By Calvin Roberts (Guyana Chronicle)
… covered bleachers and corporate linkage on cards
“A CLUB can only be vibrant and viable, through the quantum leadership of its membership. It is therefore essential that a continuous membership drive be undertaken so as to foster growth and expansion of human resources and manpower”.
Those were the words expressed by re-elected president of the Lance Gibbs Street-based Demerara Cricket Club (DCC), Alfred Mentore, in his President’s report for the Club’s Annual General Meeting and Election of Office-Bearers held last Thursday in the Club’s pavilion.
Reflecting on his achievements over the past year, the 42-year-old Mentore who regained the presidency without a challenge, despite Georgetown Cricket Association president Roger Harper throwing in his hat to contend for same, highlighted the selection of national Super50 skipper Christopher Barnwell to the Indian Premier League (IPL) as the major one.
“Since my preferment to the prestigious position of president of DCC in 2011, I have faithfully endeavoured to honour and maintain the credentials of the club, whose primary focus and unwavering objective is the production of national and international cricketers – a feat which we have achieved with unprecedented success.
In resolute pursuit of this lofty ideal, we have continued to adopt, under my stewardship, the core values and principles of our mission to be the premier cricket club in Guyana and suffice it to say, we have achieved this distinction through the dedication, commitment and support of members of the executive committee, in particular and corpus of our membership in general,” said Mentore.
He added, “In these very challenging economic and political environments, I drew on my professional background, extensive business and social contacts, coupled with my academic training and most of all, our hardworking executive team, to make a positive impact on the club, its members and cricket as a whole.
Some of our achievements in 2013 were winning the GCA/Hadi’s World Incorporated/City Mall first division two-day and GCA/Brainstreet Under-15 competitions, while five players represented Guyana at the Under-15 and U-17 levels respectively and two made the national Undcer-19 team.
In addition to the above-mentioned, the club’s coach Gavin Nedd was appointed National Under-17 coach for the Regional tournament and six players were selected for Georgetown Under-21 team and, while Barnwell was selected by the Royal Challengers Bangalore for the IPL, Derwin Christian, Paul Wintz, Trevon Griffith and Barnwell represented Guyana in the Caribbean T20 tournament.”
Mentore further highlighted Barnwell and Griffith’s selection to the Guyana Amazon Warriors lineup, while Griffith was also a member of the WICB/Sagicor High Performance Centre tour to Bangladesh and Barnwell represented the West Indies in T20 cricket.
Mentore said he intends to continue the same hard work he has put in over the previous years once again, with the aim of producing more Clive Lloyds, Lance Gibbs, Travis Dowlins and Barnwells of the future for the club which is also known as the ‘Home of the Legends’.
“We are thankful for being blessed in the nursery department of our club, with the services of Nedd, a certified Level One coach who has been giving selflessly of his service to the club, with his production line being second to none,” stated Mentore.
One consideration of the Club’s executive committee this time around is the lapsed members who only renew their membership at the time of the AGM, an act Mentore said he will not be condoning, adding that should any member have a lapsed period of more than two years based on the Committee’s leniency, such member ought to reapply for membership.
“My personal view is that this course of action should not be condoned and any member who has lapsed for more than two (2) years, based on the Committee’s leniency and the Club’s constitution, ought to be made to reapply for membership and that is non-negotiable.”
Presiding over the Club’s Centennial Celebrations which culminated with a ‘Black Tie Ball’ at the Hotel Tower in 2012, continuous upgrade of the Club’s facilities, forging of strategic alliances with the Guyana Floodlights Softball Cricket Association, resulting in the erection and installation of floodlights around the perimeter, were all part of Mentore’s highlights during the past year.
“It is noteworthy to mention, that the contractual arrangements between the GFSCA and DCC, stipulate that maintenance of the floodlights will be undertaken by the former group who in turn will be allowed to use these facilities at a concessionary fee and after 10 years, the ownership of the floodlights shall redound to the Club,” Mentore said.
Looking ahead to the future, Mentore outlined his plans which included building an enclosed practice facility, half court basketball court, covered bleachers to accommodate spectators, upgrading of the club house and establishing a linkage with corporate brands such as Banks DIH and Ansa McAl.
“Financing is a key component of any undertaking and hence it must be informed by transparency, accountability, efficiency and proper record keeping – underpinned by appropriate internal checks and balances, with the Club improving its financial status from ‘day to day’ existence to a situation of systematic ‘current and forward planning,” said Mentore.
Outlining that he has contributed over $1M from his personal funds to the club, Mentore called on all to put their hands on the wheel, so that the objectives and further development can be met, as he echoed the words of Sir Winston Churchill who once said, “Give me the tools and I will finish the job”.