– Anthony says he has never had such a low grade
By Edison Jefford
In an examination parlance, the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) gave Government a C+ for their performance in sports, but Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony made a strong case for a review of the unacceptable grade.
“I would give Government a C+ for what they have done in 2010. Government ask for proposals and when we submit them, we got nothing; that is why they got a C+,” President of the GOA, K. A. Juman-Yassin revealed Saturday night at Georgetown Club.
But in his stirring address, Anthony flipped the grade when he said during his turn at the podium: “giving the ministry a C+ for the work we have done… we can accept that… but I want to let you know that in all my schooling I have never received such a bad grade.”
Juman-Yassin was speaking at the GOA Appreciation and Awards Evening where he took to the Government for not playing a leading role in assisting sport associations. He said that he is often criticised but will continue to advocate for Government’s support.
“Things are happening and I want to give credit, but unfortunately, I wish to say that most sports associations in 2010 have not benefitted Government. I hope that in 2011, there will be attention given to assisting teams to go abroad,” Juman-Yassin indicated.
The GOA President congratulated the Government for their apparent understanding of necessity of sport facilities toward the development of sport and urged associations to have a greater sense of accountability as they administer the various sport disciplines.
Anthony noted that Government have a relationship with the Olympic association and admitted that there are some things that do not meet the expectation of the organisation. However, he said those are issues that should not affect an otherwise good relationship.
“It is not that we don’t want to invest in teams going abroad but we have repeatedly said that we need two things from the associations when they come to us; one, we need to know the selection process and two, we need athletes names,” the minister stated.
“Very often when associations select teams, we learn about them in the newspapers when we are the ones that should have had the names and teams first,” Anthony continued, adding that not all of the national associations qualify for support from Government.
He informed that some of the sport associations are not in “good shape” and thus will not be able to access the requisite support from Government. He said if associations believe that they are not responsible enough to partner they must manage their own affairs.
“We have to set aside the issues and deal with them. They are some associations that do not want to work to develop sport. If they really want to have a good relationship, we must work together. For too long we have trivialised sports,” Anthony observed.
According to the minister, it is time every association have concrete development programmes at every level that will ensure international success. For that reason, he informed, Government is of the view that its spending must be concentrated on sport in schools.
Dr. Ian McDonald, who delivered the feature address at the forum, indicated that he is impressed the successes of sport in Guyana. He said the provision of infrastructure and facilities will further compliment the success and progress of sportsmen and women.
“I am impressed with the advances Guyana has been making. I see success in so many areas-squash, rugby, our Twenty/20 cricket side in 2010, bodybuilding, power-lifting, football, athletics, rifle-shooting, table tennis, swimming, cycling- and in other sports, which I am sure I have missed mentioning. There has been a significant increase in activity and success when you add it all up,” McDonald told sport enthusiasts and guests.
The renowned literary figure said that when one places those successes in the context of facilities the future is bright for sport in Guyana. He congratulated the ministry and encouraged them to be in the vanguard of vibrancy as sport continues to develop.
“At a very basic and essential level-the provision of infrastructure and facilities-there is also progress: a new Olympic-sized Swimming Pool, a new athletics track, a new racquet centre and good use of the new stadium. If these and other such facilities are well-maintained and efficiently and regularly used our future in sports will be bright,” McDonald believed.
The GOA recognised those that supported its programmes, namely the Commonwealth Games’ Baton Relay and the Organising Committee of the Central America and Caribbean (CAC) Rugby Games, which included over 15 recipients of certificates.
Guyana Times Sports Journalist, Kiev Chesney was awarded for his coverage of Olympic Sports while Charles Corbin was given the GOA Council Member of the Year plaque. Five awards were also handed out for Individual Contribution to Sports.
Retired Colonel, John Lewis was recognised for his contribution to rugby; Grace McCalman was the recipient of an award for her contribution to Lawn Tennis; Dennis Diaz for his role in squash; Randolph Roberts in cycling and Pat Holder for water sports.
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