By Franklin Wilson
As felicitations continue to flow following the Bartica Mayor and Town Council (M&TC) commissioning of a Sports Wall of Fame in recognition of the sterling contributions that have been made to the community by locals, Director of Sport (DoS) Christopher Jones is the latest public official to commend His Worship Mayor Gifford Marshall for his visionary leadership.
Jones, in commending the M&TC of the Region #7 community stated that it could have been business as usual with Marshall and Councilors just taking care of the usual business but they have opted to maneuver in unchartered waters by being an all-encompassing body focused on collective human and other development.
Honouring your legends, Jones said, is always the right way to go as this serves to motivate in a positive way, the younger generations of aspiring sports men and women which can only rebound to loads of positive off spins.
The Sports Personalities recognised in the inaugural batch of the Wall of Fame inductees are:Christopher George (Former National Footballer), Ivor Mendonca (Former National & West Indies Cricketer), Calmeth Younge (Former National Footballer & Coach), the late Neil Hernandez (Former National Footballer), Mark Smith (Former National Footballer), Diane Ferreira James (Former National Footballer, Cricketer & FIFA Referee), Basil Singh (Former National Cricket Umpire), Brian Tracey (Former National Footballer), Terrence Archer (Former National Football Captain), Vibert De Fretias (Former National Footballer).
“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate His Worship the Mayor, Council and the people of Bartica on this monumental move. Once again, Bartica has continued to lead the way in terms of recognising their sports personalities and honouring them.”
Jones posited that the ‘Wall of Fame’ is the perfect icing on the cake for the expanded focus on development of sports in the community both from a human and infrastructural perspective. He reflected on the ‘Tour de France like’ Bartica Cycling Challenge held in March 2019 which attracted the cream de la cream in Guyana.
Jones also recalled the community hosing for the first time ever in Guyana, the Junior Caribbean Cycling Championships in August 2019 apart from the much looked forward to Easter Regatta Powerboat Racing and other sports activities that sets the community apart.
“As we keep saying all the time, such sports activities lends to, not only the development of sport in the Town but it also lends to attracting tourists to the municipality because when those two cycling events took place in the region, you saw hundreds of Guyanese raveling up to Bartica and over-nighting with some spending the entire weekend. That in itself brought monies to the hoteliers, of course the clubs the shops, bars, taxi’s, all benefited from that and now with the es
tablishment of the Wall of Fame, it’s another tribute and fillip to the sports in the region and Bartica is again leading the way.”
The DoS is hoping that the other municipalities take the lead from Bartica and also acknowledge their sports personalities that did well for themselves and Guyana.
“As you know, the National Sports Commission continues to lend support to the Bartica municipality as it relates to sports development, you would have seen the work that we would have done as it relates to the Community Centre Ground, Basketball Court, Volleyball Court, the establishment of Karate that is now being had there. Cycling is now re-emerging there and of course we will continue to lend support to the Bartica municipality because His Worship the Mayor and the Council have continued to demonstrate that they take sports seriously and as well, that sports is a business.”
Looking ahead, Jones posited that there’s lots more to be done in partnership with the municipality: “For example, we want to revisit open water swimming because we know there are lots of young people who would swim the river on a regular. So we have to find a way of ensuring that they are taught the requisite techniques for this aspect of the sport. We started archery there and we have level one trained and certified coaches in this sport, so we’ll have to build on that.
So kudos to His Worship the Mayor, the Municipality, the residents of Bartica and the Cayuni Mazaruni region as a whole for the establishment of the ‘Wall of Fame’ to recognise and honour their leading sports personalities for their outstanding contributions to the region and Guyana by extension, we all celebrate this momentous occasion with you, congrats.”
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