Minister with responsibility for Sports, Hon. Natalie Neita-Headley, has reaffirmed the Government's commitment to sports development, based on the strong belief that sports can provide a catalyst for national development.
She also implored sponsors to continue to support sporting activities, as a signal to athletes that there are people, who believe in them.
Minister Neita Headley was addressing on June 13 ceremony at the Grand Palladium Resort and Spa in Hanover, to present the Men’s National Basketball Team to the media.
The team is preparing for the Centrobasket competition slated to take place in San Juan, Puerto Rico, later this month. The tournament is a qualifier for the Tournament of the Americas, where they can earn a berth to the World Championship.
Minister Neita-Headley, in congratulating the team members, said basketball is one of the fastest growing sports in the island and is ranked in the top five in terms of participation and popularity.
She urged the team to “focus on our strengths and achievements as we progress towards the World Championship."
Mrs. Neita-Headley further advised all stakeholders involved in the sport to be mindful that basketball is more than a game.
“Basketball is not only a lucrative sport for those who play the game, it has significant economic potential for those involved in the various other aspects of the game,” she stated.
Centrobasketis an International Basketball Federation (FIBA)-sponsored tournament, involving national teams from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
These countries make up the Central American and Caribbean Confederation (CONCENCABA). The top three or four teams typically earn berths to the FIBA Americas Championship, from which they can qualify for the FIBA World Championship or Olympics.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter