Mr Paul Atkinson, in the November 8 edition of Stabroek News in a letter titled ‘Hopefully there will be an Inter-Zones swimming championship in Region One’ states that I “sought to pacify him and failed miserably.”
Apparently, he was angry about the situation. Maybe he was at the meeting in Moruca when the decision was made not to send their swimmers to Nationals. This is someone who says that he “would like Region One sports to soar to greater heights” but yet collectively in Moruca they made a decision not to send the swimmers to Nationals.
Yes, indeed I’m not the Regional Communication Officer and cannot provide justification for the shortage of funds. I hope they do respond to Mr Atkinson’s letter and give him and the wider public the real cost for our Inter-Zone Championship. I assure him the figure will expand, since the one presented was a mere estimate that seems to have fallen below the original cost. I must say, however, that my efforts for educating the public about cost and geography of Region One should be recognized and commended (officially Region One has two sub-regions; however, unofficially we are divided into three sub-regions. Matarkai is not gazetted as the third sub-region as yet).
I think Mr Atkinson very well knows why there has never been a swimming competition as part of the Inter-zones Championship. For us to have such a competition, swimmers from Mabaruma and Matarkai would have to travel to Moruca because the Moruca River is much calmer than the ones we have here in Mabaruma. However, this has not been feasible since the cost would be more than what the allotted budget would allow.
Hopefully the officials do budget for that next year.
Additionally, Region One’s effort as opposed to that of Region Nine can never be compared since the geography is different. There are existing road(s)/trail(s) that link the majority of areas in Region Nine. I know these things because I did a lot of field work in the Rupununi.
While it is very costly for our counterparts in Region Nine this will not exceed the costs here in Region One.
Nevertheless, I will remind the officials here in Mabaruma to add swimming to the budget. I see no issue with such. However, let it be known that there are members who sit on the RDC of Region One from Moruca who could have a greater say than an ordinary resident such as myself. So Mr Atkinson could encourage them to add their voices too, if he wants this matter to be resolved for the betterment of all the young athletes in Region One.
The reason I have responded to his letter in the first place is because I am a member of the Regional Sports Committee and helped to plan this year’s Inter-zones, and even helped with the budget for the Nationals last year. Frankly, the cost is far more than what I presented to the public. Mr Atkinson should know this as well, since he knows the geography of our region and is a member of the Red Cross which does a lot of work here.
In my opinion the reason why Mr Atkinson is ‘kicking up a storm’ is because we asked them not to field the maximum 26 members that would make up the swimming team.
We also told representatives from Moruca and Matarkai that this year we will be taking athletes who are close to the National Record. Hence, I was able to present the times of some of the outstanding athletes who will be going to Nationals for the track and field.
I guess Mr Atkinson wrote his letter on Thursday. That very night we were in contact with the sports representative from Moruca and was given the assurance that the swimmers will be going to Nationals this year. We asked for the information two weeks ago. On Friday evening the names of 21 swimmers were submitted and these will be take part at this year’s event. And I know they will do us proud again.
I care about the young people of this region, and because I care so much, on my own I’m talking to an organization to help fund us with sports equipment for the schools in our region. Our conversation started on October 27, 2013 but the time is too short to provide gear to outfit our team for the Nationals this year. I’m just an ordinary resident with no connections whatsoever but I’m still doing the best I can for our athletes.