Sports remain an integral element in boosting the fitness, morale and confidence of a wide cross-section of Essequibians. During the past year I have witnessed an increase in the number of persons utilizing the public road primarily to exercise. Even some recognizable athletes have been reverting to the road as well, since it has been difficult for them to do otherwise. I’m convinced therefore that much more needs to be done in creating a conducive training environment in Region 2.
Along the Essequibo Coast there are a number of grounds that have been neglected or destroyed due to the invasion of stray animals, while others have been abandoned.
This is quite unacceptable and the relevant authorities must decide to reverse this ugly situation. I am aware that the government has been providing financial support to upgrade grounds across the country. Interestingly though, the mechanisms by which some of these grounds are administered, leaves much to be desired. In one instance, countless loads of sand were thrown onto a ground in Henrietta to combat flooding.
While the idea was commendable, unfortunately the sand was not mixed into the soil and it remained as it was until the thick grass reclaimed its presence. During this period, the ground became useless and still is at present.
Similar unpopular decisions were made at other facilities too. Another huge space which has been underutilized and which can be transformed into a multi-purpose facility is the Anna Regina Drying Floor.
This is a massive concreted area which was built to dry large amounts of paddy. This practice no longer continues and the area has deteriorated and become grass infested. However, the residents in the village and particularly the youths have been occupying same for sporting activities, including cricket and football. Amazingly, it has become an ideal and strategic venue for leisure.
It will be to the benefit of the community therefore to have this potential arena developed into a modern sports centre. The government should see the enormous benefits that can be derived from having such facilities in the Region, since the population is becoming increasingly more sports and health conscious.
An appeal is also being made to safeguard fitness joggers whose lives are at risk whenever they run on the roadways either early in the morning or in the evening.
The road is narrow and there has been an increase in the number of vehicles, so there is a danger of accidents, including those involving animals. Additionally, stray and unsupervised dogs can become quite an enemy to those who jog. These dangers can be instantly eliminated with the implementation of a policy to rehabilitate many currently useless grounds.
It is indeed with much pride and a sense of satisfaction too that I applaud the appointment of Dr George Norton, Minister of Social Cohesion who is now responsible for Sports.
His background in sports administration will no doubt persuade him to have sports prosper in the regions. It is time though, for Region 2 to have better training facilities.