The Fifth Annual Hairoun Duna Grenadines Basketball Championship bounced off to an exciting start last weekend in Ashton, Union Island, on Friday May 4th, with the Union Island All-Stars establishing a stronghold early, winning all three of their games at the outset.
Six Grenadine Island teams are registered to compete in this prestigious tournament, including defending champions Tommy Hilfiger Mustique Icon, Carriacou United, the Bequia All-Stars, Mayreau Kings, Canouan Islanders, and Union Island All-Stars.
|Tommy Hilfiger Mustique Icon|
|Union Island All-Stars|
The parade of teams took place on Saturday 5th, which was followed by opening remarks by Hon Terrance Ollivierre, Parliamentary Representative for the Southern Grenadines, Ms Sabrina Mitchell, President of the Bequia Basketball Association, also hosts this Championship, Mr. Jeremiah Jones from the Southern Grenadines Association and Mr. Alwyn James from the Mustique Sports Club. Mr. Jones welcomed all the teams to Union Island and expressed his gratitude to the Bequia Basketball Association for their commitment to developing basketball in the Grenadines. He wished all the teams the best of luck, and encouraged high levels off discipline and sportsmanship.
Feature speaker Ms Sabrina Mitchell expressed her gratitude to the liaison persons from each island for their assistance in co-ordinating the tricky logistics of the tournament, and gave her commitment to continue to improve the quality of the tournament every year. She further highlighted the importance such a Championship, which embraces some crucial issues for the athletes of the small Grenadines islands: one of ensuring the unity of the Sportsmen of the Grenadines who also share a maritime heritage, being an opportunity to showcase the talent of the Grenadines basketball players who frequently get overlooked on a national level, and lastly to provide an elite level of competition for the most talented players to test their merit and challenge themselves. She spoke of the expensive nature of the tournament given the geographical realities of water separating all playing venues, with teams having to travel great distances both by sea and air to play. She thanked the sponsors of the tournament who make the event a reality: The St. Vincent Brewery under its brand Hairoun Duna, The Bequia Basketball Association, Grenadines Airways, Adonal Foyle, Frangipani Hotel, Tamarind Beach Hotel, The Mustique Company and Tommy Hilfiger. She made reference in particular to Mustique who have undertaken to share the financial challenges with Bequia, in contributing to the high costs of running this tournament, mainly through the sponsorship of Mr. Tommy Hilfiger and the Mustique Company, who gave special assitance to the Mayreau and Mustique teams. Mitchell concluded by asking the players to join with her and dream that the tournament would be played in an indoor arena in the not too distant future and pledged her firm commitment to making this dream a reality.
The Hon. Terrance Ollivierre also addressed the opening and expressed his satisfaction that the tournament continues to be sustained, despite the obvious high costs involved, which is due to the dedication of the persons involved. He expressed his gratitude to the organizing committee of the
Bequia Basketball Association for their commitment year after year. He gave a special welcome to the team from Carriacou who are taking part. He encouraged all players to play fair and disciplined. He hopes that the tournament would achieve its goal in ensuring an opportunity for the players, not only to showcase their talent, but most importantly to get opportunites that this high level of competition should provide. He concluded by expressing his strong desire to see players from the Grenadines selected to play at the National level.
The tournament runs until May 20th; it concludes in Bequia with the finals and trophy presentation on May 20th. Games will also be played in Canouan and Mustique.