By Frederick HalleyTORONTO, Canada — President of the Scarborough Cricket Association (SCA) Shiv Persaud has described his first year at the helm as one which was faced with challenges and adversities. However, according to him, “we were able to improvise and find viable solutions for each situation”.SCA secretary Eon Gunraj receives the Norman Sue Spirit Award from Kim Sue, daughter of the late businessman.The Guyanese-born Persaud made this disclosure at last Saturday night’s 36th annual presentation, dinner and dance held at the Scarborough Convention Centre here and attended by, among others, Federal Member of Parliament Salma Zahid and Member of Provisional Parliament Raymond Cho.Persaud referred to one such instance when women cricketers attached to the SCA were shunned by Cricket Canada in their scheduled game against the touring MCC women’s team. According to the unassuming president, “even though we were all disappointed and heartbroken, we became more united.”Persaud pointed out that the unity was further evident in the first-ever women’s All Star game in the SCA. “Another instance was being able to manage the effects of losing two of our playing fields at Ellesemere.This affected the T20 competition and regular season playoffs, as games had to be played in October, long after the cricket season was scheduled to end.”Persaud disclosed that prior to the beginning of the 2016 season, the goals of the SCA were to ensure that the members were given the recognition and support they require to succeed and have confidence in the board of executives. “Secondly, it was the time for us to embrace the popularised version of cricket in the T20 format and lastly we wanted to ensure that every effort was made to advance the sport among juniors and women.”Persaud also pointed out that the women’s division “gave us another chapter of the thrilling rivalry between 2016 champions Kaisoca and Superstars. The growth and success showcased by our women’s cricketers in Scarborough is the highest across the province of Ontario and Canada that it has been for many years ….”Reflecting more on the 2016 season, Persaud disclosed that there are many areas that “we have started planning and exploring to build on our successes in 2017. For example, structuring our junior division for Under-13, U-16 and U-19, contesting regular season finals at different times during the season and allowing our women cricketers to play at different venues and possibly play games under light.”In applauding his executives, Persaud boasted: “I want to commend you for all your hard work and dedicated service. I am proud to have you as part of my executive body and am anxiously looking forward to your future contributions.”Persaud also reserved a special thank you for the several sponsors for their generous support in 2016. Coaches Danny Singh, Yunus Motara and assistant coach Matthew Francis were also lauded for their efforts in the OCA junior championship and the women’s all-star game.In her brief remarks, MP Salma Zahid said the SCA is doing a great job to develop cricket in Toronto. Zahid, who originated from Pakistan, showered praises on the SCA for targeting youths and women. She also presented trophies and medals to participants of the women’s all-star game.Ontario Cricket Association (OCA) vice-president Melvin John, who was also in attendance, also praised the SCA for doing a wonderful job, alluding to the fact that 2016 has been a great year for the association.This year’s Norman Sue Spirit Award went to SCA’s long-standing secretary Eon Gunraj and was presented by the late businessman’s daughter Kim. “Your selflessness and charity is an inspiration to all,” the plaque fittingly read.