West Indies batting legend, Sir Everton Weekes, has passed away aged 95 after fighting an ailment for a couple of months. He died at his Christ Church home in Barbados sometime Wednesday afternoon.
Cricket West Indies made a statement on their social media platforms, it read; “Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of an icon. A legend, our hero, Sir Everton Weekes. Our condolences go out to his family, friends and many fans around the world. May he rest in peace.”
Sir Everton Weekes began his international career against England on January 21, 1948, and enjoyed a career spanning 48 Tests in 20 years with an excellent average of 58.61, he notched up 15 centuries and 19 half-centuries with a top score of 207.
He was a part of the legendary 3 Ws along with Sir Clyde Walcott and Sir Frank Worrell,
The trio, along with George Headley transformed the West Indies batting line-up into a consistent and formidable one.
The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) President, Wayne Forde, is urging all stakeholders and athletes in the footballing fraternity to be disciplined as the Covid-19 pandemic is far from over.
In an exclusive interview with The 592 Dugout, Forde stated; “We (GFF) would like to thank the entire Football fraternity for adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines and to remind everyone that this crisis is not yet over and as difficult as it is, we have to remain disciplined”.
He also revealed; “The GFF National Team players were advised to adhere strictly to the COVID 19 guidelines as a matter of priority. The Head Coach and Team Management are in constant contact with the players and have provided individual work programmes aimed at helping them to maintain some level of fitness”.
The GFF boss also pointed out that the federation has remained in constant partnership with the Government of Guyana (GoG) and is working to help flatten the curve of Covid.
“The GFF remains well informed of the Government’s efforts to combat the spread of COVID 19 and we are doing everything within our power to complement those efforts”.
Looking ahead to when football can be played again, Forde pointed out; “The GFF has developed plans for the restart of on field activities but will only make those announcements after the Ministry of Public Health have provided appropriate guidance for outdoor activities”.
If any, the footballing landscape may see some changes and Forde noted; “All changes will be guided by the Football Governing bodies and the Ministry of Public Health. The GFF may also consider additional measures if necessary”.
The 13th stage of the ongoing 60X ISOL Remote Shoot Virtual Competition highlighted strong competition among three of Archery Guyana’s members in the Recurve 30m category, on Sunday (June 28) during the world’s ongoing lockdown for the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The match ended with Samira Duncan scoring 541 points whilst Umasankar Madray and Nicholas Hing scored 522 and 518 respectively. Yesterday marked the second appearance of all three archers in this series of matches. This exciting match took place yesterday in rather wet conditions with our local archers competing throughout the rain which cleared up only after the event was completed.
Duncan’s performance was much improved over her last appearance and she was able to find the 10 ring ten times during her 12 ends. The competition between Madray and Hing was fierce with Hing having a 22 points lead after 6 ends. However, Madray produced a masterful performance in the final 6 ends to overtake Hing’s final score by 4 points.
On the previous Sunday (June 2), the 12th stage of this competition had Madray competing against fellow Archery Guyana member Robert Singh. Madray performed well with excellent groupings but then experienced a problem with his equipment. Singh came in 1 point ahead of Madray, the final scores being Singh 531 and Madray 530.
The interest in this virtual competition continues to grow with archers from around the Caribbean participating regularly along with representatives from Europe, Africa, India, Korea, Australia and the USA. Registration for this competition series is done online and athletes choose which session and division they would shoot.
Scaled-down target faces are used to suit the specified distances for those shooting from home with limited space. Equipment inspection is done by taking a photo of bow and arrows, as well as target faces and sent online. A QR code is then sent for archers to login and send scores after every end along with pictures of arrows in target for scoring.
The competition continues next Sunday, (July 5) with stage 14, as Archery Guyana urges its members with access to safe home facilities to participate.
All archers are mandated to observe our National health and safety requirements and the PAHO/WHO guidelines for prevention of COVID-19. Archery Guyana wishes to thank Mr. Robert Singh for his input and facilitation of this Novel competition here in Guyana.
(CWI- Manchester, England) West Indies players will wear the Black Lives Matter logo on their playing shirts when they face England throughout the upcoming #RaiseTheBat Test Series, starting July 4, as part of the Sandals Tour of England 2020. The decision was taken by the players and team management with the full support of Cricket West Indies (CWI).
The Black Lives Matter emblem was designed by Alisha Hosannah, the partner of Troy Deeney, professional footballer and captain of Watford Football Club (who play in the English Premier League). He was contacted by CWI and permission was granted for the logo to be displayed on the collar according to ICC regulations.
The logo has a clenched fist in place of the letter “A” in the word “Black”. It was also used on the shirts of all 20 Premier League clubs since football returned behind closed doors following the break for COVID-19.
