The Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) said yesterday that it was looking forward to the day when national athletes and coaches will be paid in order to adequately focus on their goals.
Yesterday, at Olympic House, Liliendaal, the first step was taken on the journey of making local full-time athletes and coaches a reality.
Through funding from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Solidarity, the GOA has decided to disburse monthly stipends to 30 local and overseas-based athletes and 13 coaches from 10 disciplines retroactive to December 2017. The annual sum will total in the neighborhood of $18M.
According to President of the GOA, K. Juman-Yassin, the monthly stipend will vary according to individuals with a floor of $20,000 and a ceiling of $60,000.
“I have been speaking for years that our athletes and coaches need to be rewarded. It will not fully reward them but it’s the first step.”
He added:“Once you make the first step it’s easier to make the second.” He then encouraged the government “to come onboard since the resources can be pooled.”
The GOA head reiterated that “this is just a start” since the list of disciplines and recipients will be expanded.
One of the association’s Vice Presidents, Godfrey Munroe, pointed out that there will be specific conditions and requirements which must be fulfilled by the recipients in order to receive the stipend.
Another VP, Dr. Karen Pilgrim, added that the timely completion of WADA whereabout forms along with attending anti-doping seminars are a few of the obligations that athletes must fulfill in order to continue to receive the stipend which will be paid out bi-monthly.
General Secretary of the GOA, Hector Edwards declared: “Today’s event is one that we can all embrace and at a later time have much appreciation.” He added that the days of being a successful part-time athlete was long gone. In the same breath he stated that the GOA will do everything in its power to make local athletes successful. He also stated that it is important to be successful academically as well as athletically.
According to the Olympic Solidarity’s website, the aim of the Olympic Solidarity is to organize assistance for all the National Olympic Committees (NOCS), particularly those with the greatest needs, through multi-faceted programmes prioritizing athlete development, training of coaches and sports administrators and Olympic ideals.
Below is the full list of the athletes and coaches who will be receiving GOA stipends.
Athletics’ Association of Guyana
Guyana Amateur Boxing Association
Guyana Badminton Association
Guyana Judo Federation
Guyana National Rifle Association
Guyana Amateur Swimming Association
Guyana Squash Association
Mary Fung- A-Fat
Guyana Table Tennis Association
Guyana Rugby Football Union
Guyana Volleyball Federation
Ms. Kirenia Ballard