Sporting organizations want big tourneys
At least three sporting organizations would like to stage a tournament as lucrative as the just concluded LIME Pelican Football Challenge.
The Barbados Amateur Basketball Association (BABA), Barbados Volleyball Association (BVA) and Barbados Hockey Federation (BHF) have all expressed interest in hosting tournaments of similar magnitude, which would allow athletes to be handsomely rewarded, but would also develop wider fan bases.
In an interview with WEEKENDSPORT, BABA president Derrick Garrett explained that the LIME Pelican Tournament had raised the bar for football in Barbados, and that a tournament of similar stature would greatly assist in the development of basketball on the island.
“Basketball is one of the most popular sports in Barbados, and with the talent which we have, we would definitely be able to attract just as much attention, if not more than football.
“It all boils down to marketing. The football tournament was marketed very well and once we were to receive the same amount of sponsoring and support, we would be able to host a successful event,” he said.
He revealed that though planning was still in the early stages, the BABA was exploring the feasibility of hosting a Caribbean Basketball Club Championships.
Meanwhile, Andrew Hoyte, executive member of the BVA, maintained that once he got similar funding and sponsorship as the LIME-sponsored tournament, success would be guaranteed.
“If we could host a $100 000 tournament, why wouldn’t we?
“Regardless of the quality of a given tournament, once there is major funding and once it is marketed properly, it will attract people.
“Of course the BVA would need substantial funding to host an event of that calibre but once that was taken care of, everything else would fall into place.”
Despite admitting that a hockey tournament might not attract as much attention as football, BHF president George Bennett noted that it would greatly enhance the image of hockey in Barbados.
“It would definitely be good for the sport and it would help to bring out spectators, bring out families, and afford persons the opportunity to watch some good-quality hockey while rewarding our athletes at the same time,” he pointed out.