West Indies captain Jason Holder said: “This is a pivotal moment in history for sports, for the game of cricket and for the West Indies cricket team. We have come to England to retain the Wisden Trophy but we are very conscious of happenings around the world and the fight for justice and equality. We believe we have a duty to show solidarity and also to help raise awareness.”
“As a group of young men, we know of the rich and diverse history of West Indies cricket and we know we are guardians of the great game for generations to come. We did not take our decision lightly. We know what it is for people to make judgments because of the colour of our skin, so we know what it feels like, this goes beyond the boundary. There must be equality and there must be unity. Until we get that as people, we cannot stop. We have to find some way to have equal rights and people must not be viewed differently because of the colour of their skin or ethnic background.”
Troy Deeney said: “Alisha and I are immensely proud to be asked and take part in a monumental moment in world sport, this amazing decision by the West Indies cricket team to show their support for Black Lives Matter. When I got the call, I didn’t hesitate to respond, because I know as sportspersons in the spotlight, how important our efforts are to bring about change and the role we play in moving towards change in our society.”
West Indies will play England in three Test matches behind closed doors – the first at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton and the other two at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester, where they are presently based. Due to COVID19 they will train and live in a “bio-secure” environment as part of the comprehensive medical and operations plans to ensure player and staff safety.
Despite the global carnage and shutdown of sports due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Guyana Hockey Board (GHB) has remained undeterred and proactive in their handling of the national teams and athletes.
The 592 Dugout had an exclusive interview with the GHB President, Philip Fernandes, who revealed how his administration has been handling the respective national teams and the plans for the resumption of the sport after Covid.
Fernandes pointed out; “This is indeed a difficult time, especially for team sports. On the good side for hockey, it is an open-air sport and so this is not as risky as playing in enclosed and confined spaces. During our sport however, players occasionally come into contact with each other and in certain areas, like the goal area, there are sometimes quite a few players in close proximity to each other”.
To that end, the GHB revealed; “As a result of these risks, and the recommendations of the WHO and the local authorities, we have suspended all training and activities in hockey. This will remain in place until the authorities permit such activities again and if it is determined at that time to be safe enough to resume”.
“Our national teams have remained in contact virtually and both the men and women have physical programs and skill challenges that they have been following during this time. Daily physical training exercises are circulated with each athlete performing them at his or her time on that given day in their own private space. Our aim is to try to ensure our athletes stay fit so that when national training resumes, the focus could be purely on tactical elements while the physical training would just be maintenance work”.
Quizzed about possible rule changes upon resumption of hockey in Guyana, Fernandes noted; “I do not expect there to be rule changes on the playing field as it is hoped that some measure of control will soon be achieved. This might be a vaccine or cure, which would remove the need for any rule changes. I do believe however that there will be changes prior to and after each game where the use of dressing rooms and washroom areas are concerned and also the use of drinking fountains or other sources of drinking water”.
With an eye on the future after the rescheduling of all Pan American Hockey Federation tournaments, Fernandes expressed optimism on fielding teams at those postponed tournaments; “The very next competition date on their calendar so far is the Junior Pan American Championships in Chile which was originally scheduled for November this year, and is now set for April 2021. Guyana is hoping to send its Under-21 boys team to this event. The PAHF Challenge which was originally scheduled for July in Peru has been postponed also but no new dates have been announced as yet. Guyana is hoping to send both a male and female senior team to this event”. The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has issued guidelines which are regularly updated as the days go by, however, according to Fernandes, the FIH also indicated that the local regulations should always supersede any external recommendations.
Some of the regulations laid out by the FIH include; “Players are not allowed to take the field more than 10 minutes in advance of training. All hands must be washed and temperatures checked. Players are not allowed to touch the hockey balls or training props with bare hands and also no high fives or other voluntary physical contact. Training is restricted to technical skills which each player can execute while maintaining distance from each other and no exercises where tackling or any physical engagement between two players are done”.
In concluding, the GHB head honcho stated; “These are the steps that we will follow whenever we determine it is safe enough to resume. I expect the national teams to resume at the earliest possible time and the clubs to follow suit shortly afterward”.
Legendary T20 batsman Chris Gayle has announced he will not be a part of the 2020 CPL just a day before the players’ draft on June 24. The tournament this year is set for Trinidad & Tobago from August 18 until September 10 with the blessing of the T&T government.
According to a press release, Gayle relayed his decision on Monday to the St Lucia Zouks franchise, the team he was slated to suit up for in this year’s CPL. The ‘Universe Boss’ revealed he would not be available to play due to ‘personal reasons’.
According to reports, chief among his reasons, Gayle revealed that due to the lockdown, he has been unable to meet his family and young child who are in St Kitts while he has been in Jamaica. Gayle said he needed a break and wanted to spend time with his young family.
