October 10, 2014

Goa Basketball Association asked players, public to help fund Youth Nationals participation

The state of Goa isn't exactly a basketball powerhouse in India, with little success to show at the national level for decades and barely any talents to crack the Indian international stage. For the last few years, hoops in India's favourite beach destination have also been in disarray, and it was only the recently revamped Goa Basketball Association (GBA) that gave the state's best players and fans some hope for the future.

Note: The photographs used in this post are from previous
Unfortunately, without official recognition from the Sports Authority of Goa (SAG) - who fund all the state's team at national sporting events - the GBA had to devise their own methods of raising money to send Goa's Under-16 boys and girls basketball teams to Chandigarh this week for the 31st Youth National Basketball Championship. Goa has indeed arrived in Chandigarh for participation at the tournament, and they have done so by asking their own players and the supporting public to find sponsors for the two teams.

According to a report by the Times of India, all probables who took part in the selection trials for the youth nationals were handed an appeal, signed by senior president Namy Jain, to collect sponsors that could fund their participation, totalling approximately Rs. 75,000.

Via The Times of India

The expenses involved train travel to Chandigarh for two teams and officials, daily allowances for two days and kit. Once the team reaches Chandigarh for the Nationals, the Basketball Federation of India will take care of their lodging and boarding.
"The participation of the state teams at the Nationals does involve an expenditure on kit, allowances and travel. We make a sincere appeal to you to contribute for this good cause and help the young budding talent of Goa to bloom further," states the appeal from Namy Jain.

"This comes as a surprise to me. I do not think it is fair for the players to contribute financially towards their participation in the national championship," said GBA president Fr Ralin de Souza.

Since the new committee led by Fr Ralin -- director at Don Bosco Oratory in Panaji -- took over in September last year, two teams have been deputed for National championships with the managing committee ensuring there were enough funds in the coffers. The managing committee undertook a sponsorship drive of their own, organized a state tournament that drew maximum participation and managed to save a little.
"Now, the association finances are in the red," admitted Fr Ralin, while still wondering how the 'senior president' -- elected and approved without the managing committee's knowledge -- could ask players to contribute.

Goa already has two associations fighting to become the 'official' recognized basketball body in the state, the GBA - recognized the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) - and the Association of Goan Basketball (AGB) - affiliated temporarily to the Goa Olympic Association. Furthermore, now there seems to be divide among the GBA itself. And in this pointless tussle for power at the top, the biggest victims are the Goan basketball players, who have already suffered decades of mismanagement that have left their careers unfulfilled. Now, a new generation of players, the best of whom are in Chandigarh for India's top under-16 basketball tournament, have also become the victims of a bureaucratic struggle, to the extent that they even have to worry about financing their own basketball exposure.

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