Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr George Norton and Commonwealth Games Gold medalist, Troy Doris have both agreed that an incentive scheme for standout athletes must be put in place expeditiously.
Norton and Doris voiced this opinion yesterday when the latter paid a courtesy call on the Minister at his Main Street office.
According to Norton, a structured system must be put in place for local athletes to be appropriately rewarded for their performances. Unlike other Caribbean nations such as Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, Guyana does not have such a system in place.
The lack of a proper system and structure often times see local athletes just being rewarded with photo opportunities with members of the government during media briefings. However, the Minister, who presented a plaque of achievement to Doris, noted that he has been given a mandate to complete the long awaited Sports Policy.
“An incentive scheme must coincide with the Sports Policy and the key to having an effective policy is getting support and inpsut from the stakeholders,” Norton said.
Norton added that he has been in communication with other nations, in order to come up with an effective system to adequately reward sportsmen and women representing the Golden Arrowhead.
Doris who hopped, skipped and jumped his way to a Commonwealth Games gold medal when he won the Men’s Triple Jump Final on April 14, reiterated that for athletes to succeed, and for them to strive for greatness, incentive schemes and systems must be installed.
“We do need a plan. A significant amount of help from sponsors and the government is needed since athletes won’t be able to continue without support. It’s gratifying to represent Guyana, but there needs to be substantial backing and support.” Norton also noted that in preparation for the 2020 Olympics, “the government will be chipping in” to support the preparation for Doris and other potential Olympians. Ever since his arrival in the 592 four days ago, compliments of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Doris has been showered with praises and gifts from Minister of State, Joe Harmon, King’s Jewellery World, Mayor Patricia Chase-Green and the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA).