Involved with the sport since the tender age of 13 years, Guyana Volleyball Federation President Lenox Shuffler, who celebrated his 75th birth anniversary on February 5, is expected to be present when a tournament which is held in his honour annually is staged on Sunday, at the National Gymnasium.
Shuffler, whose involvement in the sport has spanned 62 years and who is enjoying his third and final term in office has been instrumental in maintaining the vibrancy in the sport in the country’s capital and beyond and is highly respected by his peers.
The affable businessman, Sports Administrator and peace and unity advocate was born on February 5, 1939, to Gary and Kathleen Shuffler, in the county of Berbice, before the family moved to Georgetown where he has since spent most of his life.
Shuffler in many conversations has always regarded himself as someone who is always thinking about the positive sides of life, and constantly looking for ways to help develop less fortunate people, whether through corporate connections or personal interventions and has clearly lived by those beliefs.
It is this thirst for effecting change in the lives of those who require such help that has been recognised by many local and international organisations that have bestowed upon him numerous awards for his selfless commitment and dedication towards the development of sports and the general enrichment of people’s lives.
The accolades include two Paul Harris awards from the Rotary Club for the promotion of ‘Peace and Unity’; the Guyana Olympic Association award as the ‘Male Sports Personality’; International Olympic Committee award for the promotion of ‘Sport and Promotion of Olympism’ through his Sports Education and Culture Train Concept for the advancement of Peace and Unity, among others.
In 1958, Shuffler became the youngest member of the first ever British Guiana squad that toured Trinidad and Tobago. He went on to become Captain of the national team that participated in the Caribbean Tournament, which they won.
Shuffler remained the national Captain for the next sixteen years, making him the longest serving Captain, having won the Caribbean title both at home and abroad. His record of being the most successful leader that this country has ever produced is still intact.
His career spanned almost twenty years at the national level, playing in the Caribbean and South American zones, including competing against teams from Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Aruba, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Bahamas and China.
He even earned the nickname ‘Mr. Cool’ on the international circuit for his ability to remain calm in tense situations, a sobriquet, he has retained unto today. As an Administrator, the GVF Head has represented Guyana at many international volleyball fora in Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Portugal and Spain and has presented a paper on the creation of ‘Fun Volleyball’
which was well received by the World Federation.
He also argued at the international level for the formation of the ‘Bloc Development Plan’ which was essentially created to assist lesser ranked countries such as Guyana and Suriname develop the sport by playing against top nations, the likes of Cuba, Brazil and Venezuela. It was subsequently adopted by the International Body.
Asked what he feels is his biggest contribution to sports, Shuffler said proudly that having seven of his grandchildren playing on the same national team together and winning the Caribbean championships must stand out above all.
Asked to comment on the impact of sports within the society he said, “I see sports as the vehicle for integration in Guyana, and because of this view, I have been able to create a concept to develop ‘Peace and Unity’ through the sports and culture train another of his brainchild concepts.
Shuffler added that the train is about positive change and is powered by love, faith and forgiveness.
“I’ve always felt that we’ve been given two eyes to see the good and the bad sides of life.”
Kaieteur Sport extends best wishes to him.
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