By Ashraf Dabi
The Guyana Amazon Warriors on Saturday brought the curtain down on their home visit with a well-earned tour to the Cinderella County – Essequibo Coast.
Following the recent conclusion to what was perhaps the most intense four matches in this year’s Hero Caribbean Premiere League (CPL) tournament hosted at the Providence National Stadium, the team’s major sponsor Guyana Telephone Telegraph (GTT), in bidding farewell to the players, facilitated an interactive session at the New Opportunity Corps in Onderneeming, Essequibo Coast, after which they were taken across the county on a series of sight visits, as well as meet and greets with scores of fans.
The day kicked off with the Warriors being treated to an ideal Guyanese adventure as they made their way across both the Demerara and Essequibo rivers.
Despite their battle with inclement weather, the team of local and international cricket stars arrived in Supenaam, Region Two, in high spirits and full of anticipation of what promised to be a memorable day ahead.
First off on the agenda, the Guyana Amazon Warriors met with and mentored the underage offenders currently detained at the New Opportunity Corps (NOC).
As the Warriors disembarked the bus in Onderneeming, the excess of 70 boys and girls housed at the juvenile detention institution cheered and rushed to meet with the stars of their home team, chanting praises and congratulating the team on their recent victories.
Introducing the home squad to the detained youths was GTT Public Relations Officer (PRO), Allison Park, who expressed delight in the materialisation of this significant interactive session.
In doing so, Parker outlined what prompted her company to organise such a visit, noting that it is necessary for businesses and other organisations to direct attention to those residing outside the capital city as well.
Moreover, while acknowledging the unfortunate circumstances which led to the underage offenders being detained at NOC, the PRO reassured the youngsters that all is not loss, and thereby encouraged them to only look forward.
Sharing a similar view was the newly inducted captain of the Guyana Amazon Warrior, all-rounder Rayad Emrit, as he took to the forefront to address the youngsters. In recapping their 2017 CPL experience in Guyana, the Trinidadian pinpointed their time spent with various groups of Guyanese youth as part of their highlights.
As such, Emrit took the opportunity to extend best wishes to the detainees while urging the young minds to use their time spent in the institution as a positive investment towards a successful future.
Remaining on that note, homeboy Steven Jacobs while speaking at the NOC, charged the young offenders to erase their past misfortunes, as he posited that these very detainees are capable of following in his team’s footsteps at representing Guyana as sportsmen or even at other forums. As such, he challenged both boys and girls to work towards such ambitious goals.
In addition to the words of advice, the youth population housed at the institution also cashed in on a number of cricket gear and equipment, such as bats and balls.
Continuing their journey, the Amazon Warriors travelled further up the Essequibo Coast to the community of Affiance. The players spent the time meeting and interacting with the local supporters, during which the Essequibians took the best of the photo opportunity and scored the autographs of their favourites among the squad.
The Warriors made a spontaneous stop to the Imran Bacchus Cricket Ground within the same community, at which they were greeted by a group of cricket enthusiasts deep in the game.
The team subsequently moved on to the Amazon Warriors country home where they spent the remainder of the afternoon indulging in recreational adventures.
The Guyana Amazon Warriors are set to take their leave today from which they will progress to Barbados in preparation for the remaining matches, crucial to their qualification for the playoffs.
This is after the local team took on four games at home, striking down the Barbados Tridents and the St Lucia Stars for much needed wins, while also recording two significant loses.
Nevertheless, the Warriors is set to face off against the Tridents once more on Tuesday as they play to secure their spot in the competition, with high hopes of advancing to the finals.