By Rawle Welch
Some may ask why the call for US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, while some may feel that his name is irrelevant to Guyana.
Well, the point is Bernanke is one of the persons who helped craft the American economy stimulus package and someone who knows all about conceiving a rescue plan, an ingredient that sports in Guyana sorely needs.
After an outburst of AGMs at the beginning of the year where very few changes to personnel was made, the sports machinery has now returned to the status quo. The old guards were returned, many of them who’ve failed to provide a lifeline for their respective organisations for a number of years.
Just like the US economy, the sports fraternity in Guyana is currently suffering ‘severe contraction’ and only a well-defined policy supported by unselfish administrators could help get us out of this unbearable dilemma.
First of all, just like the US, the Government must understand that the onus is on them to orchestrate its (sports) revival.
There must be renewed efforts for responsibility and accountability and those found guilty in the past of failing to invigorate development within their respective organisations must pay the price, regardless of who they may be.
Like many of those Corporate Businesses’ CEOs who were responsible for putting the enormous strain on the world economy, due to their greed and selfishness, these officials must be asked to perform at a higher level or make their exit.
Many examples of ineptitude can be found, but there is one that standout glaringly and that is when will Guyana’s preparations to participate in the inaugural Caribbean Games set for July in Trinidad & Tobago commence.
President of the Guyana Olympic Association, K.A Juman Yassin reporting after returning from a Meeting of Heads of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) in Curacao, stated that Guyana will be represented in three of the five disciplines boxing, track and field and tennis.
From the onset, CANOC had provided a number of guidelines for eligibility to participate in the event which it said will be attended by the cream of the region’s athletes in the respective disciplines. They released the qualification criterion for all the disciplines and this development has prevented us from sending representative teams in Volleyball and Netball.
So far, repeated attempts to obtain tangible news from the relevant authorities have proved futile. No one seems to know or even if it is available, the composition of the respective teams and who will pay the airfares.
There has been no word of athletes identified and are in training, remember the cream of the crop of Caribbean athletes will be there and since Guyana is already far behind in terms of quality, wouldn’t early preparations at least save us from huge embarrassment.
With just over four months to go, only US-based athletes Aliann Pompey and perhaps Marian Burnett seem to be sure picks. These two long serving athletes have been performing at the highest level for sometime so achieving the revised qualifying mark should not pose problems for them, but what about the locally-based athletes. When are we going to provide opportunities for them to showcase their raw talent and who will represent us when the Pompeys and Burnetts leave the scene?
These are two legitimate questions that need to be answered by our sports officials under whose purview the sport falls.
We keep hearing about the local athletes’ inability to meet the qualifying times, but had Pompey and Burnett remained here, would they have made them?
The time has come for those administrators to assist in exposing more of our locally bred athletes so that when Pompey and Burnett call it a day, there are adequate replacements.
It did not take Jamaica very long to find world class sprinters to take over the mantle from Donald Quarrie or Merlene Ottey and Deon Hemmings.
Because of a well crafted Development Programme implemented by the Jamaica Athletics Association in collaboration with the Government, we’ve seen the emergence of Asafa Powell, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Usain Bolt, Melaine Walker and Shelly-Ann Fraser.
If you come closer to home, you will see that T&T were able to stay in contention through the production of Ato Boldon and more recently Richard Thompson for Olympic champion Hasely Crawford.
Where is Ben Bernanke? We need a stimulus plan for sports.
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