Kindly allow me to respond to a letter recently published in the letters section of your newspaper and captioned “Guyana Powerlifting Federation misleading the Public”. Likewise I and the PRO Mr. Denroy Livan are in receipt of a registered mail with the exact typing right down to the unsigned name “Chitra Ramlochan’ and no return address.
The Ms. Chittra Ramlochan known to the Federation has informed me via her husband that the author of the letter is an imposter using her name as a front. Several discrepancies in the original letter lead me to support his statement. Nevertheless, in the absence of a Public denial we will have to assume that it was indeed the said person.Yet the timing is suspicious in light of coming NSC awards.
Powerlifting is a strength sport. The measure of the lifter’s Pedigree is in his / her total at a given bodyweight and Wilkes formula. It is a physically demanding activity not a beauty contest or track and field event. Some seventeen Events worldwide are hosted in a calendar year by the International Powerlifting Federation and its regional affiliates of which Guyana is a full member. Rankings are then established from the best lifts achieved in the Open categories at the end of the Calendar year. This is advantageous to lifters and Nations who can’t afford the costs of travelling too often but can gain a recognized international ranking based upon their best effort whether lifting against an army of many or of one.
“Over hyped?” In order for Ms. Mack (listed in the Open rankings as 47th of 65, junior category as 22nd of 27 and Sub junior category 12th of 12 which is misleading) to gain her medals and international ranking she had to compete. Period. Full stop. At the Pan American and South American Championships the liftercompeted in two categories. It is seemingly convenient that the letter writer failed to acknowledge that Ms. Mack also competed in the Open earning 2 Bronze medals.
Likewise a close look at the Commonwealth games results will also reveal that some of Lifters from the bigger developed Nations enjoyed the same fortunes as Ms. Mack. All over the world this happens in this type of sport. The lifter still has to compete. The measure of the achievement is in the listing of her final world ranking. It’s no fault of hers that no one showed up with the pedigree to challenge her. She came ready to battle. And battle she did despite being the lightest and smallest of the open lifters! She won spectators and judges over alike. She did it for herself, family and Country. Too often we take something for granted. We don’t even recognize our very own diamonds in the rough. Only when they migrate and represent another country then we sing another tune. It is also convenient that the writer failed to mention that Ms. Mack starts 2016 as the highest ranked sub junior at number 1 for the NAPF, CPF and FESUPO. Prove me wrong.
“Waste of funds?” Financing of the Powerlifting teams that participated internationally in 2015 were by and large self-sourced or self-sponsored along with contributions from Sponsors and supporters of the Sport. In essence Lifters had to raise their own funds. The Federation provided logistic and administrative support.
In the case of the Commonwealth Championships, the NSC contributed a sum which enabled the Federation to send Winston Stoby and Karel Mars in the absence of the injured Vijai Rahim.Ms. Britny Mack and others who accompanied the two were self-sponsored. Her parents in particular made tremendous sacrifices to get her to the Championships.What has also been overlooked were the indirect benefits and potential investment for Guyana from attendance and participation on the World stage in front of millions of viewers via the electronic mediawhich has raised awareness of Guyana’s location and her capacity to become a sports tourism destination. Favorable reviews have already been given by the governing bodies of South America (FESUPO) and the Commonwealth (CPF) for a championship to be hosted at home once we have tendered. Incidentally Powerlifting was among the first to utilize Princess Hotel as a sports tourism venue (the NAPF Caribbean Championships in 2010).One has only to read the respective websites of the said Federations to appreciate the volume of lifters and support personnel, including fans capable of travelling to Guyana for an international event.
“Essentially the only team?” This claim deserves no response. A check of the results on the website give the listed teams in the Commonwealth as representing Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland, Sri Lanka to name a few. Which Planet is the author on?
“Are we getting confused with the males and females? etc” the article in question to which the writer refers was written as Powerlifting’s condensed contribution to Kaieteur news annual year in review articles by local Associations and meant to highlight both the male and female athletes whom the Federation considered as outstanding locally and internationally with the input and contributions by the female lifters taking the spotlight (Just note the honorable mentions). Naturally the headline may have confused the writer due to her / his myopic view.
Britny Mack must be given the well-deserved accolades for her stellar efforts at the age of 16 (when most girls can hardly focus on one let alone two activities). Inably balancing her academic studies with the sport she loves along with the responsibility of being a role model to other young ladies in just her first year of competition locally and internationally she has demonstrated the attributes of a real champion. Who knows, maybe somewhere some young woman having read of her exploits may have taken great courage in turning from thoughts of suicide to that of emulating her achievements. Britny Mack needs to be encouraged by her sister lifters and not vice versa. The letter writer of the distasteful article needs to enlighten the reading Public as his / her true identity and the credible contributions made to Powerlifting and not just his / her negative sportsman / sportswoman behaviour.
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