The University of Guyana (UG) will field a number of athletes to compete at the26th Organization of Universities of Latin American and Caribbean (UDUAL) Games in Curacao. The UDUAL Games is expected to have participation from universities out of Bonaire, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Guyana and the host Curacao in a number of sports which are still to be finalized by the organizers.
The games will run from November 23- 27. The competition was initially scheduled for October in the Dominican Republic but due to the hurricanes, the organizers postponed the event and the location was eventually changed as the work of the athletes were recognized.
Guyana’s contingent will comprise student/athletes in four disciplines, basketball. Chess, table tennis and track and field.
The basketball team is the only team that has represented Guyana before competing in last year’s event.
University of Guyana’s Sports Organizer Lavern Fraser-Thomas commented on the preparation of the teams.
“Everyone has been doing their necessary practice and training for a while now. The teams have been practicing as much as they can,” she said.
It is expected that the experience of the basketball team which participated in the previous year would be beneficial to the contingent’s overall performance. Having had the opportunity to play against the other participating countries, it is anticipated that they would use this to their advantage throughout the competition.
“There are some of the players from the team that went before are on the team this year so we are hoping that their experience will be put to good use for the newcomers,” Fraser-Thomas said.
She added: “On the track and field team we have two students who are on scholarships at UWI, Mona (The University of the West Indies). Owen Adonis and Emanuel Archibald. Like the basketball team, their experience on the local and international circuit will be a great asset to pull the track and field and by default the rest of the contingent as well. The table tennis team is being coached by one of Guyana’s current national players.
In table tennis much is expected from national player Joel Alleyne, fresh off participation at the WASA Invitational tournament in Trinidad and Tobago, Elishaba Johnson, former Caribbean Under 13 boys silver medallist Jamaal Duff, Priscilla Greaves and Bryton Murray.
“In the contingent, the chess team is the only one without any or much exposure to outside competition. They have been exposed to the local circuit, a lot of them have played right at home here. This is not to say that we are not expecting great things from them,” Fraser-Thomas said.