EDITOR, The Tribune
I wish to comment on the disappointment of the women’s National Basketball team having to cancel their participation in an international tournament in Mexico due to funding for travel. In the decades of the fifties and sixties sporting organisations, including the Olympic Association and the BAAA, held raffles and other fundraising events to finance teams traveling to international tournaments. Government contributed, but was not expected to finance these trips. Today, it appears, that our sporting associations expect government to fully finance international teams travelling.
In the USA, Canada, England and the Caribbean associations hold fundraising events, sell sporting paraphernalia, seek sponsorship from persons and corporations to meet the travel budget. It is my experience that public assistance will be forthcoming when it is seen that efforts are being made by the associations to acquire the needed revenue. Following are examples: Commonwealth Wanderers Cricket team travelled annually to cities in the USA and Canada. We also travelled to Caribbean islands to play cricket. In 1976 we travelled to England, which was an expensive undertaking. We would determine a budget for each traveller (air travel and hotel only). We held fundraising events; raffles, cookouts and concerts, etc: Each traveling member had to sell tickets to meet his budget or pay the difference. The tickets were always sold, even above the budget amount.
Players were given a letter to sponsors. Donations had to be made to the Club and not the individual. On most occasions the revenues derived from these events, etc, exceeded the budget for the trip and was used to provide prizes and compensation for our hardest workers and ticket vendors. Prizes were also given for outstanding performances by our players. Each year it was a unified effort made by all members to provide funds for the team to go on tour. Apart from touring we entertained teams from overseas here. The Ministry of Tourism contributed with advertising material, gifts for distribution, banners and on two occasions paid for Miss Bahamas to accompany the team. We were also given cash donations.
In Canada we were entertained by the Governor General if we played in Ottawa. In other cities we were very often entertained by Mayors. In Detroit and Chicago Edmund Lewis and his daughter conducted traffic (Bahamas style in their police uniform). In Chicago we lived at the Playboy Club. The Cricket Club, that has become so popular with tourists and local residents was the idea of President Sidney Deveaux. His plan was supported by Board Members, in particular Irving Taylor, Edmund Lewis, Theophilus Fritz and Paul Thompson. Cabinet Ministers Peter Bethel and Dr. Norman Gay obtained permission for the use of the land. The Ministry of Works drew the plan and provided consultants. All of the building materials and most of the labour were donated. Messrs Percy Munnings, Thephilus Fritz, George Myers, Sir Orville Turnquest, Gerald Dean, Gerald Bartlett, J Barry Farrington and many residents of Lyford Cay were major donors. The building was completed with funds from a loan from Barclays?
A loan from Barclays Bank, that was approved by Mr Saddler of Lyford. The management of Chris and Connie Robertson as made the restaurant profitable and popular. The cricket association benefits from the financial success of the restaurant. The large numbers of persons involved in most of then sports in our country should make fundraising events successful must be a source of funding and not only the government.
PAUL THOMPSON Sr