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Grenada: ''We don't want basketball to fall behind''
ST. GEORGE - Little by little the Grenada National Basketball Association (GNBA) is preparing a plan to set in motion the efforts to develop sports in the island. The first part of the process has to do with identifying the factors that challenge this advance, something that the GNBA has been able to do after participating in international conventions. Having achieved that, now the Association has its sights set on including basketball as an activity that starts in primary school and on creating strategic partnerships with government and private institution to pave the way to ensure mid-term and long-term results.
“Our goal in the GNBA is to introduce basketball programs in all primary schools through the Olympic Solidarity Programme (OSP) and agreements with the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Culture & the Arts, and the Ministry of Education,” said Kester Elcock, the Association's technical director.
“We don’t want basketball to fall behind, we want to ensure that the program is sustainable, strategic and correctly portrays our philosophy. Using other sports organization as an example, we've seen what a poor base program could do to your youth and adult teams.”
This might explain the absence of the national team from international tournaments.
Their most recent performance was last year (2018) in Suriname, at the Caribbean Prequalifying Tournament to the 2021 AmeriCup. At the time, the Caribbean squad were sixth after winning three games and losing three.
“Currently, development programs in Grenada are almost non-existent,” said Elcock. “There are only a few clubs or academies with development programs for players younger than 12.”
According to the directive, the main factors for the delay are the lack of a Physical Education program in the country's primary schools, and that most of the adult teams or clubs registered in the island don’t have a youth category program.
That said, Grenada started this week their process to recruit U-17 talents for the CBC camps that, with three stops in Carenage, Grenville and Gouyave, where more than 40 young locals put to the test their abilities in front of the best in their country.
“I'm now returning from the FIBA Mini Basketball Convention in Mexico, where I saw the tremendous benefits of a development program,” said Elcock. “I've established the right connections to make sure that we can not only have a great start, but also ensure that our program is sustainable and that our short, mid and long-term goals in basketball as a country can be achieved.”