Corporate entities should follow ExxonMobil’s example in relation to sport

Dear Editor,

Mostly recognised for its activities in the energy business the recent extension of support offered by ExxonMobil to an upcoming junior football tournament and its earlier backing for hockey must serve as a wakeup call for some local corporate entities who fail to honour their corporate obligations.

The US-based Company retained by the Government of Guyana to drill offshore for oil, engages in the exploration, production, transportation and sale of crude oil and natural gas, and the manufacture, transportation and sale of petroleum products and since its arrival has been making significant contributions to sports and other social and economic activities across Guyana.

This is not surprising since the Company, headquartered in Irving, Texas in the USA, is equipped with a wealth of knowledge about its corporate responsibility and the need to give back for further development, a thinking that Guyana is benefitting from.

The purpose of this missive is not to label or criticise those companies who have been ambivalent about honouring such responsibilities, but more to let them understand the importance of doing so.

Many of our corporate entities do have those values as part of their management arrangement, but too many have not shown the inclination to extend tangible support to our athletes, sporting organisations or even endeavours for human and social advancement.

There are many standout examples of companies that replicate the generosity displayed by ExxonMobil, but we need many more to get onboard.

Over the past three years, Guyana has enjoyed much success at several regional and international competitions, especially at the junior level with squash, boxing, athletics, badminton and cricket, being among the frontrunners, but very often when it is time for substantial infusion of financial funding to be made to translate that success to the next level, it is nowhere to be sourced.

The Government is not to be spared by this observation since the posture of this entity, in most cases, is what dictates the extent of support offered by the corporate sector.

Whichever discipline you look at there is observable improvement by our athletes, but the essential support for them to reach the Elite level standard is habitually absent.

Adequate funding has always been a major bugbear for our athletes and while there have been incremental, but laudable steps taken by several entities to correct the anomaly, the world moves on.

With oil extraction set for 2020, two years away, ExxonMobil just like it did to undertake the risk of investment to ascertain whether there was a commercial quantity of crude to make it a viable venture has done the same with our athletes and several communities so it is almost obligatory for our Government and corporate sector to do the same.

Yours faithfully,

Rawle Welch

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