Immediate past president of the Guyana Tennis Association (GTA) Christopher Ram says he is disappointed with the existing relationships with the Ministry of Sport and the National Sports Commission and looks forward to a change in the relationships now that he is no longer at the helm of the GTA.
Ram made the remarks Thursday last while delivering the president’s report at the GTA’s annual general meeting and election of office bearers.
“Perhaps the biggest area of disappointment over the past year has been our failure to establish a working if not cordial relationship with the government. We sincerely do not believe that this is for want of trying on our part. The Ministry of Sports as well as the National Sports Commission have ignored our invitations so often that except for special occasions, we no longer invite them to any of our functions and activities. I am hoping that with me no longer as president and I am making this as a personal remark, I hope that the ministry can look past this petty difference,” Ram said.
He noted with displeasure the association’s failure to develop a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry and NSC over the use of the tennis courts of the National Racquet Centre despite having already submitted a proposal to the ministry some months now. Ram said that this has affected further development in the sport, stifling plans that the association had for the courts’ use.
“Following encouraging discussions we had with Mr. Neil Kumar, Director of Sports, the association submitted several months a draft agreement under which the NSC and the association would establish a Management Committee made up of representatives from the NSC and the association to operate and maintain the facilities.
Despite our best efforts we could not ascertain from the director the reason(s) for the delay in concluding the arrangement with the result that the association has had to shelve its plans to provide coaching for pupils of approximately a dozen Georgetown schools and for maximizing the use of the facilities.”
Ram also stated that he had no regret in being mandated to step down as the association’s head and urged other sports associations to also mandate similar regulations in their entity’s constitution. Noting the cricket and football fraternity’s state of disrepair in particular, Ram said that limiting the duration that one person is allowed to spend at the head of any one sporting association will the pave a way for accountability and transparency within the organisation. As of last year, the association drafted a new constitution which prevents any one person from serving as president for more than two terms.
On another note, Ram declared that he hoped that his step down from the association’s leadership will pave the way for the establishment of better ties with the Ministry of Sports and the National Sports Commission.
New president of the GTA Ramesh Seebarran echoed Ram’s hopes of a better relationship with the Ministry and NSC.
“The issue with the Ministry is one that has been haunting us for years and I will try to see if I could build some bridges there so that we can work with the ministry to continue to develop tennis in Guyana,” Seebarran said.
Ram said he does not believe the GTA was at fault in its inability to develop its relationship with the government, stressing that it may have had to do with personal grievances that the ministry may have with him over political differences.
All disappointments aside Ram reported that overall, the last year for the association was a reasonably satisfactory year.