By Zaheer Mohamed
The nation’s top junior athletes will battle for supremacy from Tuesday when the
Ministry of Education (MOE)/Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) 54th National Schools’ Cycling, Swimming and Track and Field Championships commence at the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Ground, Base Camp Ayangana.
Speaking at a Press Conference held to officially usher in the Championships yesterday at the Ministry of Education, Brickdam, Chief Education Officer (CEO), Olato Sam said they are happy to join with the sponsors to host this important event on their sports calendar, adding that they look forward to a highly competitive Championships, which is used to mold young athletes and help them move forward.
“We expect this year’s event to surpass that of previous years and what we will do is sit down after these Championships and come up with a comprehensive plan to continue to improve this event; with the advent of the track at Leonora, the time is right now to have such an analysis,” Sam posited.
The CEO believes that there are some changes that are necessary for the event to grow into what it should really be, and that, according to him, is on par with regional counterparts. Sam pledged the support of the ministry and vowed to make all efforts to continue what has become a Guyanese tradition.
President of the GTU, Mark Lyte stated that they are pleased to play a significant role in the hosting of the Championships, noting that they have been able to work with the MOE in ensuring all the Districts are ready to compete. He pointed out that preparations have been made for officials and stakeholders to be part of the event so it can be successful.
Banks DIH Water Brand Manager, Errol Nelson expressed gratitude to the ministry and GTU to have Banks on board yet again. Nelson said they are happy to be associated with the occasion, stating that they will continue to support the development of sports in Guyana.
Larry Wills, Gatorade Brand Manager, explained that Demerara Distillers Ltd (distributor) is please to have the number one sports drink of athletes, in the form of Gatorade, aboard the event. He pointed out that the athletes should be given the opportunity to maximise their performances and Gatorade will be used to rehydrate them.
“We look forward to seeing the athletes display a high level of professionalism and wishes the MOE and GTU success,” Wills said.
The Championships will be held at GDF Ground for the first time and although it gives the three Georgetown teams home advantage, North Georgetown will be hard pressed to retain their title, especially with Upper Demerara/Kwakwani and Corentyne constantly in the hunt.
Nationals Public Relations Officer, Edison Jefford said they are well prepared to host the event, which will see approximately 1500 athletes competing from 15 Districts across Guyana; the 10km male and female Road Races will be held on Tuesday morning along with the 40km male cycle road race and 25km female cycle road race.
Swimming will also be held on Tuesday. According to Jefford, Competition at GDF Ground begins on Wednesday, following the customary Opening Ceremony and lighting of the torch at 9am.
Banks DIH under their Aqua Mist and Malta Supreme brands, Giftland Office Max, Courts and Gatorade are the official sponsors of the 54th National Schools’ Cycling, Swimming and Track and Field Championships.
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