One does not need a microphone to say that sponsors help make tournaments successful and play a key role producing “unique, entertaining and rewarding” games especially among high schools.
The funding of a four-day basketball tournament involving 210 players and 70 technical and administrative officials, including referees and the organizers, preparation fees, transportation, accommodation, feeding amongst others, are cost intensive.
The Chairman of the 2015/2016 Upcountry Basketball Tournament, Assistant Sports Minister Murvee Gray, without mincing his words told the Daily Observer in an interview yesterday at his office that “Sponsors are needed for Nimba Upcountry Basketball Tournament.”
Min. Gray said at least US$23,000 sponsorship is needed and has assured would-be sponsor(s) that an experienced team will work closely with them to maximize their sponsorship investment.
The Minister said with the US$23,000 sponsorship, the budgetary allocation would adequately address the 2015/2016 Upcountry Basketball Tournament.
The ministry has fixed the 2015/2016 Upcountry Basketball Tournament for Thursday, November 5 to Saturday, November 8.
The four-day basketball festival will be held for the first time (over two decades), at the Ganta United Methodist School in Ganta, Nimba County.
According to the revised list of rural schools, Minister Gray said 14 high schools have been invited from seven counties.
“Ganta United Methodist High School (host); J. W. Pearson (Ganta); St. Mary (Sanniquellie) and Bishop Carroll (Yekepa), are all from Nimba County,” Minister Gray said. “The invited schools from Bong include Williams V. S. Tubman-Gray and St. Martin (defending champ); while schools from Margibi are BWI and St. Augustine.”
“We have invited William Brumskine and St. Peter Clevar from Grand Bassa; C. H. Dewey from Bomi; Zwedru Multilateral from Grand Gedeh and Lutheran Training Institute and Zorzor Central High from Lofa County,” Min. Gray said.
He added: “It’s an appeal to the GSM Companies, NASSCORP, NPA, Monrovia Breweries, SRIMEX, SP and Aminata and Sons, Bea Mountains, Liberia National Olympics Committee, Liberia Bank for Development and Investment, LPRC and Cllr. Nyan Gbaitor amongst others.”
It may be recalled that in 2013 Margibi-based Booker Washington Institute (BWI) whipped Ganta United Methodist High School 50-47 points to win the reactivated championship at the William V.S. Tubman Gray United Methodist High School Gymnasium in Gbarnga City.
Ganta United Methodist lost the gigantic trophy when they suffered similar defeat at the hands of St. Martin High School in 2012.
The competition was initiated in the 1970s to help promote the game among high schools in the central region, which at the time comprised of Bong, Lofa and Nimba counties. It is named in honor of Dr. Harold McGowan; a legendary Peace Corps volunteer who inaugurated the tournament about three decades ago.