Jan 10, 2021 Sports
Kaieteur News – Over the past week, the plans to implement Golf in secondary schools across the country under the auspices of the Unit of Allied Arts Division of the Ministry of Education and the Guyana Golf Association got off to a smashing start as the programme was rolled out in Berbice, Georgetown, Linden and Essequibo. This prompted the head of Nexgen Global Group of Companies, Aleem Hussain, to announce plans for the third of a series of golf courses his company plans to build this year as he continues to expand the game around the country.
“During the visit to the Anna Regina Secondary School to donate equipment and meet with Education officials, we identified the location on the Essequibo Coast and expect that with the revolutionary design and layout of the course, we can have the facility fully functional before the end of this year,” said Hussain. “This is in addition to the two other golf facilities we plan to build in Linden and Berbice.”
The Guyana Golf Association’s goal to have as many as 6,000 new players in the coming years is realistic considering that Guyana has approximately 100,000 students in the school system (57,000 in secondary schools alone) and with parental involvement, the game has the potential to reach great heights, thereby creating the demand for more playing facilities and courses.
Hussain said that he plans to build at least eight golf facilities since his unique design for the new golf courses require less than 15 acres of land, thereby allowing them to be built closer to densely populated areas. “Maintenance and upkeep costs will be drastically reduced and as such, the game will be more affordable and accessible to anyone who has an interest in learning and playing golf.”
Administrator of the Unit of Allied Arts, Ms. Lorraine Barker-King said she was tremendously excited about the fact that Guyana will make history when our kids will for the first time be able to utilize Golf as a sport option in the Physical Education and Sport syllabus for CSEC and CAPE.
“This opens up a world of opportunity for our children, especially in light of the impact covid has had on sports and Mr. Fraser is showing excellent initiative in ensuring that we come up with viable alternatives for them in sports. This partnership with Mr. Hussain and the Guyana Golf Association is definitely one that will change the way our country looks at the sport and we will do everything possible to ensure its success,” said Ms. Barker-King.
The current pilot programme will see six schools selected by the Ministry of Education; Anna Regina Secondary, Richard Ishmael Secondary, Queen’s College, President’s College, Berbice Educational Institute and Wisburg Secondary begin teaching Golf immediately. In August the remaining CSEC schools will roll out the programme nationally to ensure that as many students as possible have the opportunity to learn the game. The aim is to train the PE teachers of these schools to become master trainers of golf instructors in all the other schools.
Nicholas Fraser, head of the Physical Education Allied Arts Unit holds an MBA specialising in Sports Management and is no stranger to implementing new programmes, having held many senior positions including Assistant Director of Sports at the National Sports Commission amongst others, said, “Golf has the potential of becoming a dominant sport in the school programme based on the reaction from both teachers and students so far and the fact that it is a covid-19 compliant sport. Many activities are planned for the school golf programme with competitions for inter-classroom, inter-school, inter-region and national championship scheduled for 2021.”
Hussain, despite the personal challenges he faced many years ago, has been the driving force behind the development of golf in Guyana and has proven that adversity does bring out the best in everyone, especially when one has the desire to succeed. The President of the Guyana Golf Association and Nexgen Golf Academy is also ranked as one of the top golf players in the country. He has performed well in tournaments in Barbados, Trinidad, Suriname and Costa Rica and aims to use his skills and determination to ensure that a national team is created to participate in international events leading up to the Olympics.
So far, everyone ranging from the CEO of Education to the Regional District Education Officers, Head Teachers, Physical Education teachers and especially the students have reacted well to the inclusion of the sport in the schools as evidenced by the smiles and reactions from Wisburg Secondary School DHM Cordel Sealey; HM Ms. Michael; Anna Regina Secondary School HM Laljeet Ruplall and DHM Raghunaught Doodnaught; Region 2 Regional Education Officer – Nichola Matthews; and Region 2 District Education Officer (in charge of Secondary schools) – Deodat Singh when they met with Hussain and Fraser during the roll-out.
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