Jan 03, 2017 Sports
President of the North Pakarimas Sports and Culture Association (NPSCA), Roger Hinds firmly believes that if more hinterland residents are given an opportunity to try out for the National Football team it will help in boost Guyana’s
Hinds made this assessment recently stating that the Hinterland communities possess a number of very skillful and talented players but noted that owing to lack of both exposure and investment, they are unable to reach their true potential.
The businessman who made a decision to assist in the establishment of a sporting and cultural association stressed that he has been working towards facilitating this process for a number of players in Region 8.
”Our association, with the blessings of CDC (Community Development Council) through its National Director Eugene Gilbert organised a major sporting championship dubbed Summer Fiesta and which attracted some 34 teams last year and we were able to witness first-hand the very high level of talent that our indigenous brothers and sisters possess. The reality is that many of them can hold their own against any of the major teams in Georgetown or across Guyana but because of lack of opportunities they are unable to be shortlisted for our national teams. This cannot continue any longer and through the association, coupled with the support and assistance of a number of others, we intend change this,” he declared.
Hinds noted that there needs to be meaningful opportunities created thus affording talented players irrespective of where in Guyana they resides, gain access into the national teams like any other.
”We can no longer see only those players from Georgetown, Linden, Berbice or East and West Bank making national teams. Opportunities must also be afford players from the hinterland communities that have the right skills, talent and attitude.
They must be afforded equal opportunities to get unto the team. If players who possess the right qualities and abilities from these parts of Guyana cannot make the national team then we are saying that sports at the highest level is only restricted for those coming from the coastline only and that is certainly not the message that we want to send,” he opined.
Hinds stressed that sports isn’t cheap whilst noting that most of those persons involved in sports in the hinterland and far flung communities are doing so because of their genuine passion and love and is not motivated in any way by money.
”We do not have money to reward performances and teams up here, so everything is done because of the undying love and passion for sports. I firmly believe that a more open selection process must be adopted by the selection panel when selecting players for national teams,” he argued.
He noted that some months ago after selecting the national Under-17 team a key official of the delegation was in Region 8 and was in awe with the level of skills and ability of several of the players questioning why these players were not invited at the national trials for possible selection to the team.
”The official was amazed at the quality and talent that we have right here in this little region but how can the rest of Guyana know if extended and widespread scouting is not done. Selectors must be made to travel far and wide with the view of selecting the very best and not just what they have available on the coast,” he said.
According to Hinds, sports development in Region 8 is on the decline thus his decision to join with others in establishing an association. “We live here so we must do whatever it takes to save whoever we can from falling victims to social ills and as a concerned resident and official of this sporting association I am appealing to the Guyana Football Federation to see how and in what ways they can help us as together we can aid in the holistic development and performance of our national teams,” he said.
The popular businessman who admitted that he has been investing his own funds in a number of sporting disciplines with the view of keeping sports alive in the region said that the indigenous people are desperately in need of help as many young players dream of one day playing for Guyana.
He admitted that he has several initiatives which if taken on board can see a change of fortune for national teams, stressing that their association has already begun discussion with one of the associations affiliated with the GFF with the view of bringing it in line for possible membership with the GFF.
”Bartica is an association, East Bank, East Coast, West Demerara are all associations within the GFF so we will be exploring the possibility of having either a Region 8 or an Hinterland Association and to this end we have already been having discussions with our friends in Region 9 who have been experiencing similar challenges and difficulties like us with a view of securing the services of a Consultant in moving us forward,” he said.
”Just like the players in the other associations who have a fair or an equal opportunity to make the national team thus making their association and ultimately their country proud, we want to have the same for our players here in the North Pakariams Sports and Culture Association (NPSCA) as we are determined to get it done, irrespective of if it has to be done as a region or collectively as hinterland regions coming together it will be done,” Hinds declared.
Hinds added that based on his interaction with the many villagers in Region 8 they all have been organising themselves with a view of streamlining a more recognised and effective association as they have all recognised the benefits and opportunities of being in an association.
”Running football competitions in Region 8 is very expensive as many of the villagers are some 40 miles away from each other and because of the terrain many of the villagers have to walk to a central location where they will be housed to hold tournaments and this is very costly and unfortunately many of our country’s businesses are not interested in supporting unless they see a direct benefit to them,” he said.
He also added, “No longer it’s about the youths and what development it will bring to our youths but what we as business people will get out of it and unfortunately this isn’t the approach that we should take if we are truly seeking to bring about holistic development.”
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