Guyana’s Junior Pan Am team to depart for Games today

…as Juman-Yassin urges athletes to conduct themselves well

The number in Guyana’s delegation for the first-ever Pan American Junior Games has gone up to 30, inclusive of Coaches and officials, as the Games are set to begin later this week in Colombia.
Guyana’s contingent for the Junior Pan American Games was, last Friday, named by the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA), and includes Chef-de-Mission Deirdre Baynes-Edghill and physiotherapist Jana Edghill.

A few of Guyana’s Junior Pan Am athletes across the disciplines

While the locally-based players on the team are expected to depart Guyana between Monday evening and today, GOA President KA Juman-Yassin had a special charge for the young athletes, urging them to be good ambassadors of Guyana.
“I want to tell you, going there, you are representing Guyana. You are representing Guyana and as such, you have to conduct yourself in such a way that when persons see you, they will say ‘yes that is a [good] person, where is she from? She’s from Guyana, they are good people, they are people who behave themselves’,” Juman-Yassin stated, speaking directly to the athletes.
The GOA boss went on to urge, “So, I ask you, ensure you conduct yourself in a way that would not be disrespectful to the society of Colombia and that would be respectful, as we would want it, in Guyana.”

GOA President KA Juman-Yassin

Meanwhile, Chef-de-Mission Baynes-Edghill said that it was a personal honour to be a part of the team and encouraged the athletes to also appreciate the significance of the inaugural event.
“As we prepare to depart on this journey at the first Junior Pan Am Games, I wish for everyone to understand the experience when you get it, the next level where you would go. This is an honour to serve in this capacity as Chef and I hope to get all the cooperation possible,” Baynes-Edghill stated.
Along with a number of the Guyanese athletes present at the GOA’s Liliendaal headquarters for the briefing were the various Guyanese Coaches.
“All I can say is that it’s an Under-23 competition, my team is very young, but we’ll do the best that we can,” Squash Coach/Manager Garfield Wiltshire shared.
On the other hand, Athletics Coach Johnny Gravesande noted, “I’m very proud to know I [was] named the Coach of the athletics team and I’m willing to work hard for our country.”

Chef-de-Mission Deirdre Baynes-Edghill

Boxing Coach Terrence Poole, who is confident about what his team will be able to produce, opined, “So, I think Guyana have a fairly good chance in medalling in the boxing arena. I expect to see medals come in; I expect to see podium finishes, but the boxer is there to go and do it. The medal is waiting there, but they have to go and collect it.”
Another confident Coach/Manager was Narayan Ramdhani who explained, “They’ve been training very hard, all the time. They’ve been playing international players and stuff; they’ve been to tournaments. So, I’m looking for a good showing from them.”
Meanwhile, Swimming Coach Paul Mahaica shared one challenge that his team may face.
“I’m excited to see what these children will do. The only problem I have is with the high altitude that they would be going into, ‘cause we all know Guyana is below sea level and they will be going at a different altitude. But they’re training hard and they’re ready to go and perform at their best,” Coach Mahaica said.
Guyana’s team consists of: Athletics Coach Gravesande and athletes Chantoba Bright, Keliza Smith, Kenisha Phillips, Revon Williams and Noelex Holder; Badminton Coach Ramdhani and players Priyanna Ramdhani, Akili Haynes and Tyrese Jeffrey; Boxing Coach Poole and boxers Alesha Jackman, Travis Inverary and Patrick Harvey; Squash Coach Wiltshire and players Shomari Wiltshire, Michael Alphonso and Samuel Ince-Carvalhal; Swimming Coach Mahaica and swimmers Aleka Persaud, Leon Seaton, Patrice Mahaica and Paul Mahaica Jr; Table Tennis Coach Idi Lewis and players Miguel Wong and Jonathan Van Lange; and weightlifting team Esther Nurse and Sean Cozier.
The Junior Pan American Games are scheduled to begin on Thursday, November 25 and will run until Sunday, December 5. (Jemima Holmes)