The need for adequate government support, better relationships with the corporate community and embracing technology were hailed as avenues to improve disciplines when the GOA held a Public Consultation on “the Way Forward for Sport in Guyana.”
During the open forum on Friday at YMCA, members of the public and representatives of sports associations aired their views “on the way forward” while the top brass of the GOA listened and took notes.
The lack of infrastructure, corporate sponsorship, subvention for athletes and associations, sports incentives and scholarships were also hot topics of discussion by speakers which included: Steve Ninvalle, Godfrey Munroe, Aubrey Hutson, Cheryl Thompson, Ivan Persaud, John Flores, Gokarn Ramdhani, Hilbert Archer and Keavon Bess.
“We are not serious about sports in this country,” said one speaker. “We need to start treating sport as a business,” said another.
“There is a large disconnect with the corporate community and sports associations as well as the NSC and the Ministry of Sport,” opined a speaker.
“Unless we are given adequate support by the government and corporate entities, sport in Guyana will not move forward and we will remain in the doldrums,” a speaker stated.
“The difference of being an amateur athlete and an elite athlete is vast,” noted one speaker. He added “Do we have forums to make athletes elite, no we do not.’’
Another speaker stated that “To see our athletes achieving an international standard we definitely need the government to do more, they are simply not doing enough, look at Jamaica and Trinidad and look at us.”
The need for a sports database was also a valid point made another speaker.
“Each association and each individual has to put pressure on the government,” said another speaker.
“We need to start looking at how the NSC distribute its funds. We have to get better infrastructure, and we need to look at paying our athletes.
“We also need to get the Sports Policy in place, another thing we need to look at is getting scientific help for our sportsmen and women this is a new age.”
Keith Campbell, Eric Phillips, Mark Britton, Wayne Walcott, Shafeeka Shadiek and John Perreira were also speakers that took the microphone on Friday.
Some 15 associations were present at the open forum. Most of the speakers lauded the GOA for hosting the event and said they also hoped that it would not be the last. Many of them also wondered aloud if their constructive criticism and analytical views would just fall on deaf ears. (Emmerson Campbell)