Historic Goodwill Swimming C/ships splashes off @ Aquatic Centre
-3 gold; 2silver & a bronze for Guyana on day 1
By Juanita Hooper
History was created yesterday in the Land of Many Waters when 18th Goodwill Swimming Championships, hosted by the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) splashed off at the National Aquatic Centre, Liliendaal, the first Major Meet at this new multimillion dollar facility.
Last year’s Guyana Teachers Union National Swimming Championships would have been the only major local competition at the facility. The annual Goodwill competition features teams from Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados.
The opening ceremony and traditional march pass of the participating countries along with the hoisting of the respective national flags preceded the historic opening ceremony which saw Director of Sport Mr. Neil Kumar declaring the competition open.
Kumar welcomed the overseas contingents while informing them of the historic moment they were a part of. “This is history, whatever you do here today will go down in history.”
He challenged GASA to start focusing on preparing for competition at the 2014 Olympic Games which will be hosted in neighboring Brazil.
Kumar’s welcoming speech soon took an unwelcoming turn especially for the locals when he firmly uttered that he knew Guyana would not have done anything at the recently concluded London Olympics, “I am saying it here,” he said.
He later backed up his speech by saying that Guyana must prepare a short term programme for sports, “We must work from now and prepare a short term programme.”
T&T was singled out as a good opponent in the Championship since they have a very fgood structure in place for swimming where all schools in the Twin Island Republic compete in swimming.
President of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) K.A Juman Yassin in brief remarks said that records can now recorded at the Centre since it’s the first International Meet Guyana is hosting.
The President in conclusion said that he was looking forward to great things from the Meet which concludes tomorrow and hopes that medalist’s from the event will be staking their claim for spots on their respective country teams to the Rio Olympics.
GASA Secretary Dee George brought the official welcome while thanking the sponsors for their support and partnership which has helped to make the 18th Goodwill Swimming Championships a success.
The Athletes Oath was done by Guyana female team Captain Soroya Simmons while the Coaches Oath was delivered by Ms. Joanne Lowe.