By Zaheer Mohamed
Chairman of the District Sports Council (DSC) of Upper Mazaruni (Region seven Cuyuni-Mazaruni), Rudolph Wellington said the area has a lot of talented young footballers, but adequate funding is need for their continuous development.
Speaking with Kaieteur Sport, Wellington informed that the youths there are very passionate about football and can go a very far way, but the necessary exposure is vital. A fact that bears witness to Wellington’s statement is the performance of the DC Caesar Fox Secondary School of Region 7 (formerly Waramadong Secondary) in schools’ tournaments, where they have consistently been in the final four.
Their brand of football has been entertaining and bears resemblance to the South American style of play, possibly because they often engage their neighbours from Venezuela in tournaments. Credit must be given to the organisers for this step, since it will enhance the development of the players in the area.
On many occasions they have outplayed their rivals in school tournaments and have won the hearts of fans and others close to the game in the city. Largely responsible for their success is the ability of the members of the District Sports Council to successfully stage tournaments.
According to Wellington, the council would stage the annual Upper Mazaruni District Games in the month of August for both male and female athletes. “Apart from football this event involves a number of disciplines including track and field, volleyball, swimming, archery, blow pipe, cricket and table tennis,” he added.
Wellington indicated that the DSC would also stage inter club tournaments at the Under-13 and senior levels for both male and female players and this usually serve as a qualifier for the District games. They have also produced several national players at the age group level.
Apart from these tournaments, the DSC would host coaching programmes for the young players there to help with their development. “We would receive assistance from the Guyana Football Federation for coaching clinics and now each community has their own coach and referees, and sessions are being held for players at all levels (both male and female), from Sunday to Thursday.”
Wellington stated that the installation of lights at several venues by the Regional Democratic Council of Region seven has helped with the running-off of tournaments in a timely manner. The venues with lights are; Kamarang, Waramadong and Jawalla while the ground at Kako should be getting lights soon since that village is set to host the District games this year.
While there are lots of potential in the area, one of the biggest challenge faced, is sponsorship. Wellington informed that to host the Upper Mazaruni District games would cost over G$1,000,000. “Each club would send over 50 athletes to this event and there are usually 32 teams taking part in the various disciplines, so it is very costly especially with the transportation and meals. One drum of fuel here costs $100, 000. But due to the installation of lights at the venues, we can now run-off the games within eight days as compared to 12 days before we had access to lighting facilities.”
“This is one of the biggest games held locally, but to sustain an event of this magnitude, which helps to unearth new talent, we need the backing of not only the Government, but private businesses as well.”
Wellington said they would receive assistance from the RDC Region seven, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, Office of the President and the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs. “The business entities here should see it fit to give back to the community which will encourage the youths. Sometimes we do get assistance from a few businesses, especially these travel services that ply this area, but it is very little, so if they can come on board in a bigger way, it will be of great help to us.”
The clubs (both male and female) that compete in football tournaments there are Kamarang, Waramadong, Parima, Kako, Jawalla, Kaitau, Imbaimadai, Phillipai, Thimweing, District Sports Council, Isseneru, Quedang, Arau, Wax Creek, Abdou and San Juan of Venezuela.
Apart from football, Wellington indicated that the youths have a keen interest in volleyball and cricket and since acquiring their own gears is a challenge for them, he is calling on the local governing body for those sports to render assistance.
The District Sports Council is also comprised of Vice Chairman Alex Crammer, Secretary Denzil Thomas, Treasurer Deza Moses and a number of committee members including Jerol Isaacs and Deon Seecharran.
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