31. QUALFON got the better of Giftland in a low scoring 21-39 game and LAPARKAN edged Republic Bank 52-49 in the opening game.
A larger than normal crowd turned out to watch the game even with a Jamzone event being held on the same night. Given the excitement and support generated by the event basketball fans are looking forward to next year.
All proceeds will be donated to the Deaf Institute.
By - Andrew Ross
The Guyana National Stadium, Providence came alive on Sunday August 14, 2011 as the Jamzone Masters' Cup took place. The stands were filled to capacity (an estimated 15,000 persons) as the teams battled for a chance to make history and obtain a year’s worth of bragging rights. At 16:00 hrs local time the Hits and Jams Superstars' opening batsmen made their way to the crease as the New Line Cavaliers assumed their fielding positions. Despite some sloppy batting work they managed to make a decent score, with major assistance from West Indies star Dwayne Bravo – who made 106 runs. That was the first century ever for this tournament and his name is now etched in the record books. The New Line Cavaliers started with a similar fire as Dwayne Smith hit the tournament's longest six, launching it into the walkway behind the stands. Unfortunately, their attempts were futile against the bowling of the Superstars and they crumbled as the overs ran out.
Whenever there was a delay in the match the music of Fusion Sound Company and dancing of the GT&T Cheerleaders definitely filled the void. The ladies’ performance was much better than Friday night's efforts and the crowd showed their support time and time again. After a short musical segment, the Berbice Titans and the Georgetown Pitbulls made their way to centre field, as a young local group sang the first and last stanzas of the National Anthem. It was now action time! The Titans won the toss and decided to bat first, putting up a massive 151 runs. The Pitbulls could have restricted them just a bit, but their field work was mediocre at times. The Berbice team, on the other hand, showed no mercy in the field and with the ball; they were relentless, taking all catches, missing no opportunities to stop a racing ball and always making returns on target.
The crowd was further appeased by the presence of the Jamzone International Pageant delegates as they walked the field, interacted with the audience and spoke a little about themselves; they also gave some insight into what could be expected on August 17, 2011 at the National Cultural Centre. The Georgetown Pitbulls provided a meaningful fight, but eventually to no avail as the Titans bowled, caught and stumped the batsmen at every opportunity. The masses were divided in support for the two teams but toward the end of the finals it was clear who everyone was backing – the Berbice Titans. As the last ball of the Pitbulls' innings was bowled the spectators jumped to their feet and roared as a Titan player caught a poor attempt at a boundary and threw the winning ball into the stands. There was some temporary chaos as patrons wrestled for the memento.
The prize-giving ceremony was short and sweet as Sean Devers, the Jamzone Masters' Cup PRO, gave a brief introduction and then allowed GT&T's CEO Yog Mahadeo to deliver a speech. Mr. Mahadeo expressed his content with the tournament and said that he was pleased to be a corporate sponsor along with the government of Guyana. After the telecommunications chief said his part, Hits and Jams’ CEO Rawle Ferguson showed his gratitude by thanking all supporters, sponsors and players that helped to make the cricket event a major success. As it was award time, Dwayne Bravo copped the Man of the Series prize for his fascinating 106 runs. The Hits and Jams Superstars took the third place trophy and some other prizes; the Georgetown Pitbulls held their second place trophy and some cash and prizes, while the reigning champions Berbice Titans carried their first place trophy and G$2,000,000 cheque triumphantly around the Providence Stadium. Local leg – spinning superstar Devendra Bishoo – popped a bottle of champagne to declare the beginning of the celebrations, while the DJ informed all patrons that the after party would be poolside at the nearby Princess Hotel.
The Guyanalive.com team headed across to the luxury hotel and witnessed local and international players mingling with fans and supporters, both young and old. We were proud to be a Guyanese and prouder to witness local history. The music kept the party jumping until the wee hours of the morning, and even though most of us had to be at our desks in just a few hours we were elated at every level. Thank you Hits and Jams and thank you Guyana, we give the event a 10 out of a possible 10 – a piece of history in itself!
View pictures from this event at --> GuyanaLive.com Gallery
By - Patrice Wishart
It was excitement and high levels of anticipation at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, when the Jamzone Masters' Cup Semi-finals began on Friday August 12, 2011. The Georgetown Pitbulls squared off with the New Line Cavaliers in the first match, where the Pitbulls fought their way to a win by eight wickets with the help of international cricket stars like Sulieman Benn and Jerome Taylor. The second match was more nail biting, when the Berbice Titans narrowly escaped the potential defeating claws of the Hits and Jams Superstars. The latter team included mega stars like Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo but their skill was evidently no match for talented locals, Royston Crandon and Devendra Bishoo.
