Nov 08, 2022 Sports
– Says athletes need tangible support to succeed
Kaieteur News – Guyana’s national indoor 400m record holder and University of South Carolina standout, Arinze Chance has landed his second major endorsement in Guyana, while joining the time-immemorial chorus of those who have called for substantial support for local athletes.
Chance received the endorsement of local sports equipment and apparel giant, MVP Sports over the weekend, and in an unselfish act of sportsmanship, called on the local administration of sport to do more for athletes. Powerade, which is distributed by Banks DIH Limited, has also endorsed Chance.
“For any athlete to succeed, they need support and financial support is the most important form of support; athletes need encouragement,” Chance indicated, adding that his experience from competing across the world has taught him some valuable lessons about the sport. He said that importance of incentives for athletes cannot be understated.
“I learnt that athletes from other countries get an incentive before they even attend those Games. We are lacking this in Guyana, there is no support before, during or after competitions and there is no incentive for doing the sport we enjoy,” the outstanding student-athlete said.
He related that his counterparts right here in the Caribbean – Trinidad, Jamaica and others – are far more incentivized and supported at all levels than athletes here in Guyana and the results can be seen in those countries’ performances internationally, along with the added national benefit of sports tourism there.
According to Chance, Guyana loses a lot of athletes along the way as a result of this lack of more tangible support; he believes the lack of support is the missing link for greater success from sport generally, and affects Guyana’s ability to develop a national identity.
“Sports assist in helping a country develop and also help in achieving national identity; knowing certain countries, you know they are identified by certain sports. We can do the same if we have the kind of support like athletes from those countries,” he said.
“We need solutions, athletes need to find comfort in representing this country. It’s not only about national pride, but sustenance for themselves; athletes need to get money. Once athletes get an incentive to compete, they will do well, once the athletes do well, the association and the country looks good,” the national sprinter continued
Chance believes that associations need to work closer with the Private Sector to learn more about the business of sport. He said that both of his endorsements were achieved through his individual mobilization, when the association should be the vanguard.
According to him, the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) and Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) are like parents, and “the president and administrators need to consider the needs of their athletes, like therapists and gears, for instance”. He said these parents need to “treat their athletes like their children”; like it is the association’s responsibility to take care of them, and not like a “liability”. Chance also indicated that since his return from the Commonwealth Games in August this year he has been trying to meet with the Minister of Sport or officials at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports but so far those attempts have been futile.
Chance believes that athletes and the association that govern the sport can have a “mutual beneficial relationship”, instead of the often-strained relationship owed in a lot of instances to the athlete’s mistreatment.
He related that the recent Keevin Allicock story was a big embarrassment to the country and the athlete, but it was just once instance where such mistreatment was publicised. Chance informed that there are many instances of administrations failing athletes that go unpublished.
“The whole issue with Keevin at the South American Championships is just the first time it is actually being publicised for many persons to understand how athletes are being treated. It was an embarrassment and wake up call,” he observed.
Chance was awarded a full athletics scholarship to the University of South Carolina in 2018 and broke the school’s 16-year-old 400m indoor record a year later. His personal best outdoor time is 46.05 seconds in 2019 while his indoor best is 46.15 that same year. His season best this year is 46.66 seconds as he sets sights World Championships in Hungary.
Chance, who competed at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, indicated that he cannot thank MVP Sports enough for their timely gesture. He said that training and competing in the United States and anywhere is expensive and MVP Sports will help him cover those expenses since his goal is to compete in as many events leading up to the World Championships.
“MVP Sports is definitely putting me closer to where I want to be with regards to support, being able to get to more competitions and being able to support myself as an athlete in the United States. It’s not just about living expenses, supplements etc. its more than that, like therapy, so I am definitely grateful for what MVP is doing for me,” he said.
The elite athlete, who recently competed at the Joint Services event in Guyana over the weekend, before winging out to the United States of America, “extended gratitude” to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MVP Sports, Ian Ramdeo for his support.
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