– nations concur on integration
By Edison Jefford
The central theme that dominated yesterday’s opening of the Inter-Guiana Games (IGG) was the significant role of the Games in uniting the three nation which take part in the annual event and an urgent need to build on the relationships that are initiated.
Performing the duties of President, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, who declared the Games open at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, reminded those present to ensure that the necessary friendships emerge as part of the development of the three Guianas.
Hinds officially opened the event following the March Past of the three competing teams, French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana in that order and presentations from the Heads of Delegation, who were all present among other officials at the Sports Hall.
“We see these Games as helping to develop relationships. I have seen these Games growing from year to year. It’s for the people of the three Guianas to develop this for our good,” Hinds told the gathering, adding that the benefits of sports are enormous.
The Prime Minister used the words of famed Guyanese sports reporter, Brindsley Lewis Crombie to encourage the athletes that will compete over three days in cycling, chess and male and female volleyball and basketball. Competition began yesterday.
“It matters not how you win or lose but how you play the game and whether you have done your best,” was the quote from Crombie that Hinds used in his address, before welcoming all officials from French Guiana and Suriname to Guyana for the Games.
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony ensured that he remind the delegations that Guyana’s perspective of sports goes beyond competition.
He said sports is a vehicle through which the national message of unity is transported.
“We see sports as a little bit more than just sports. We see sports as medium by which we can do greater things. We anticipate that over these three days, friendships and strong bonds would have developed to tie our countries closer,” Anthony indicated.
He said while the occasion is geared toward competition and building relationships, he hopes the management committee for IGG will do some introspection to discover the best ways to help the Games “improve and advance” from where it is at presently.
“We have to constantly evaluate where we are and how we can make these Games better,” the minister noted, before encouraging Guyana’s representatives teams with his belief that they will come out of the weekend in intense competition on top.
Before Anthony spoke, Suriname’s Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, Paulus Abena reminded of the “rich” history of the Games, and the need to preserve and transfer the tenets of that history to future generations of athletes that will compete in the Games.
Abena said that it is an honour to be in Guyana and his presence could be seen as an initiative of the new Government to support student-athletes.
He believes that mutual respect among the three nations must be maintained and promoted consistently.
“We want our youths to be aware of the value of sports,” Abena stated.
His speech followed that of the Recteur of the Executive Branch of the Ministry of Education in French Guiana, Florence Robine, who expressed gratitude for being present for the Games.
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