Stakeholders launch National Schools’ Championships
- stress importance of event in sport development
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, yesterday reinforced how important sports is in the development of students when she joined with other stakeholders from the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU), Digicel among other sponsors in ushering in the 2012 National Schools’ Cycling, Swimming and Track and Field Championships.
The National Schools Championships will be held at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, November 19-23 with the swimming being held at the National Aquatics Centre.
“We are happy to be launching the School Championships 2012. We recognise sports to be very useful in the lives of young people in promoting discipline and self confidence,” Manickchand said, adding that athletics and academics must co-exist in the schools’ system.
The minister believes that finding the right balance between academics and athletics within the system so that “one does not overtake the other” is crucial to the ministry. Manickchand stated that the advancement of schools’ sports will require more effort.
“We have seen how much talent reside in the Caribbean at the just-concluded Olympics. We must tap into and promote these talents here in Guyana, but it is not just on the Government, it will require the support from all stakeholders,” she indicated.
Manickchand said she was “happy to have sponsors come on board” to create the support that she had earlier referenced. She encouraged more sponsors to invest in the event and committed to those already on board that “their investment will not be wasted”.
GTU President, Colin Bynoe thanked Digicel for their continued support, stating that ‘Nationals’ should be the foundation for the development of athletes. He said that it is the ideal place to start to develop athletes for the future based on its magnitude.
“The National Schools’ Championships in Guyana is the training ground where we produce all these athletes,” he said, adding that he hopes the Ministry of Sports’ ‘Road to Puerto Rico’ will factor in the talents coming out of the Championships.
Bynoe told the media and other stakeholders that Coaches ought to be instituted in the schools to spot talent to ensure that there is proper transition from the school to the international levels of competition. “I do hope that we will seek to enhance a programme with corporate community on board so that we can have 10 athletes from these Championships at the Olympics,” he said, thanking sponsors for expressing an interest in the largest schools’ sport competition.
Digicel’s Public Relations Manager, Shonett Moore, informed that the telecommunications giant is pleased to be onboard the event for the third year. “We share the same belief with the Minister that sports play an important role in developing young people,” she stated, adding that Digicel is looking forward to an improved Championships this year.
Digicel, last year, had signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Education and Guyana Teachers’ Union for the Championships. This year will mark the second year of the MoU taking effect.
In addition, GiftLand OfficeMax Marketing Manager, Compton Babb was present to announce a ground-breaking relationship with sport apparel manufacturers ‘asics’ for the Championships. He said that the modalities are still being worked out, but it will be a historical deal.
Demerara Distillers’ Limited (DDL) Sales Manager, Alexis Langhorn, announced that their relationship with the event will also be long-term under their Gatorade brand. She said that they believe in growing events and that is one of the primary reasons they have attached one of the world’s renowned sports drinks to the Championships.
Other sponsors aboard the 2012 event include Banks DIH Limited and Courts.