The Zouks would have been the third team Gayle would represent in the CPL after two stints with Tallawahs (2013-16 and 2019) and a two-year stay with St Kitts and Nevis (2017-18).
The left-handed opener’s sudden withdrawal will throw the Zouks’ plans for the players’ draft into disarray. The draft will be conducted virtually for the first time due to the travel restrictions brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gayle was one of the marquee players outside the draft in the US $130,000 – 160,000 price bracket. With his withdrawal, the Zouks is likely to get the first pick in the draft.
The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) President, Wayne Forde, has extended congratulations to Martin Braithwaite Christensen who scored his maiden goal on June 13 playing for his new club FC Barcelona.
The Forward, who holds dual Danish-Guyanese citizenship, achieved the goal against Spanish Football Club RCB Mallorca following an assist by Lionel Messi.
Forde, in a message to the player via the Danish Football Association, expressed his delight at the news and the possibility of hosting him in Guyana: “We were excited to learn about his transfer and continue to follow his performance at the Club. Please let him know that I wish him well and look forward to welcoming him to Guyana sometime in the future.”
In response, Braithwaite Christensen shared his appreciation: “Thank you for your kind words. They are much appreciated. I’m looking forward to going to Guyana and meeting all of you.”
The 29-year-old Braithwaite Christensen is the designated ambassador of the GFF and Danish FA’s partnership. He was scheduled to visit Guyana in July 2020 but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his visit along with other aspects of mobilizing the relations are now being rescheduled.
The player joined FC Barcelona in February 2020 on a four-year contract also plays for the Danish National team.
One year to the day of the Golden Jaguars, Guyana’s national men’s football team making their historic debut at the Concacaf Gold Cup in the USA, Guyana Football Federation (GFF) President, Wayne Forde explained that “Getting to the Gold Cup was much more than football to us. It was a test of strategic discipline, which demanded great risk and even greater faith, which certainly played a role in the fortuitous circumstances that led to our qualification”.
Today, (June 18) marked the first anniversary of Guyana’s appearance at the Concacaf Gold Cup when the ‘Golden Jaguars’ took to the Allianz Field, St. Paul, Minnesota., USA to take on defending champions USA.
The performance of the debutants was heart-warming despite the 0-4 loss to the USA. The second match at the FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio saw Guyana putting on another robust performance even as they went down to Panama 2-4 with country’s first Gold Cup goals scored by Neil Danns.
The third and final match in their Group D sojourn at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City saw the Guyanese coming up against neighbours Trinidad and Tobago. Guyana drew first blood through a Neil Danns goal but the ‘Soca Warriors’ hit back minutes later to equalise, the match ending 1-1.
In his reflection, Forde contended; “June 18 will remain a day of national significance and all of Guyana should be proud of what we were able to achieve. When I reflect on how it felt to be singing the National Anthem while looking out on the faces of the players and staff who were all beaming with pride and a sense of mission, I can still feel myself fighting back the tears”.
He alluded to the fact that the Guyanese side was facing a Concacaf giant; “It doesn’t get any better than to debut against the defending Champion – the USA – considered the second-strongest team within our Confederation, with an annual budget of 100 million United States Dollars”.
“We made bold decisions, such as hiring a new Coaching staff, doing a camp in Brazil, encamping our team at one of Guyana’s finest hotels. While none of this was easy, it infused a sense of confidence and belief in everyone involved but for me on a personal level – I fully understood the risk we were taking and the potential impact failure could have had on the morale of the organisation – this was an albatross that I wore with a reassuring smile. Thank God it all worked out in the end, since I did not have a plan B”.
The GFF boss also touched on the fact that Guyana was in the ‘group of death’; “We were in one of the toughest groups; USA, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago, which have all played at the FIFA World Cup and boast an advanced national Football machinery. Despite this, we finished third and played some really good football in the process”.
Meanwhile, Forde pointed out the challenges in funding the journey; “It was the most challenging campaign Guyana has ever undertaken and the most demanding financially. The preparation for the Nations League, playing the Nations League and the Gold Cup would have cost the GFF in excess of US$500,000 (GYD $100M).
He also reaffirmed his pride in the performance of the team; “There is no question that the team rose to the occasion and played well against superior opposition. I still believe we should have ended with a win again T&T but in all, I am very proud of the performance and general conduct of the staff and players both on and off the field of play”.
Asked about if there is any pressure to qualify for the Gold Cup in the future, Forde stated; “No I don’t and the reason for this is because we have invested well in a professional structure that is geared for optimum performance, which will continue to grow and produce excellent National teams consistently, hence, Gold Cup appearances would become less effortful”.
