Large National Team To Defend National Title

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A 45-member national domino team will travel to Guyana from October 4 to 15, where they will seek to successfully defend their status as champions of the World Domino Tournament two years after capturing the title here in Antigua.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the Antigua and Barbuda National Domino Association (ABNDA), Carol-Faye Bynoe, said the players are confident as they continue their preparations leading into the tournament.
“Our closest competitor, you can say, is Barbados and we won them fair and square in 2016 right here. In 2014, we came second and we actually lost to them by either a point or two points. We are hoping for the best, we have been practicing three days per week while individuals, like myself, also practice every single day because this is the first time for me being part of the competitive component of it,” she said.
“We have a few newcomers and so we have a lot of practice going on where we practice on Thursday nights, Friday nights and then on Sundays from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.,” she added. 
Antigua and Barbuda will compete in the male, female and mixed pairs’ competition. The country will also compete in the three-hand and four-hand competitions.
According to Bynoe however, Antigua and Barbuda is often outnumbered in the female categories of the tournament, a problem she said they have actively been trying to fix.
“Our team itself is not even the largest because we could have done with more female players based on the discipline we will be vying in, but we will just have to do with the 19 females we have [on the team]. Countries like Barbados also outnumber us so 45 is not a full team in terms of management and players but the team has not met its fullest quota [maximum of allowed players]. One of the things we try to do is encourage more females to join the sport because we always have a little deficiency right there,” the PRO said.
Incredibly, most of the funds needed to compete at the tournament in Guyana have been raised by the association and according to Bynoe, players have also dug into their pockets.
“Our last one is coming up on the 29th when we will be having a boat cruise on Coral Ark. We still are not there 100 percent but most of everything is covered. Our airfare, we had to pay for that where each person had to fork out about $2,100 to secure their seat on LIAT,” she said.
“Our accommodation, uniforms were sponsored by the association and by two private companies owned by persons who are active domino players. We had little or no support from the business sector and we are still awaiting to see what government is doing,” Bynoe added.
The association is still trying to raise another $50,000 to make the trip possible. Antigua and Barbuda finished runners-up in the 2014 competition.

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