March Pass & Open Ceremony
The Antigua & Barbuda Softball Cricket Association (ABSCA) held it’s Annual March Pass & Opening Ceremony on February 8th 2009. Although the said date was a packed one Nationally, with two of the Country’s main political parties holding separate rallies, the twenty (22) teams which showed up for the March Pass must be credited.
This year’s March Pass took a different route than in years gone by. This year the March Pass moved off from the bottom of Market Street, by the V C Bird Buss, up Market Street, right unto Long Street, across Independence Avenue, unto Factory Road, thru East Bus Station then unto the Dredgers Sports Field for the Opening Ceremony. The Teams marched to the tune of the Pathfinders Band.
The Start of the Opening Ceremony was a bit dysfunctional, with no Sound system in place and the Executive members looking a bit confused. However the Ceremony was commenced with the master of Ceremonies, Ms Joycelyn Benjamin, calling the Teams to order.
The President gave a very brief speech thanking all the teams who made the effort to be present and also promised a most interesting season with much more cricket playing this year than last year. He encouraged everyone to be respectful to themselves, their team and the game as the organization strives to build softball cricket as the premier family sport in Antigua & Barbuda. The President then official opened the 2009 Softball Cricket Season
The Representative from both of the main Sponsors for Softball Cricket in Antigua & Barbuda, the St John’s Co-operative Credit Union, celebrating eighteen (18) years of partnership with the association and the Caribbean Alliance Insurance Company Ltd, celebrating 31 years of partnership with softball cricket, gave brief remarks. Both highlighting their continued support for the sport and encouraging each player to be professional and disciplined both on and off the field of play.
A small presentation was made to members of the Prize Giving & Award Ceremony Committee. Ms Kathy-Ann Payne, Mr Marlon”Xman” Richards, Sharon Francis, Clarence Francis, and Mr William “Zizzy” Thomas were all honoured for their outstanding contribution to a successful 2008 Prize Giving & Award Ceremony.
The Bullets Sports Club was awarded best uniform title for March Pass 2009.
The Minister of Sports, Hon Winston Williams was once again a no-show to a softball cricket activity, after no-showing at the spectacular Prize Giving & Award Ceremony in December 2008, the Minister again no-showed for the ABSCA Opening Ceremony. The President in a question posed to him, as to the Minister’s no-show, commented that he cannot speak for the Minister, but he knows that the Minister’s Political Party was having a rally on the same day, but he (the President) feels that the Minister should be respectful with a response if he is unable to attend. The President was also was quick to point out that the Minister could be under some pressure with his attendance due to two (2) years consecutively promising the winner of the main competition a trip to Cuba and also at the 2008 Opening Ceremony, he (the Minister) made a pledge of EC$30 000.00 towards the sport and club development. On all promises the Minister has failed to deliver or even offer any words of reason for his empty promises.
But through it all th ceremony was a good one. Best wishes to all twenty-two teams that are registered.