Following rousing opening words from President of the Guyana Teacher’s Union, Colin Bynoe, the 52nd Guyana Teacher’s Union/Ministry of Education (MOE) National School’s Cycling, Swimming and Track and Field Championships was officially declared open by the Minister of Sports, Dr. Frank Anthony, last evening at the National Stadium, Providence.
The ceremony included the march past of the 16 districts and the lighting of the torch by athletes from the defending champion district, District 10, all done to the rendition of steel pan music.
Dr. Anthony, yesterday, emphasized the importance of sports to the athletes of the 16 districts that will be taking part in this year’s championships.
“We, in the government, we see sports as a very important aspect of national life and over the years, we have been continually investing in the development of sports not only in the school system but generally. At the 50m pool we have already signed the contract so that we can have a 25m warm up pool and so next year when you hold the championships, I hope that you can also experience that 25m warm up pool, so that we will have a complete complex now at Liliendaal,” Anthony said last evening.
He congratulated the GTU and MoE for coming together to host another year of the annual championships and the various district officials who all come together to make the championships possible. The annual schools championships, is the only local competition that brings together athletes from all 10 regions across Guyana. This year’s competition, which began earlier yesterday, will see the participation of over 1700 athletes.
“More than 1700 athletes participating it shows that these games are expanding and we have more and more regions coming out in bigger numbers, and I want to congratulate all the persons who have worked with the various districts and regions so that their top athletes can get here” Anthony said.
Bynoe, for his part, spoke of the upcoming 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, and dared the athletes to be one of Guyana’s next Olympians.
“Coming out of these championships someone, or several persons will be a part of Guyana’s next Olympic team. I know that we have champions in the making in our midst. So let’s get ready to sparkle, let’s get ready to show the people of Guyana that as student athletes, you have got the capacity and the ability to show us, from now, that you are ready to be a part of the training core as we get ready to prepare for the Olympics, in a short while from now,” said Bynoe.
The ceremony also saw the honoring of Leon Murray, who was commended by the GTU for 18 years of service to the Championships. Also on hand was Digicel’s Head of Customer Care, Sherwyn Osbourne, was on hand to speak of the company’s joy at coming on board as a sponsor of the championships. In addition to Digicel, this year’s competition is being sponsored by Giftland Office Max and Banks DIH among others.
Subsequent to the opening ceremony, competition in the track races began with six events in the middle distances in addition to the heats of the 4x400m open relayes.
Prior to that the swimming segment of the competiton was completed earlier yesterday at the National Aquatic Centre, where North Georgetown (District #11) walked away with the win. Other events that began earlier yesterday included the 10km road races and cycles races along the East Coast of Demerara, as well as some of the field events. The competition will last for the next four days culminating with the closing ceremony on Friday.