During his presentation during the Budget Debates during the current sitting of Parliament, Director of Sport Neil Kumar, challenged the opposition to refute the contribution and effort being made by government in relation to sports.
Sighting arguments put forward by one Member of Parliament (MP) the Director of Sport pointed out; “…we heard the Honourable Member Mr. Trevor Williams questioning the leadership and vision of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. His main laments were that Ministry is visionless. Yet he has failed miserably to offer any alternative vision in his presentation.”
“Mr. Speaker, in the last 8 years alone we can see substantial investments and transformation of the sports sector, we have seen development of the:
1. Guyana National Stadium
2. National Aquatic Center
3. Public Squash Courts
4. National Synthetic Athletic Track
5. Lights at Albion Cricket Ground
“But following the logic of Honourable Williams these historic first in Guyana is visionless.”
Kumar pounced on a recent news article pointing out; “In an article written by the Hon. Member on the 1st December 2013 in Kaieteur News AFC Column, he offers his grand vision for sports development in Guyana. That is to rename the Guyana National Stadium into the Clive Lloyd National Stadium. While I have no problem recognizing Clive Lloyd, who is an advisor to the Government on sport, the point is, naming a facility will not cause sports to develop in Guyana.
You have to do much more than that; you have to invest in people, programmes and facilities. That is what we are doing.”
Commenting on a recent action plan touted by the AFC, the Director of Sports informed that, “In sports Education – AFC would like to see courses in Sports Medicine, Sports Nutrition, Physiotherapy and Sports Administration.
The Government has established a multi-purpose facility, the National Resource Center that would evolve into the National Sports Institute where the course mentioned and many others will be taught.
This is not just electioneering, by making empty promises that you cannot fulfill. This is about proper planning and delivering on those plans. The National Resource Center is not a dream.
It is a reality!”
On community grounds, Kumar stated, “Just last year we spent 300 million dollars on community grounds. Let me assure you that a list can be provided to you.”
Apart from the Guyana National Stadium at Providence, Kumar noted the importance of other facilities government has constructed; “The spanking new Olympic Size Swimming Pool is today a reality and very soon the National Aquatic Centre will be an international facility with the completion of a warm-up/warm-down pool.
The Synthetic Track at Leonora will be completed this year and other facilities will be constructed around the track. The track is completed. Hence, Guyana will be able to organise and host International athletic events.”
“The National Racquet Centre at Woolford Avenue is a reality. Today we can talk about our glamorous Squash Courts which are both of international standard and the first Public Courts in the Caribbean. We also have at the same facility our double Lawn Tennis Courts.
With the construction of these facilities and others, our Government recognizes that the time is most opportune for us to develop our human resources.”
He further stated, “Recently, the National Sports Resource Centre was commissioned by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport the Honourable Dr. Frank Anthony. This M$55 Guyana dollars project adds to the ambience of the National Racquet Centre which also accommodates the Tennis Courts and Squash Courts.”
On the Resource Centre the Director highlighted its importance in educating sports personalities; “The Commissioning of this important and necessary facility marks the beginning of a new era in sports for Guyana.
The National Sports Resource Centre will create the opportunity for athletes to be exposed to information via print and electronic media which will take them and the various sports fraternities to the highest level. Athletes, Coaches, Students and the general public will be exposed to public lectures, we intend to organise. We recognise the fact that access to information is extremely important and intend to ensure development in this essential area.
Hence, the National Sports Resource Centre is the fore runner for a future National Sports Institute, which is essential for Guyana to continue with positive development in the world of sports.
This aesthetic and educational facility is expected to provide guidance, training and certification to the stakeholders in sports – athletes, coaches, umpires, referees, scorers, journalists, managers, Chaperons, technical persons along with the general public.”
“It is also envisaged that through various initiatives, the National Sports Commission will organise several training programmes. The Resource Centre will be able to train and ultimately give certificates and diplomas to our sport officials,” he informed.
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