Having a facility of its own to manage and host national camps, plus getting better financial aid would be on top of the wish list of basketball president, Mark Broomfield, when the new Government takes office.Broomfield says if associations, especially basketball, have a facility to call their own, it would greatly improve preparation for international tournaments and enhance programmes to develop local talent.”We want a facility to manage and operate on our own. For any sport, give them (associations) facilities, so they can develop programmes. As it is now, we don’t own any facilities. The minister of sports for the first time gave the national (basketball) team the opportunity to train indoors when we are preparing for international tournaments, so we can use the indoor centre free of cost.”The next step would be to have our own facility, where we have the keys and can have any training programmes and have access to it. We want also a facility that can be managed by the association, so we can have training when preparing for international tournaments, especially the youth programme.”If you have a home, you can have a camp and have access to courts. We have one that is used for netball, we want one for basketball as a home allows us to do things that you are not able to do if you don’t have a camp, and for basketball, we want our own facility,” he reasoned.Broomfield added that financial assistance could also be improved.”One of the improvements I would like to see is greater financial support for the associations, especially basketball. But I would love to see them continue the improvement of sport as it relates to government intervention,” he said.
Less than one week ago, the United States Department of State released its 2018 Crime and Security Report, wherein the following was asserted regarding Guyana: “Road conditions and road safety standards are below US standards. Roads are rarely maintained, and street lighting is sporadic. Vehicle accidents are very common, and accidents involving pedestrians are also very common. Traffic enforcement is rare to non-existent.”Acting Traffic Chief Ramesh Ashram is, however, rubbishing that report’s claims that enforcement of traffic regulations are “rare to non-existent.” Contacted on Monday, Ashram told Guyana Times that although he is yet to see the contents of the report in its entirety, the assertion regarding “little to no enforcement of traffic regulations” is one that he would contend. He has referred to the recently released statistics for the first quarter of 2018 to substantiate his contention.Traffic Chief Ramesh Ashram“We have been doing enforcement all the time. It is an ongoing exercise, and for the year so far, we have had over 30,000 cases made out. So I don’t know about not doing enforcement,” Ashram has said.Just last week, the Police, in a release, revealed that there was an 11.4 per cent decrease in fatal accidents up to the end of April 2018, with 34 people having lost their lives. Decreases were also recorded in serious, minor and damage accidents. Speeding continues to account for most of the road deaths, followed by pedestrians crossing in the path of approaching vehicles. Three people have been killed as a result of persons driving under the influence of alcohol, and three as a result of drivers being inattentive. One person was killed as the failed to confirm to signs.The GPF release also revealed that 29,064 cases were made out against errant drivers from January to April 2018.The US report identified traffic accidents as a major concern in Georgetown, with speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol being contributory factors. It has added that road and driving conditions are poor.“Police sporadically enforce local traffic laws, and local drivers often drive recklessly. Stop signs and traffic signals are often ignored…few roads have sidewalks. A combination of very aggressive and inexperienced, timid vehicle operators makes driving especially dangerous. Speeding, reckless driving, tailgating, cutting across lanes, stopping quickly without signalling, passing at intersections, and passing on crowded streets are commonplace,” the report stated.The US report has additionally urged US citizens travelling to interior locations to do so with experienced tour companies, while identifying that medical and law enforcement resources in many interior locations are significantly less than what is available in Georgetown.The report also declared road and driving conditions poor, and has coupled this with poor street lighting and drivers not lowering high-beam lights.Contacted, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson has said he is yet to peruse the report, and has refused to offer a comment on road conditions throughout the country.For years, though, citizens throughout Guyana have protested, and continue to protest, the deplorable state of the country’s roads.