By Edison Jefford
Guyana’s rugby scored an inspiring ‘try’ last weekend when it empowered a youthful Executive at its Annual General Meeting and Elections, in a bold move aimed at addressing the many areas of a sport that has been on an unnecessary and inexplicable decline.
While Peter Green remained President of the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU), the move to secure the services of the next generation of leaders should be applauded, though it is my belief that Green (or anyone) should not lead two associations. Green is also President of the Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation (GAPF).
In Guyana, where administering one sport demands due diligence to succeed, individuals ought not to be so conceited to believe that they can accomplish maximum results from manning two national associations. A case can be made against Rugby under the leadership of Green.
Rugby enjoyed unprecedented success for about seven years when they dominated the North American and Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Sevens competition. Those results have changed over the last few years.
Despite consistent exposure during that time, Green’s tenure was marred with non-participation in major tournaments and a slump in returning winning results. In addition, the Women’s version of the game all but disappeared.
These issues, coupled with the absence of a grassroots and schools’ programme except the recent Scotia Bank-funded programme, do not reflect positively on the leadership of Green. Rugby does not enjoy the success of Green’s other discipline, Powerlifting, which will always questions the priority of the leader.
However, Green must be commended for his bold move to change the face of the association and include youth, among them, two females, one of whom is a former national senior player, Sabola Gray. That move demonstrated that Green acknowledged some of the failures of the association, and stepped in hopefully the right direction to address the turn of fortune for the sport.
Incumbent President of the University of Guyana Student Society (UGSS), Joshua Griffith, who is a former schools’ champion, was elected to serve as a Vice-President along with Elwin Chase. Petal Grant is the other female on the Executive as Secretary, replacing Terrence Grant, who had held that position for quite some time.
Esan Griffith (Public Relations Officer), Ryan Dey Shane Grant-Stewart, Daniel Anderson and Delroy Gordon are all young people, now administrating the sport.
While, given the pitiable state of the female version of the sport, more women could have gotten involved at the administrative level, this youthful Executive should be an example of a necessary revolution that is required to transform local sport.
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