The National Schools’ Cycling, Swimming and Track and Field Championships scores another first today when the Swimming Championships is held at the National Aquatic Centre being the first event to host a national competition at the Olympic-sized 50m pool.
As if that is not enough, it will be the first time in the 51-year existence of the competition that both Guyana’s premiere sport facilities will be used for one event. The Track and Field and the Cycling Championships will be held at the Guyana National Stadium.
The National Schools’ Championships got underway this morning with the 10km Road Race for male and females in the athletic competition and the 40km Road Race in the cycling competition, which will be hosted simultaneously on the East Coast corridor beginning at 6am.
Following those events the rivalry in the nation’s benchmark schools competition, which Digicel Guyana Inc., Banks Malta Supreme, Giftland OfficeMax and Gatorade has sponsored, will move to the National Aquatic Centre at Liliendaal at 9am for the swimming competition.
The Ministry of Education and Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) are mutual hosts of the National Schools Championships. The two entities, in an effort to secure a strong future for the event with many new facets being implemented, had signed a three-year MoU with Digicel.
President of GTU, Colin Bynoe was ecstatic yesterday with the level of growth the competitions have undergone over the last two years. He said that the idea is to continue to work to ensure that the event becomes a regional spectacle and nursery for development in sport.
“These Championships mean a lot for us; it means that everything we had done over the years to bring this event to the next level is finally materialising. It pleases us to see that we are finally in line with other Caribbean countries with our Schools Championships,” Bynoe said.
The GTU President, who is also Co-Chairman of the Management Committee that consist of the requisite officers relative to the overall management of the Championships, believes that the true potential of the event will be further realised with the ongoing construction of the synthetic track facility at Leonora.
“With facilities such as these in all our regions, Guyanese athletes will be able to realise what we can call their natural ability. It is our hope that we can have these amenities for our athletes and I want to assure you that then you will see what we are capable of,” Bynoe asserted.
He was referring specifically to the fact that the National Schools Championships is held in various regions across Guyana. According to Bynoe, the event will really take off if each region can have facilities like the National Stadium and the Aquatic Centre.
The GTU President and Management Committee Co-Chairman said that he understands the cost limitations in such an undertaking, but absolutely nothing is wrong with leaders having dreams and working to accomplish them. Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Phulandar Kandhi is Chairman of the Management Committee.
The National Schools’ Championships will officially open tomorrow morning at the Guyana National Stadium providence at 9:30am. His Excellency, President Bharrat Jagdeo, who is the patron of the event, is expected to be the main speaker at the official ceremony.
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