Tuesday, April 23, 2024

BABA’s big play

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THE Barbados Amateur Basketball Association’s (BABA) quest for a new facility for its sport is expected to be jump-started through a big-prize raffle that was launched yesterday at Sugar Cane Mall, Roebuck Street.
A jaw-dropping, winner-take-all prize of a home, land and car – worth about $480 000 – will be on offer in an innovative fund-raising venture from the BABA, with the draw taking place on December 15.
The new, fully-furnished three-bedroom, two-bathroom house will be located at The Villages at Coverley, Christ Church, and the prize package also includes a 2009 four-door sedan parked in the garage.
BABA marketing officer Rodney Ollivierre said that his association had to think big if it was to realise its lofty goals.
“Our idea was to have a fund-raising event but due to the scope of what we were trying to do, selling a bicycle wouldn’t have done it,” he said.
“We knew we needed an entity, a product that would bring the amount of funds we would need.
“We are trying to raise at least $1 million to create a proper facility. A home was thought the best bet to match that.”
BABA president Carlos Moore hinted that the YMCA was high on the list of venues to house any new arena.
“Obviously, we have enjoyed a good working relationship with the YMCA over the years. But they will be governed by their management structure in regards to any agreement they might want to go into long term,” he said.
The BABA’s premier competitions have used the YMCA in recent years but the facility is ramshackled and lacking many basic facilities.
Moore admitted there was an urgent need for better conditions and hoped the raffle could lead the way to a brighter future.
“We’re looking at a full stadium, not as large as the Gymnasium, but serviceable for our needs in terms of being covered, having changing rooms for the players and officials, media area, seating obviously for patrons, minor concession stand,” Moore said.
“We are looking at something that would service our needs as far as being able to stage a basketball event.”
Moore explained that the BABA was unable to rely on the use of the Gymnasium at the Garfield Sobers Complex since that arena was used by so many sports and other entities.
“Any and all associations tend to look towards the Gymnasium, not only sporting activities, also international, regional and local events.
“There are some limitations with respect to availability and we understand that. But this is why there is a need to focus on where we can have access to over a longer term.”
BABA’s partners in the fund-raising raffle are Sugar Cane Mall, whose managing director Hallam Payne was at the launch, as well as Bajan Cleaning Enterprises, Steamatic, Barbados Business Machines, Facey Commodity, and Premium Designs Inc.

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