The National Sports Commission (NSC) wishes to clarify (mis)information in the public domain as it relates to support for the 18 athletes and their coaches from the Fort Wellington Secondary School in Berbice to participate at the Penn State relay meet in the United States.
On April 1st 2016, two of the athletes came to the Office of the Director of Sports with a letter dated the same day that they have been invited to participate in the University of Pennsylvania Penn Relays slated for April 28 to the 30th 2016.
With a budget in hand that totalled 4.2 million GYD to cover visas, airfare (return), accommodation (overseas), meals, uniforms, travel (overseas) and miscellaneous for 18 persons (15 athletes, 2 coaches and 1 manager) they requested assistance from the NSC. It is important to note that when queried of the sums garnered by the said group thus far to offset their expenses they indicated that 0 dollars were raised.
It was pointed out to the two persons that the NSC and by extension the line Ministry, the Ministry of Education, does not provide money to acquire visas but rather assists athletes in travel and subsistence.
On the 21st of April 2016, the two individuals returned to the Director of Sports and indicated that the team were granted US visas and asked what assistance can be given to offset their airfare. At the said meeting the Director of Sports indicated that the NSC can assist two persons to travel noting the limited time presented to and available resources of the NSC.
The actions of the Director of Sports was genuine to support the athletes noting policy guidelines on sports governance and administration and a budget that has to be managed and distributed with much equity to all sport sectors.
Essentially, the Fort Wellington Secondary School athletic team request was short notice and the NSC and the relevant sport associate body were not fully knowledgeable of the team and their endeavour before.
The NSC wishes to take this opportunity to outline some procedures and policy guidelines that informs the office of the Director of Sports in support to athletes and sports bodies. The NSC relays with National Associations and Federations that are recognized as the authority in their discipline.
Currently, what obtains are over 40 listed associations which have the legitimate authority in their respective disciplines. Upon assumption of office one of the first requests made by the NSC by the Director of Sports was that the listed and registered associations should submit their calendar of activities and an updated list of executives in order to inform the database of the sports commission. This allows the NSC to make representation to the Ministry of Finance to release funding for grants and to the National Assembly to increase funding to the Commission to facilitate the support of our athletes.
It is desirable for the Guyanese public and athletes and sports bodies in particular that engages and may potentially engage the NSC to be cognizant of the above.
‘The NSC will not shy away from supporting Guyanese youths and sportsmen and woman’s ambitions and careers. We will continue to exercise an open door policy and listen to the needs of the sporting community and work diligently to better our national sport environment.’
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