President David Granger Friday night emphasized the important role that sport plays in any society and noted that creating a new model “could increase participation of citizens in sport and ensure everyone’s social and recreational development.”
Delivering the feature address at the GOA’s annual Awards ceremony at Georgetown Club, President Granger, excellent historian that he is, traced the history of this country’s performances at the Olympic Games from its initial participation at the 1948 London Games to present noting that this country has only won one medal in its long history of participation at the games minus the 1976 games which was boycotted.
“In our 68 years we have had one bronze medal,” he declared to a smattering of applause.
“Guyana, time after time continues to aspire to Olympic glory. Our men and women have the potential to be world class performers,” said President Granger and suggested that it was perhaps time to take a second look at the model the country was using.
“What I call the populist model of sport is essential if we are to provide our people with the widest range of opportunities to become champions.”
In underlining that important role sports play in paving a cohesive society, the president added, “I do believe the populist model could emphasize the development of sport at the grassroot level by generating a larger pool of talent from which to select our best athletes; a new model could increase participation of citizens in sport and ensure everyone’s social and recreational development.” Meanwhile, as is the case for the past few years, President of the GOA, K. Juman-Yassin called on the implementation of the long awaited Sports Policy.
“A lot of sports organizations are struggling and they need funding. On this Mr. President [David Granger] and Minister [Nicolette Henry] I have been harping for years that there needs to be the implementation of the sports policy.”
Yassin then commended the awardees for their achievements which included Sean Devers, who copped the sports journalist award, squash players, Taylor Fernandes and Larissa Wiltshire for their outstanding achievement in sport as they played “doubles” to win a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa last year and Godfrey Wray, Editor of the Guyana Chronicle and former vice president of the Guyana Table Tennis Association, for his contribution to the development of sport over the years.
Yassin also confirmed that three local athletes have qualified for the upcoming Olympic Games in Brazil in sprinter, Brenessa Thompson, 2012 Olympian and quarter-miler, Winston George and triple jumper, Troy Doris who made the qualifying standard two weeks ago in the Bahamas.
The GOA head also stated that national cyclist, Alanzo Greaves, one-year ban will be up in November.
Buxton Youth Development won the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Award for their innovation in sport.
Special mention was made of Guyana only Olympic medallist, Michael Parris and also Carl Ince who coached the Guyana Squash team to a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa last year.
Minister within the Minister of Education Nicolette Henry spoke of the need to have the GOA’s headquarters which is still in its early stages, to be completed.