Dear Mr. Editor,
Permit me space and the same level of visibility to respond to a missive carried in the Guyana Chronicle of April 6, 2019 under the headline, Is there a dictatorship at the Guyana Cycling Federation?, a question asked by one, Michelangelo Jacobus.
Mr. Editor, may I humbly suggest that the good principles of journalism dictates that before one starts writing, facts ought to be sought and stories must be had from reliable sources. So with that being said, everything that reporter wrote in the article mentioned above about me, is all propaganda. It seems that reporter is part and parcel of an orchestrated move to sully my good name and character and I would like to say unapologetically, the enemies will not ever prevail.
Now, let me update you on some real facts. I can produce letters, emails and receipts on everything I’m about to update you on. Our Federation was not in a healthy state when I became the President 2015, it was in a sorry state administratively and maybe at its lowest ebb in the sports association/federation landscape in Guyana.
My goal was to bring transparency to our federation which I do believe has been accomplished to a great extent. Many, and sadly from within the bosom of the sport have been on a witch hunt against me for their own reason (s).
These are the folk who have been claiming that they are concerned about our youth but are they really concerned? And can they in real terms, honestly aid in the development of our now generation?
What is even more disturbing is the fact that they have friends in the media who would help sully the image of the sport by trying to bring down persons who are making a genuine effort to build the sport. When this is done, who are the ones that would suffer?
On the topic of dictatorship, let’s look at the previous administration whose President was not elected but appointed. On the other hand, I was elected unanimously by the Clubs because they saw a need for change.
Since taking on the mantle of President of the GCF, I have been faced with opposition, this is no secret. This is so because many of those on the offensive against me have their own hidden agendas. But they have come to realize that I could not be easily manipulated like a puppet. As a result of my firm stance, I am being labeled a dictator.
Anyone that knows our constitution or pays attention to same would know that our election is every four years and not three years. Our previous President was sitting there for five years! With that said, in January 2019, I sent out a letter to the clubs addressing the matter of election which I asked the clubs to send me the names and members of their respective executives; I am yet to receive that information.
The lack of response by the clubs prompted me to send a letter to Union Cyclist International (UCI) for guidance regarding the matter. The UCI’s response was, “if the clubs do not comply with the request, we cannot move forward with an election until that request is met.” I forwarded the letter to the clubs, now suddenly; the detractors are acting as if they have amnesia.
Mr. Editor, I would like to assure you I do not want to over stay my welcome as the President of the GCF, it is hard work, time consuming and financially draining. I do however, want to make sure that when I would have taken my leave as President and a new leader is elected, he or she would pick up the baton where I left off and the hard work to put Guyana on the world map not go in vain.
Since the conclusion of our election in 2015, the GCF has had a nonfunctioning fundraising committee with many executives not functioning as well. I am on record stating this in the past and despite these challenges, the few around have been doing their utmost to keep the sport viable for the most important resource, our cyclists.
Names of persons would have been mentioned in the article as being part of a stakeholders group writing to me and making certain enquiries. My question is, what have this individual and others done to better cycling in this country? What have you done to better the lives of our youths? How about purchasing a tire or a tube?
I am well aware of clubs that are charging the youths for uniforms and annual fees; how does that benefit these youths or provide opportunities for the less fortunate? If you are a stakeholder there’s so many things that you can be doing to help our youth’s, but instead, many choose to sit back and complain and fight the only ones that are truly making a difference and progressing this sport we claim to love.
Mr. Editor, I would like to remind all of some of the things I’ve done since I’ve been the President of the GCF that no other President has done.
Since becoming the President of the GCF I’ve attended every congress, seminar, conference and workshop offered to me. I have personally financed our cyclists to attend every International event, World Championships, Track and Road Pan-American Championships as well as Senior and Junior Caribbean Championships.
I have donated bikes, cycling shoes, helmets, clothing, wheels and other cycling equipment to kids in need. Countries that I’ve traveled to representing our federation include Cuba, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Bermuda, Panama, Colombia, Virginia, England, Switzerland, Norway, Austria and Argentina.
These trips were not vacations, they were business trips funded by myself; I did so unselfishly to benefit the land of my birth with a view of putting the nation on the map.
2015 – June: After becoming GCF President I used my own money to finance the GCF National Championships. In September, I attended the UCI Congress in Virginia at the World Championships.
October: The GCF Secretary and I took a team to Barbados for the Senior Caribbean Cycling Championships. I traveled to Guyana four (4) times in 2015.
2016 – To unseat me from my position, An illegal group was formed that called themselves the Interim Management Committee (IMC), we are well aware of the names of these individuals.
So, I quickly got the Union Cyclist International (UCI) involved and the group disappeared.
After UCI sent them a letter stating I’m the only person that they recognize as President of the GCF.
These individuals could have been banned but I am not a person like that so they were allowed to continue for all to see who they really are, and yes, we are seeing them in full operation. I traveled to Guyana two (2) times in 2016.
2017 – January: I attended (COPACI) Congress in Cuba. April: GCF attended the Pan-American Championships in Dominican Republic. June: I financed our National Championships in Guyana. August: GCF took a team to the Pan-American Track Championships in Trinidad & Tobago. October: GCF took a team to the Junior Caribbean Championships in Barbados.
September: GCF took a junior, Briton John to the World Championships in Norway for the first time in the history of the GCF and also attended the UCI Congress in Norway where we had voting rights. I traveled to Guyana six (6) times in 2017.
2018 – May: GCF took a team to the Pan-American Championships in Argentina where the GCF also attended COPACI Congress. May: I sponsored/financed our annual Three-Stage Cycling race in Guyana. June: I financed our National Championships.
July: The GCF took Briton John to the Junior Caribbean Championships in Bermuda. September: I took Briton John to Columbia to receive a Schengen visa for Austria and he later attended the Junior World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria. The GCF also attended UCI Congress as a voting delegate.
October: The GCF attended the Caribbean Championships in Dominican Republic.
December: I attended a seminar in Panama and traveled to Guyana four (4) times in 2018.
2019 – Thanks to His Worship the Mayor of Bartica, Mr. Gifford Marshall, the Regional Democratic Council of Region #7 and our Director of Sport, Christopher Jones, the GCF some weeks ago hosted an historical Cycling event in Bartica.
This was the first event of its kind to take place in Bartica in over forty (40) years. It was a great success! Also, when I became President, there were no national uniforms. I remember everyone had to borrow uniforms back from each other that they had for many years.
I took it upon myself to purchase USD $6000 worth of uniforms to cover the years 2015-2019, except for 2016.
I would lastly like to inform the nation that in the next few months, history would again be created as the Guyana Cycling Federation is on track to host the biggest event ever in its history, the Junior Caribbean Championships.
I leave you with the question that is at hand, Is there a dictatorship at the Guyana Cycling Federation?
Guyana Cycling Federation
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