By Kiev Chesney
The first stage for the 2008 Inter-Guiana Games blossomed yesterday morning as host country Suriname put on a cultural extravaganza at the Parima Swimming facility for the other two participating countries, Guyana and French Guiana- who collectively completed a journey of more than 36 hours.
At just about 10:30am, the teams assembled on the spacious deck of the Parima facility and participated in a march-past which was led by a group of female dancers who were performing to the melodic sounds of the Parbo Brass Band that followed.
The Suriname dancers, dressed as cheerleaders, ‘wined’, to the beat of the Parbo Brass Band who serenaded the gathering for close to 15 minutes.
They played the tunes of local folk songs as well as urban songs that caught the ears of all of the athletes whose waists could not resist the beckoning of the music.
Following the march-past, the three nations stood at attention for the three national anthems after which, representatives of each country took to the podium.
Director of Sport Neil Kumar complimented the host country on the superb job of preparing such a festive opening ceremony adding that it was creative, exciting and inspiring.
“I must compliment you guys here in Suriname for following us and putting on such a rich opening ceremony and I must admit that this was even better than the one that we put on last year when we hosted the second stage in Guyana,” he said.
The head of the Education Ministry in French Guiana, Frederic Wacheux, also praised the host country for its cultural display.
His interpreter conveyed that he was very impressed with the organizing of the games and said that he felt it was very important in aiding the development of both sports and education which he felt, should go hand-in-hand.
Suriname Minister of Sport, Edwien Wolf, said that his country took pride in the hosting of these games and that he felt it developed the quality of life in their society.
The Guyana swimming team participated in session one that followed and will compete in session two at 4pm today.
Meanwhile, the Guyana U-20 team will get into action tomorrow at 6pm when they take on French Guiana. Their second and final match is planned for Sunday.
Track and field will begin tomorrow at 9am and continue on Sunday beginning at the same time.