“I am seeking to build relationships of trust and confidentiality” – Minister Ramson Jr.
Sport Minister Charles Ramson Jr, meets GFF President Wayne Forde
New Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport (MCY&S), Charles Ramson Jr, on Tuesday met President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Wayne Forde, by way of a courtesy call Forde made in response to the Minister’s invitation to meet; and there was emphasised the importance of creating strategic partnerships to enable the development of sports, and football in particular.
Forde used the opportunity to update Minister Ramson Jr on some of the key initiatives being undertaken by the GFF.
The encounter was held at the Racquet Centre on Woolford Avenue, and Forde was accompanied by GFF Executive Committee member Dion Inniss, while Mr. Kashif Muhammed accompanied the Minister.
Forde, in congratulating the Minister and giving GFF’s commitment for a long-term and mutually-beneficial partnership to advance football development, noted the impact these partnerships have on the human capital – the thrust of the investment.
“…because, at the core, sports organisations are essentially in the business of human development, which is a primary nation-building objective. Football is a key example of how that takes place. Those of us who are blessed with the privilege to manage football will say to you that less than one percent of every human being that comes into contact with the game from a playing standpoint will go on to play professionally. So, the vast majority of humans that participate in football, whether they start at the early grassroots level or older, will take away the fundamental human values that football teaches, and will most likely go on to lead a wholesome, responsible and productive life,” Forde explained.
“With football, we develop a passion for winning; we also learn to lose gracefully. We learn to respect the rules of the game and the importance of identifying a figure of authority, who is usually the coach. These are the hallmarks of the football experience,” Forde detailed.
The GFF President noted the investment being made on student-athlete scholarships as well as infrastructural projects in train, including the FIFA and CONCACAF-supported projects.
These projects include the country’s first exclusive Football Technical Training Centre, which is currently under construction at Providence, EBD, and the Durban Park Complex.
The Durban Park Complex, for which the Denmark FA will provide engineering assistance, will consist of a playfield for international matches as well as a number of mini pitches for the promotion of grassroots football, to which the surrounding communities will have unlimited access.
“The GFF is committed to cultivating partnerships that would lead to the holistic development of the sport at every level,” said Forde. “We will surely do our part, and that is my assurance to you, under my leadership.”
For his part, Minister Ramson has promised to bring a proactive approach to the management of sports in Guyana. He noted that there has to be a holistic approach to reviving sports, with associations and federations each playing a major role.
The Minister stated that his aim would be to build relationships of trust, cooperation and confidentiality among all stakeholders, to advance sports. He promised that the GFF can look forward to the full support of the Sport Ministry. “We want to be able to collaborate, first and foremost; to be able to get football with all the main sports functioning at an optimum level, so that we can get young people playing sports, harnessing young talent for the bigger stage,” Minister Ramson explained.
While acknowledging the challenges that come with his vision for the development of the sport, which includes infrastructure, the Minister said institutional partnerships are key to harness the young talent that is available here. He pointed out that there’s a huge difference between “just being good and being great.”
“With us here, you’ve got friends who understand the importance of building it from the ground up, and that have similar objectives to be able to work together for a common goal. So, it’s a win-win situation for us to be able to collaborate in a major way to get things done,” he explained.
The aim, Ramson said, is for the Sport Ministry to interface with the various federations and associations on a regular basis.
“It would obviously require for you to dance with me, because I cannot dance alone. I just want you to know this is where we stand: collaboration. Know that you have access; know that your Government is here to work with you. You would have far more weight in whatever you do in your own operation and relations with your international parent body to say that your Government is assisting in this regard. It adds a lot of weight and credibility to you and your operations. So, I want you to know that this is the basis on which we start, and how we will proceed,” Minister Ramson said.
Minister Ramson further noted: “What you’re not going to get from me is laziness. It would be a very proactive operation on my end, and lots of energy.”
Ramson and Forde have both pledged to meet regularly in the ensuing months and years, as they seek to further advance the development of the world’s most beautiful game.