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Camp unrest

Justin Marville

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SEEMS NOT EVERYONE  is on board with national teams going to camp.
Former national forward  Andrew “Big Cat” Ifill has taken issue with the Barbados Amateur Basketball Association’s  (BABA) decision to send both  its under-16 trial squads  to the National Sports Council’s (NSC) summer camp, arguing  the players are basically  being forced to pay  to attend national practice.
The situation arose after  the squads’ head coaches, Cosmo Edwards and Zahir Motara –  both NSC coaches – and  the BABA determined it was  in both parties’ interest  to have their trials at camp  since most of the players  were already registered there.
“I have no problem if they want them to go to camp because they can spend longer hours together there, or so they can avoid a long day of camp and then having  to go to trials later but then  the BABA should pay for  the players or have the Sports Council waive the fee,” said Ifill.
“And then they’re telling them [the players] they have to go camp because practice is going to be during camp time and if they don’t go to practice then they can’t make the team.”
“So I have a problem with people paying to go to national trials because no one should ever have  to because these players were  the ones who were invited in the first place,” added Ifill, whose  son is also in the boys’ trial squad.
It is not the first occasion  that national teams have been registered at the popular summer camp, as the Barbados Football Association went a similar route with their boys’ junior team  last year, while volleyball also  has a squad in this year’s camp.
Fee cut
The registration fee for such national players is also reduced from the normal $120 rate  per person to $60 for each child  on the squad.
And this summer camp structure fits the cash-strapped BABA’s purposes ideally, says president Derrick Garrett, who believes  his body needs to take advantage  of the limited resources provided.
“The coaches are doing this free of cost because we aren’t paying them, so then I can’t see why the BABA should spend additional money on resources we don’t have,” reasoned Garrett.
“Right now to carry both teams  is costing us $80 000 so if the parents can’t see $60 as an investment towards that  then certain people are very  short-sighted.
“The majority of the players would’ve been involved in the camp already anyway and it wouldn’t make any sense to have them  at camp the whole day and then still have to look at training later, so we just utilized the camp,” Garrett said.
NSC camp director Adrian Donovan also saw no issue with  the matter, saying the camp  is always ready to facilitate junior teams while reasoning “that whoever is not happy with  the situation should take  it up with the BABA.”
Both the girls’ and boys’  teams are preparing to contest  the Under-16 Centrobasket tournaments next month in Mexico and El Salvador respectively.