Nascimento acknowledges President Jagdeo’s support
- blasts stance of Ministry of Sport
After expressing gratitude to President Bharrat Jagdeo, who offered his support to the national team to the tune of $2million, President of the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) Christopher ‘Kit’ Nascimento switched focus and castigated the Ministry of Sport for its uncaring stance towards the sport.
Speaking at a press briefing at the GOA Head Office yesterday, Nascimento thanked the President for easing the concerns and burden of the Union which according to him is stacked with a budget in the vicinity of US$20,000 to ensure that the NACRA champions participate in the Pan Am Games and NACRA Championships in Mexico and Barbados respectively.
The GRFU Head said had it not been for the direct intervention of President Jagdeo, the team’s participation in both events would have been in jeopardy.
“I’m extremely grateful that the President has come on board. He seems to understand and recognise our achievements and decided to intervene,” Nascimento stated.
According to him, it appears as though the Ministry of Sport do not have a policy decision with regards to the support for certain sports.
Nascimento said he believes that any team or sport that achieved the kind of results that the national rugby teams have been able to attain deserves the support of Government.
He added that countries such as Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago have recognised this long ago and their Governments have thrown their financial and other resources behind those disciplines that have performed outstandingly in a tangible way.
Guyana men have won the NACRA title five consecutive years, while the women have done so for the past three years statistics that are currently unmatched by any other team in this country.
Director of Sevens Mike McCormack in his comments spoke of the burden the Union faces when it has to bring back players from overseas which has become a regular feature since Guyana began to benefit from international exposure and our players evidently became better.
He said that despite the support from some corporate entities, the cost of preparing teams to compete at the international level significantly escalates and without the assistance from Government it is very difficult to provide the kind of preparation that is required.
Also present at the occasion were Match Secretary Col. John Lewis, Head Coach Theodore Henry and Youth Development Officer attached to the Union Troy Yhip.