$320M for pro athletes, coaches in Sport’s $1.5B budget
Guyana will be stepping into a new age of sport, as local athletes may soon have the opportunity to ‘go pro.’ This is following a whopping allocation for professional athletes and coaches in Sports’ $1.5B 2021 budget.
For 2021, Sport has seen its largest ever allocation after Dr. Ashni Singh announced a mammoth sum during Friday’s Budget Presentation at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal.
The Budget, focused on the development of sport in all areas – such as training, infrastructure and administration – sees $915.5M being allotted to the improvement of community grounds countrywide, to expand their use as parks and create premium, multi-purpose sporting facilities of international standards, commencing in Regions 2, 6 and 10.
A new venture being seen in the budget is the $320M allocation for professional training of athletes and coaches as part of a “Sports Academy” programme.
Sport Minister Charles Ramson Jr expounded on the venture, noting that it is geared at fostering talent.
“You may have heard me speak on a number of occasions on what’s the method to develop sporting talent, which incidentally is no different from the development of any talent for young people. The application of their craft! That’s the first part,” Ramson indicated.
He continued explaining the initiative by stating, “The opportunity to apply your craft and learning how to develop your craft; and the second part, which is about the finisher. It’s about your coaching and training and access to really exceptional facilities. That is the combination that we’re going to be applying, (which) is different, coming out of this budget.”
“Hopefully we’ll see that translate into a lot of sports development talent,” the Sport Minister added.
Another $618M was budgeted to support sport associations, maintain facilities, and to host tournaments. This, Ramson explained, will not be distributed in a willy-nilly fashion, as he expects accountability from the sports associations.
“And that’s why we’re pressing for better accountability in administration from sports associations. Having regular elections and that they’re able to present their financial statements etc, having constitutions, have regular meetings, that they know their membership and that the engage their membership quite frequently,” Ramson stated.
“A number of those things we’ve been doing so that we could build the capacity of sport administrations,” the Minister declared.
Other plans on the agenda include the hosting of a sports conference for associations, athletes and officials. (Jemima Holmes)