The stadium was filled almost to capacity when the second match was in progress and large groups of supporters for both teams could be heard from quite some distance away. There were GT&T Cheerleaders who entertained us throughout the tournament, but they seemed extremely out of sync at times. Nevertheless, the atmosphere was very competitive and jubilant.
The finals of the Jamzone Masters' Cup are expected to be played on August 14, 2011 with two stimulating matches. The Georgetown Pitbulls and Berbice Titans will face each other for the big victory and spoils that accompany that victory, while the New Line Cavaliers will play against the Hits and Jams Superstars for third place. It is not to be missed!
View pictures from this event at --> GuyanaLive.com Gallery
By - Patrice Wishart
The Hikers Hockey Club's annual Junior Hockey Summer programme is scheduled to commence on Monday August 15th at the St. Stanislaus College Forum. The programme will cater to children from the ages of 6 to 16 years old, and will be conducted daily at the school's forum from 9:00AM to 1:00PM.
England-based, national women's team captain Chantelle Fernandes will co-ordinate the two week programme, with some assistance from Cuban-based former national player Latoya Fordyce and Hikers junior coaches Jamarj Assanah, Travon Younge, Renee James and Macaela Harding.
This will be the fourth year that Hikers have conducted this summer holiday camp for beginners, and several of the graduates of previous camps have already begun to break into the National Junior and Senior squads.
The classes are free of charge and all interested persons are invited to attend.
There was an air of expectancy in the Providence National Stadium on Sunday night as BK Western Tigers squared off against Pele Gold in the much anticipated finals of inaugural Fastball competition.
From the opening whistle Pele Gold played attacking football and made their intentions clear that they wanted to take home the top prize. Western Tigers seemed content with playing a defensive game and counterattacking. This strategy proved to be their undoing however.
Pele created several early scoring opportunities with several shots going wide of the goal and testing the Western defense. A free shot awarded to Pele just cleared the top bar of the Western defended goal keeping the crowd excited.
The breakthrough however came after the"blue ball" was introduced into the game. The blue ball is probably the most distinctive aspect which separates fastball from regulation football. After 5 fouls are committed by any team the opposing team is awarded a six(6) seconds penalty. This is very crucial especially if the fifth foul is committed while the blue ball is in play since each goal is counted as two(2).
The relentless attack of Pele eventually paid off just a few minutes after the blue ball was called for. Player #11 Marvin Joseph made an attacking run down the left side then after some fancy footwork, beat two defenders at the top of the box and drilled the blue ball into the back of the net putting Pele up by two.
About two minutes after halftime Western Tigers looked a more spirited team if not desperate to undo the first half damage. It proved not enough however when Stellon David needled one off a rebound. That proved to be the final goal as Pele kept the ball in posession largely for the remainder of the game.
Travis Grant captain of the winning side related that his team practiced and worked hard to be the top side and that they "are proud to be the first fastball champs." Pele took away $1M in cash along with free credit.
In the female finals Trophy Stall All Stars got the better of Eagles United out of Lethem 3-2. The All Stars won $100,000 plus credit.
Meanwhile Ronson Williams "dove" a skillful 1000+ to win half a million dollars compliments of GTT.
By - Andrew Ross
Goalkeeper: Alysa is one of the most gifted players on the team and is a player with great potential. Having had success at several sport disciplines, and possessing the ability to play with equal effectiveness in or out of the goal, the team will benefit greatly in having her between the bars where she chose to make her career.
Striker: Amanda is the life of the team. She is a natural ballplayer who works hard every time out. Amanda possesses good speed and control which makes her one of the team’s top strikers.
Striker: Ashley is a relative newcomer who is making her debut in Rio. What she lacks in experience, Ashley makes up for with an astute game sense of where her teammates are. A player with lots of potential, Ashley is likely to develop into one of the best passers in the game. Her role in the team however currently remains creating goal scoring opportunities on the front line.
Striker: Avonda is one of the fastest and most dedicated players on the team. Her pace gives her the unique opportunity of beating her marker to the vital scoring spot to score or set up a teammate. She works hard on defence also, a rare quality in a striker.
Striker: Chantelle has been made captain of the team this year as she remains one of the more influential players who enjoys a good rapport with the entire team. She is one of the more exposed players having played for a few years abroad and with her good stick work, it shows in her game. While Chantelle was the central midfield figure on the team last year, she has been moved into the forward line in the hope of producing more goals which has been one of the team’s shortcomings in the past.
Striker: Dominique is a busy player who sticks to her assigned task. She is a graduate from the junior indoor ranks who is making a name and permanent place for herself on the senior side. She is strong on the ball and can also play some minutes in the midfield.
Midfield: Gabriella has developed into a strong attacking force with her ability to control the ball at pace. She is a tireless worker and will contribute at both ends of the pitch. Gabriella also plays on the forward line in addition to her critical attacking midfield position.
