By Edison Jefford in Suriname
In association with Warsila,
YK Investments and R&D Engineering
Director of Sport, Neil Kumar had no problem if the other participating delegations from French Guiana and Suriname thought he was being partisan yesterday afternoon when he unequivocally urged the Guyanese contingent to win the Inter-Guiana Games (IGG) overall title.
Kumar was speaking at the Opening Ceremony of the Games at the Andre Kamperveen Stadium where he encouraged Guyana to dominate the event. Guyana has a 160-man contingent currently in Suriname to compete in seven sport disciplines for the coveted title.
Those seven disciplines include track and field, swimming, male and female volleyball, male and female basketball, male football, cycling and chess. The actual competition began last night with Guyana taking on Suriname in male football at the Andre Kamperveen Stadium.
According to a late report, Guyana were punished 7-1 by Suriname. Details to follow.
“We want Suriname to know that we recognise the amount of work they are doing to succeed at the 2011 Games. I want to encourage them to play, but to the Guyanese I say play and win,” the Director of Sport said before commending Suriname for hosting the Championships.
He said that Guyana’s success must justify the amount of work the various committees and their sport associations did to get them ready for the Games. Kumar noted that when you consider the academic and athletic function of IGG, the event is serving an extremely beneficial purpose.
His remarks followed the march-pass of the three participating teams to the military band parade and the hoisting of the respective flags. Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs in Suriname, Paul Abena also believes that the Games have continually justified its purpose.
Abena reminded those gathered, which included social and political officials from Suriname, and the other participating countries, that the theme for the 2011 event is “strengthening brotherhood through sports” because the participating countries are more than just neighbours.
The Surinamese Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs said that as the host of all seven disciplines that comprise the Games, his country did everything possible to ensure that the best hospitality is meted out to the teams and the visiting officials though they had little time to plan.
In her address, French Guiana’s Head of Delegation, Laurence Burg, commended Suriname for a mammoth undertaking, stating that they have overcome a major challenge. Burg believes that the Games will rise to new levels of competition with the serious approach of the teams.
“This has shown that we take the development of youth and sports very serious. This can be an immediate vehicle for academic and social success of young people. Sports crystallises all of our collective joys and that is more significant than individual performances,” she said.
She believes that IGG has become more than just a competition among the three Guianas. She is of the view that the Games gives each representative country a unique opportunity at gaining the necessary exposure in the disciplines, apart from travelling outside the region.
Burg said that French Guiana will make the best of the competition and the experience and made sure she encouraged the other countries to do the same. Physical displays, brief fireworks and the music of steel pans ushered the teams into competition mode following the speeches.
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