Director of Sport, Christopher Jones has stated clearly that absolutely no athletes will be sleeping in schools whilst encamped ahead of the national Three-Stage Cycling meet slated for November 5 and 6.
Jones had made this statement prior to the conclusion of the Inter-Guiana Games on Sunday at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, Mandela Avenue.
The Director of Sport indicated that this had started when he took over leadership and will never return to such lows under his watch.
“When I came into office cyclists were sleeping in schools on benches and on the floors but what we did last year was all these athletes were accommodated in hotels.” Jones explained.
The Director of Sport said that there is a special gratification in seeing the athletes comfortable and pointed out that there will be similar accommodations for the riders as well as adequate security in the upcoming national Three-Stage cycling meet on November 5 and 6.
“I really and truly don’t see it as anything grandiose, but the complete opposite that you could have an athlete sleep on a bench, it is ridiculous.” Jones added “moving forward any athlete as it relates to accommodation could not be in sleeping in a school, at least not under my watch.”
As it relates to security for the riders, the Director of Sport highlighted that there was already discussions with the Guyana Police Force after facing challenges of this nature last year and in many other races but is expected to be different.
“We have indicated the importance of having police outriders and we will have to stress the importance of having the roads closed off and cleared because of the danger it poses to the cyclist.” Jones noted.
Jones also pointed out that the National Sports Commission is doing everything in its power to support the Three-Stage race, as Vice President of the Guyana Cycling Federation; Paul Choo-wee-nam indicated that the NSC has provided $400,000 for the meet and the preparations are going well so far.
The riders will start off from Carifesta Avenue on Saturday, November 5 and go up the East Coast to Mahaicony and back before embarking on a time trial of three and a half miles on the same day to Plaisance and back to Carifesta Avenue where the race began.
The following day the riders will be taking part in a 30 lap race around the Outer circuit of the National Park.
In the previous Five-Stage races, the first leg takes place in East Berbice, the second leg is from Rosignol to Georgetown, the third leg is on the road ways of West Demerara while the fourth stage is in Essequibo and the closing stage is from to Linden Georgetown. Team Gillette Evolution’s Raul Leal is the defending champion.