Goalkeeper: Coming from a football background, Jonelle is a natural athlete with good leg coordination. She is relatively new to the game but is a fast learner who has finally managed to break into the team in this, her debut tournament.
Striker: Kerensa has been the country’s most prolific scorer over the past few years both internationally and in the local league. Possessing a natural swing with great timing, she is also the penalty corner striker of the team. A lot of the team’s offense will ride on her shoulders.
Center Midfield: Easily the most experienced player in the side, Leigh has played all of her hockey overseas. She is clearly one of the strongest players and, apart from her contribution with the ball, Leigh will play a critical role in directing the team from her central area.
Right midfield: With the heart of a warrior, much is expected of Maria Munroe in the competition. She is a genuine leader who is strong on the ball and is sure to play a major role in the team’s attack. Maria missed the 2010 competition to have her baby girl but is back and already in good physical condition to resume her role in midfield.
Left midfield: Although Marisha has always been one of the more talented ballplayers on the side, this could possibly be one of her strongest tournaments as she has made a significant effort to improve her match fitness. An intelligent player who is quick to improvise, she will play a vital midfield role during the competition.
Left Back: Despite being the youngest player on the side, Marzana is already a permanent starter and has established herself as one of the team’s most reliable players. A good defender with strong possession skills Marzana is one of the more technically correct players in the side, having learned the game from a young age and has a bright future ahead.
Full Back: Having made a good name for herself on the indoor version of the game, Talia has improved her game and finally made the breakthrough into the national side. She is a strong defender who plays a tough brand of hockey. Talia possesses a powerful push and hit which enables her to generate a counterattack from difficult situations.
Full back: Tiffany brings maturity and strength to the central defence. She is a powerful and intelligent player who rises to the occasion on the international stage. Tiffany will be assigned the tough marking responsibilities in the central defence area.
Right back: Although being used on the right side, Trisha Woodroffe is a solid defender who possesses good reverse skills. A smooth striker of the ball with good possession skills she is a well balanced player who can also lend support to the midfield whenever the need arises.
Full Back: Ulrica is one of the most valuable players on the team and is the fastest defender in the side. After beginning her career on the forward line, she has now been moved to the defence to capitalize on her fearless and determined attitude which makes her the player with the most match time of the team.
Wing back: With her lengthy stride, Vashema is deceptively quick and has a good sense of timing for the attack. A dedicated player who is dependable to get back and disrupt the opposing attacks, Vashema’s speed and conditioning will play a major role in the competition.
By Philip Fernandes
With the need to improve on its goal difference and chances to make the final of the Pan American Hockey Federation (PAHF) Cup, Guyana faced off against Bermuda today (August 3rd) in their third match of the PAHF Challenge. From the outset Guyana pressed the game into the Bermudan half and signalled their intent to score but Bermuda’s tough defence held of the initial challenge as their team struggled to string together counterattacks against the heavy pressure. Guyana however would gain a penalty stroke in the 13th minute as desperation set in for Bermuda who resorted to fouling striker Kerensa Fernandes before she could complete her shot at goal. Captain Chantelle Fernandes made good on the stroke giving Guyana the 1-0 lead. Dominique DeGroot would make it 2-0 eight minutes later by slotting home a rebound off the goalkeeper and was fouled herself just one minute later securing a second penalty stroke for Guyana. Marzana Fiedtkou scored the penalty to give Guyana the 3-0 lead at the half.
Bermuda came out stronger in the second half and seemed determined to reduce the margin but Alysa Xavier in goal for Guyana matched every attempt as did Guyana’s sweeper Ulrica Sutherland. Captain Chantelle Fernandes would move her team to 4 ahead just five minutes into the second half with a diving finish registering her second of the match and Gabriella Xavier added another from the narrowest of angles 2 minutes later. Bermuda enjoyed a reprieve as the game stretched for 25 minutes before Guyana would complete their tally of 6 as midfielder Leigh Sandison was first onto a rebounded shot for the tap in.
Coach of the Guyana side, Philip Fernandes, indicated that the team needed to score as many goals as possible in the match as goal average may play an important role since Guyana drew with Brazil. Fernandes said that their strategy for the match was designed to be very attacking with this specific objective in mind.
Guyana now leads the pool after the third day of competition with 7 points followed by pre-tournament favourites Uruguay on 6, Brazil on 4 and Paraguay and Bermuda remaining on 0. Guyana now enjoys two rest days before their next match against Uruguay on Saturday, August 6th at 12:00hrs. Meanwhile, tomorrow (Thursday 4th) will see Bermuda face Paraguay at 10:00hrs and the key matchup of hosts Brazil against Uruguay at 12:00hrs.