All systems were in place for the women’s football team to start travelling and training

Dear Editor,

Please refer to an article in the Daily Stabroek dated 9th Oct 2011 under the caption `Kumar expects Inter-Guiana Games teams to do very well’ and two articles in the Kaieteur News dated Oct 7th and 12th 2011.

In the Stabroek News article my name was mentioned on a few occasions and I would like to clear up some inaccuracies that were written.

I have known the Director of Sport since the PYO U-19 Competition used to be played in the 80s. He was once my boss when I used to work at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, is my good friend, colleague and mentor.

I do not want any confrontation with him, sometimes he gets too emotional and a bit erratic and arrogant when dealing with issues. All I will attempt to do is just clarify some things which he said that are not accurate.

Firstly he said that nothing was in place for the women’s football team and his Ministry received a budget for a quarter of a million dollars for transportation alone. Before going on my annual vacation I submitted to Mr Gurvy Harry of the Dept of Sports a list of the players with the Schools that they are attending, Date of Birth, PP#, Date of Issue and Date of Expiry. I also commented if the PP was valid or not. Out of 27 girls who were selected 21 of them had valid passports, 5 did not have and 1 had to be renewed. Nine of the players were from Lethem, 3 from Bartica, 5 from Berbice, 1 from West Demerara, 3 from East Coast and 6 from Georgetown. All of this information was with the Ministry of Sports and it was dated 31st August 2011. I also submitted a detailed programme, here are some of the highlights of the programme – Team to commence training on Sat 8th Oct until Mon 10th Oct. Twenty-two players to be selected and continue training from Mon 10th Oct to Fri 14th Oct. On Sat 15th Oct the final 18 players would have been selected.

The programme also highlighted when training sessions would have been held and when the encampment would have commenced. The programme also had a budget for transportation with the bulk going towards the Lethem girls.

Editor, Mr Kumar further stated “I am frustrated with the GFF, there was nothing to work with”. Sir, if what I submitted was nothing to work with then I have become obsolete and should be fired. The Director went on to say that I upped myself and went to New York and that the move by me affected the process. Editor, my going to New York has nothing to do with Guyana’s participation in the Inter Guiana Games. If the Director had done the correct thing and made contact with the GFF then he would have gotten all the answers that he wanted. “Sparrow” is not the GFF, I am only an employee.

All systems were in place for the girls to start travelling and training. There has to be some other reason for not taking the girls, maybe the Kaieteur News article of Wednesday has all the answers.

Whilst in New York on my vacation which I earned, I sent an email to Mr Harry for an update on the female team’s participation and to date I have not received any official notification that the team will not be travelling. I heard it from the designated female coach, after I was invited electronically to attend a meeting.

Since I was not there I mandated her to attend the meeting and it was then she informed me of the withdrawal of the team.

On my return to Guyana on 3rd Oct, I had to call the Ministry of Sports and then was told of what transpired at a meeting.

Editor, I hope that what I said will be taken in the right context and not be misconstrued. I am attaching the Programme and list of players’ names for your easy reference.

Bill Vaughan once said “An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old one leaves”.

Yours faithfully,
Lawrence Griffith

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