The Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) All Island Community Netball League might prove to be a fitting conduit for development plans of the sport’s governors here, Netball Jamaica (NJ).Last Saturday, Dr Paula Daley Morris was elected unopposed as the new NJ president. On Sunday, the INSPORTS-run islandwide league started.”We met with Dr Paula Daley Morris and she wants to meet with all stakeholders and INSPORTS will be included,” Ian Andrews, INSPORTS’ administrative director, informed. “She wants us to assist in their junior programme development as she wants to start a strong junior programme.”It fits right into our mandate. We hope that this competition will assist in that way,” he said.The competition, which will cater to over 9,500 competitors from various communities across Jamaica, got under way at the Delacree Park Community Centre and in the opening game, Max Social (Maxfield Park) swamped Hagley Park All Stars 36-0. Tashai Price did most damage, netting 28 of Max Social’s goals.Though it involves competition, there are other components to the league, primarily coaching seminars that will be conducted by certified coaches. Players will be taught the rudiments of the game, such as passing, shooting and defending.According to INSPORTS officer Tanya Wright, these seminars can be considered as a continuation of the umpires’ training seminars that were held across the island earlier this year.”In keeping with the agency’s mandate to unearth and nurture talent, this programme seeks to create a medium to expose talents and to channel them into the national programme for further development and possible representation,” remarked Wright, one of the coordinators of the league.Venues islandwide”We’re going to use approximately five venues in every parish,” she continued, noting that the league will continue on Sunday with more matches at Delacree Park.The competition is similar to its popular All Island Football League, which is dubbed the ‘Ghetto World Cup’.”We’re going to be having matches in all the parishes and so far, we’ve been getting positive feedback from the communities. They had been waiting for a long time, so now that’s it’s here they are excited,” said Wright.”We’re going to be placing a lot of emphasis on the coaching aspect because we want to ensure that the basic concepts are taught at the grassroots level.”
As the Guyana Government continues with its “Green State” initiative, the country was given a significant boost to the tune of US$8 million to support the “Guyana Hinterland Programme: Solar PV Grid Tie Farms” which will see six communities benefitting.The project has been selected by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) for funding via loan by ADFD, as part of the sixth cycle of the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility, the Public Infrastructure Ministry said.The announcement was made this week during the Ninth Session of the Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), where Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson is representing Guyana.The Ministry noted that this announcement is timely as Guyana continues on its path towards a green economy.This project will receive a loan of US$8 million in the coming year to install 5.2 megawatt (MW) grid-connected solar PV systems in the hinterland communities of Bartica, Kwakwani, Lethem, Mahdia, Port Kaituma, and Matthew’s Ridge to reduce fossil fuel consumption and increase the reliability of electricity supply. This will see the provision of 24-hour sustained electricity generation in these communities.An estimated 34,700 people in the target areas, the Ministry said, will benefit and around 120 direct and indirect jobs are set to be created throughout the project’s lifecycle. Though this intervention is not expected to entirely replace diesel generation in the regions, the project will allow the utilities to annually reduce their diesel fuel consumption thereby allowing cost savings and a cleaner environment.The Hinterland Electrification Company Inc supported by the Guyana Energy Agency, submitted the project proposal to the ADFD Facility in February 2018 for consideration, and was subsequently shortlisted and awarded in January 2019.Guyana was one of only three countries selected to be awarded this funding out of a submission of 112 proposed projects to the ADFD Facility across the globe.According to the Director General of ADFD, His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, on Saturday said, “we are proud of our result-oriented Facility that has supported replicable, scalable and potentially transformative renewable energy projects set to benefit communities and improve their living conditions. Today, at the Ninth Session of the IRENA Assembly, we are pleased to have selected truly impactful projects valued at US$31 million for the sixth cycle of financing awarded by the Facility.”In addition to Guyana, other countries awarded were Togo and Liberia.The IRENA/ADFD Project Facility helps emerging economies access low-cost capital for renewable energy projects to increase energy access, to improve livelihoods and advance sustainable development.Over recent months, Guyana has been turning to financiers from the Middle-East to fund critical projects here. In fact, last April Finance Minister Winston Jordan secured a US$900 million from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), who committed the amount in financial and technical assistance for key development areas to assist with social and economic development.Meanwhile, back in September, Guyana tapped into the funding, drawing down US$20 million to finance the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Utility Upgrade Programme, which is being co-financed by the Inter-American Development Bank and the European Union, to “effect a comprehensive turnaround of its electricity distribution” to ensure “sustainable and stable supply”.This entails the rehabilitation of 153 kilometres of GPL’s medium voltage and low voltage network and 6, 941 smart meters, including the associated transformers, service lines and distribution boxes. It will also fund the rehabilitation and extension of two 69/13.8KV substations at Kingston and Vreed-en-hoop including equipment switchgear, power transformers, rerouting of circuits distribution feeders and cable connections.