– Narcissistic administrators and officials must go
By Rawle Welch
After boasting about spending some $139million out of a budgeted $150million for the development of sport last year, this year could be the litmus test for the Ministry of Sport to ascertain whether or not the monies expended was worth it.
Earlier, reports signified that $90m of that outflow was spent on “training personnel to become accredited coaches and also push for the improvement of sport at the community level”.
It would be interesting to know who are those coaches and officials that benefited from such extensive and expensive training and what policies are in place to ensure that they serve the intended purpose of producing athletes who could compete with some measure of success regionally and internationally in the near future.
The amount of monies stated that was spent is surely not chump change, instead it is a huge chunk from taxpayers and whenever such disbursements are made it must be for a justified cause.
Time always has the answer and as mentioned above, this year could surely supply such.
However, there are a few things I am yearning to see done this year for sports in Guyana and if completed could to some extent justify the disclosed spending.
Firstly, there must be a plan to assist in the preparations of the few elite athletes and national teams that we have and for this to be accomplished the long awaited National Sports Policy must be completed.
This will ensure that those athletes and national teams are identified very early so that they could have adequate preparations when selected to participate in international competitions.
Athletes identified with the potential to make the qualifying mark to compete in competitions such as the Olympics or any World Championships must be given all the support needed to prepare properly and this must include full funding from the Government, Corporate Sector and the Olympic Association.
Another important facet for such preparations is the upgrading of facilities to meet international standards as is the case in many of the other Caribbean territories, while disciplines such as table tennis, football, Squash, rugby and cricket must be facilitated with longer leagues thus affording consistency.
Secondly, I would like to see a lot more money being spent on the development and upgrade of new and existing facilities to match those at the international level.
We can no longer be contented with national teams jostling for the use of the one indoor facility to host competitions which as we all know does not even meet international specifications.
Guyanese athletes are now exposed to high level facilities in the Region and are usually disadvantaged whenever they travel to compete in competitions.
If we are serious about sports development, the Government, Business Community and the Olympic Association must be prepared to plug huge sums of money into it and no doubt, the rewards will be forthcoming.
Another important desire is to have all those narcissistic administrators and officials whose sole aim is for self gratification to be removed from office or never even be considered to hold prestigious positions.
They must never be allowed to enjoy the benefits of being in office at the expense of stifling the growth of the particular sport.
There is urgent need for an upheaval in sports this year, the past decade produced little from a national perspective and it is the beginning of a new one, let serious work on developing sports start now.
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