By Morissa Lindsay
It is no secret that women’s basketball in Barbados needs a revamp and Infra Rentals is playing its part with the sponsorship of uniforms for the Heat Basketball ladies’ team which were presented yesterday evening at the Young Men’s Christian Association.
A total of 15 sets of jerseys and pants was presented to Kings Basketball Academy under which clubs such as Heat women, Pirates men and two young male teams are under. Founder of Kings Basketball, Junior Cummins, praised Infra and said it is one of the most giving companies in Barbados that does a lot for local sports.
“The fact that Infra has been so instrumental in supporting sports in Barbados, I had the desire to have them on board because this is years now I have been doing basketball with various age groups and I felt that the younger age groups would benefit more,” Cummins told the media.
He added: “The fact that we are associated now with Infra means the world to me, it honestly does, and the people at Infra have been nothing more than warm and patient with us and I really appreciate that. But who needs it the most is girls basketball because as you know girls basketball in Barbados is kind of failing, so as a basketball community we have come together and try to get as many girls teams as possible and revitalize girls basketball.
“Infra stepped in at the right time, at the right moment, and they were able to get the gear. When they heard they were getting the gear they were really fussy, smiling from ear to ear and were really happy. It warmed my heart to see that too because they played the BABA Summer Jam tournament and everyone commented on how nice the girls looked.”
A longstanding basketball coach of 20 years, Cummins stressed that there is a need to have young female basketballers playing in an effort to revive and strengthen the women’s side of the game.
“There have been a lot of times where the same ladies have been making the same national team because there aren’t much younger players to push them out. Not to sound mean or anything but to have that insurgence of youth back into the national team. So, I definitely believe that having multiple female basketball teams of a younger age group would be very helpful going forward in the future of basketball, especially national basketball,” Cummins added.
The last time women’s basketball was contested on island at the Barbados Amateur Basketball Association level was in 2018 when Lady Cougars won the title. Since then there has been no premier league or knockout competitions for women, granted the Coronavirus pandemic eliminated two of those years, but still with the return to play with men’s basketball, nothing has yet been announced for the ladies.
Now that most of the girls are back in school, Cummins said the plan will be to continue practising and playing out of season basketball tournaments such as Kings of the Court – which he believes will allow the ladies to play at a more competitive level playing against more senior players.
Group Marketing Manager for Jada Group Inc who are the parent company for Infra, Alicia Griffith, explained that initiatives and partnerships such as this were important to the development and progress of the youth. She noted that this was the first time the company has sponsored any basketball team and therefore they were happy to do so given their history of supporting sports in Barbados.
“Infra has since the initiation of our adoption of the cause Infra Stars, kids are our stars, we have been very dedicated to the development of children and providing them with the tools and equipment they need to get them through whether it is school, sports, arts. We in the past and still are long-time sponsors of different teams but we didn’t have a basketball team, so immediately that was of interest to us to expand it to a different sport to be able to touch different kids.
“I think it is important for us to identify those Infra Stars, those rising stars and be able to support them throughout their journey whether it is in professional sports or segway into their careers with the assistance that sports would have given them. So, what do they need to get there? At this point we don’t know what that is but we are definitely dedicated to leaving that conversation open, seeing what is next,” Griffith said.