For years there has been the cry of the Guyana Hockey Board (GHB) to have its own facility, and with the indoor hockey facility housed at the National Gymnasium, discussions between the relevant parties hint to have the land located next to the Gymnasium become the home of outdoor hockey.
Speaking with Guyana Times Sport, President of the Guyana Hockey Board, Philip Fernandes has indicated that discussions over the prospects of this facility has indeed been ongoing for years, however, it is now beginning to take shape.
The Director of Sport, Christopher Jones, has stated that “When I got into office in 2015 I recognised that there is a land space available, in fact it is the property of the National Sports Commission (NSC) which is located on Mandela Avenue, it’s just next door to the National Gymnasium.”
Meanwhile Fernandes related that “At our last discussion with the Director of Sport we had a very interesting discussion relating to the issue of the land immediately to the south of the current gymnasium.”
He noted that “It is a great area and it would be good there is some structure on it in terms of a wall and when we last discussed it there were some uncertainties as to how to manoeuver around that obstacle. The Hockey Board would require the removal of that wall which comes at a cost and of course the cost of the wall had a cost to build.”
However, the land has its share of issues as it relates to ownership which has hindered the progression of the facility.
“Currently there is a situation between the sports commission and the municipality of Georgetown because some documentation they have showed that the land is property of the municipality where as in terms of the National Sports Commission that property is part of our act of 1993 and when we look in terms of documentation that goes further back the sports commission act is further back in terms of years of ownership. Once that issue is sorted out, that is the land the sports commission is looking at to make available to the hockey federation with a view of their international body putting down an artificial turf for hockey,” Jones related.
But looking to the future, the Hockey Board President reflected the opinion that he is hopeful there can be a finalisation as to whether the sport will have the green light or prospect another location.
“We are establishing a meeting hopefully sometime this month with the Director of Sport and that is one of the things we would like to discuss with him. So we hope we can get out of that meeting the finalisation of the use of that space,” he stated.