Director of Sport Neil Kumar, deputizing for Minister Dr Frank Anthony, encouraged local swimmers who will be competing at the Goodwill games in Suriname, to keep the Golden Arrow Head aloft.
Chatting with the group which included swimmers and coaches and President of the Swimming Association, Ivan Persaud, at his office in Middle Street yesterday, Kumar said he is confident the athletes will excel at the games. “You must remain focused and believe in yourselves. One of the keys will be to acclimatize quickly”, he added.
The Goodwill games commence today and conclude on Sunday with the host nation Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and St. Lucia involved in tense battles for supremacy.
The Director of Sport noted that the sport is very competitive these days and he feels the swimmers must continue to train in order to improve. He informed that the warm up pool at the National Aquatic Centre will be completed soon and they (NSC/Govt.) will continue to provide better facilities. “I am certain that our swimmers will dominate the sport regionally, but they must also place much emphasis on their education which goes hand in hand with sports”, he said.
“Our swimmers must make the best use of the pool since there is a need for them to focus on the longer distance”, he explained.
Noting some of the strides swimming has made since he took over as Director of Sport, Kumar pointed to Guyana’s performance at the Inter-Guiana Games.
“I was really heartened about Guyana’s performance at the IGG and thanks to the coaches, who are doing a wonderful job, we have been able to close that gap with French Guiana and Suriname”, he stated.
Guyana finished third with 146 points at the IGG recently, behind Suriname with 208 points and French Guiana on 200. The locals copped 16 medals, including four gold.
Kumar said, the Sports Commission and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport will do all that they can to assist the development of swimming in Guyana.
In an invited comment president of the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) Ivan Persaud said that all the swimmers have made the qualifying times for the games and it is expected they will perform well since they have been in some intense training.
The Guyana team had been in training since earlier this year under the watchful eyes of Cuban coach Isabel Couso Fals, and assistant coaches Paul Mahaica, and Jamie Skeete, all of whom will accompany the team.
Fals will also act in the capacity of female chaperone for the team along with Shaka Noel. The other officials travelling with the team are manager Leon Seaton and assistant Shefetah Tzedeq. The Guyana contingent, which includes 29 swimmers, left this morning.
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