Looking ahead, Forde is confident about the future; “I speak from a position of evidence, we have a solid National Team structure and it will only get better in the coming years. The investments we have made in coaching education, infrastructure development, administration etc., will continue to pay dividends”.
With the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic which has brought sports to a halt, Forde views the time out as a positive; “This set back has given us an opportunity to reexamine our plans and identify new opportunities. Football will return much stronger and with special emphasis on correcting some of the areas that were particularly problematic over the past few years”.
In concluding, Forde revealed that the GFF is working to ensure that the federation’s financial machinery is rock solid; “We are developing broad plans and models that are within our financial means, the next stage is to consult with the members and obtain their blessing to implement these plans. Once this is done and everyone makes a commitment to work within the resource and limitations we are forecasting, I believe we will be able to meet our football development goals for 2021, despite the setback of 2020”.
“Winners never quit and quitters never win” is a quote that resounds strongly through Miguel Wong’s mind whenever he is faced with hardships and it has gotten him through tough situations in life and in his first love, table tennis.
Nineteen-year-old Wong, who has been playing table tennis for exactly half of his life is currently in Germany where he is following his dream and paving the way for other Guyanese players who may have similar aspirations.
A pioneer of sorts, Wong has been in Germany since September of 2019 where the first step of his European journey began at the Sachsicher Table Tennis Club in the city of Eilenburg at a high performance training camp.
His first challenge was getting there from Guyana, one which the conservative youngster overcame with the help of his steadfast sponsors Kings Jewelry World, Beacon Cafe and the Titans Table Tennis Club who made his trip possible.
Despite a late start, once Wong got to Germany he made the most of his opportunity where he had the chance to train with world-class players from Egypt, Russia, Columbia, Mexico, Romania, Morocco, India, and Poland at the Sachsicher Club.
Advised by his then coach, Andras Turoczy (Romania), Wong then set out to further improve his skill set by continuing his journey in Germany, this time at the TopSpin Tishtennis Center in the city of Bad Aibling earlier this year.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic struck and Germany was hit hard with over 190,000 confirmed cases and 8000+ deaths to date; but like every other time, Wong has persevered and recounted his experience thus far.
“I live in the training centre with eight other players but we were fortunate enough to be in this position where we could have continued training in quarantine amongst ourselves. Topspin Tishtennis Center has everything a table tennis player needs to improve their game such as gym equipment, physiotherapists, many coaches, international players and locals alike.”
He also noted, “Now that the lockdown has eased we recently concluded an open training camp with German league and junior national players”.
Quizzed about improvements to his game, Wong revealed; “Since my arrival in Germany my physical and mental condition along with my constant game play has improved rapidly according to my Coach, Thomas Wetzel. He is a former German national player,coach and the owner and head coach of TopSpin Centre”. At this point of his European stay, Wong has been met by another hurdle, he needs additional funding to continue his dream of reaching the professional level.
“I’ve been getting alot of support from Kings Jewelry World, Beacon Cafe and Titans Table Tennis Club in securing funds but for me to continue my stay in Germany I would need an additional US $5000 for training and equipment.”
On his return from Europe, Wong intends to give back and share his wealth of newly acquired knowledge and skills; “I plan on continuing to coach and spar with younger players to help improve our (Guyana’s) junior level”.
With his journey, Wong has already fostered friendships and expanded his professional network, something he is doing for others wanting to follow in his footsteps; I’m already well established in a position to have junior players attend camps in Europe and play in leagues. To create a path for others to follow was always my main aim”.
“My advice to anyone wanting to emulate my steps is to have realistic goals and work towards them step by step no matter how long it takes. and also to network and build friendships as much as possible with everyone.”
Anyone interested in helping the youngster continue his aspirations can help by depositing any amount in his bank account (Republic Bank: 962352678621) or can contact him on WhatsApp (+592-646-0825) and or by calling +1-592-679-7412.
On Tuesday, President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF),Wayne Forde donated one unit of blood to the National Blood Transfusion Service as part of World Blood Donor Day observance.
The day was observed on June 14 under the theme “Safe Blood Save Lives” and carried the tagline “Give Blood And Make The World A Healthier Place.”
According to a press release from the GFF, Forde shared a personal story highlighting the importance of giving blood: “I have had the first-hand experience of how frightening it can be for a patient when they are faced with the possibility of not being able to access blood for lifesaving medical procedures. Almost 32 years ago, I watched my aunt, who eventually passed, having to wait until family members donated blood, before she could be treated. This can be any of us.”
The GFF boss further urged persons to be regular and voluntary blood donors saying “… you could be saving your own life.”
World Blood Donor Day is set aside to honour blood donors and, among others, raise awareness of the importance of donating safe, voluntary, non- remunerated blood. It is believed that one unit of blood can save up to three lives.