Basketball Clubs preparing for another tournament soon | 09 May 2020
Basketball followers are bracing themselves for another tournament in the coming months for this much beleaguered sport which has been marred by crisis after crisis for the last two years.
According to reliable sources, it appears that Premium Cobras and Beau Vallon Buccaneers are planning to organise a second competition this year after successfully hosting a first one in February at the Victoria Gymnasium which also marked the reopening of this facility after it underwent major reparation for over three years.
Hosts Premium Cobras (first division) and Beau Vallon Buccaneers (second division) were the eventual winners of this tournament in the men’s category respectively, while Anse Etoile Stars triumphed in the ladies’ competition.
A total of 24 teams took part and received cash prizes as well as equipment from revenues collected from gate receipts in this tournament which ran over two weekends.
Sports NATION has also learned that the organisers are contemplating to host this tournament in July and may move to the district courts if they are not granted permission to use the Victoria Gym which is the main venue for this sport especially as the Palais des Sports gym is being shared by two other sports, namely volleyball and handball.
The Palais des Sports also needs urgent repairs on its roofing and many feel the work to stop the longstanding leaking problem which affects competition during rainy period forcing matches to be postponed on numerous occasions and causing much frustration amongst sportsmen, could have been undertaken during this break in sports.
Basketball has been in the doldrums for two years now since 2018 as their case was being dealt with by the Office of the Registrar which had requested that a general meeting takes place on April 2 but it had to be postponed due to lockdown measures imposed by the department of health during this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Seychelles Basketball Federation (SBF) is being investigated by the Office of the Registrar for alleged misuse of funds after the country hosted the Indian Ocean Club Championship (IOCC) for basketball in December 2018.
The SBF said it got the go ahead from the sports authorities who had promised to assist them but are yet to meet their obligation towards the federation, leaving the current committee headed by Terry Celeste with a huge debt towards Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort, Coco D’Or hotel and airline agency Ocean Air.
SBF secretary general Adrian Pillay, who has been liaising with the Office of the Registrar amid this investigation, spoke to Sports NATION on their current plight.
“I have been advised by the Office of the Registrar along with the executive committee to find solutions to the current financial issues and we plan to sort out all this debt where the NSC (National Sports Council) has said it will help but we have to take the first step. In the present economic stalemate, it will be difficult to resolve this debt due to a lack of sponsorship,” explained secretary general Pillay.
Mr Pillay was adamant that he is quite ready to remedy the situation though he said that they have suffered unfair criticisms of deviating funds from many quarters and in the process tarnishing their image, but he said this was not the case.
“There was mismanagement but it was not intentional and there has been no fraud as we have made mistakes. But we have also done a lot of good deeds such as in the youth development, amending the constitution as well as reviewing the code of ethics through assistance from the Fédération internationale de Basket-ball (Fiba) though we have not been given all the support and our tenure in office has not been helped by the unavailability of venue for matches when the Victoria Gym was under repair for a long time,” claimed the SBF secretary general.
Despite their ongoing problems with the Office of the Registrar and the basketball family as a whole, Mr Pillay is determined to see basketball, which has not been receiving a budget from the NSC for two years now, back on track before he moves aside.
“We are desperate to ensure that the Registrar does not move to get basketball to be struck off the list of associations and we are asking for some patience as if this happens it will be a long process to re-enter on the register and it will involve going to the courts which we don’t think it’s necessary,” pleaded Mr Pillay.
R. J. L.