The prospect of being able to focus on sport only, while being subsidised for training in their respective disciplines, is the dream of many Guyanese athletes.
Getting up to speed with the international sport world, Guyana has made financial provisions for a sporting academy to be instituted.
Earlier this year, the 2021 $1.5B Budget for Sport had indicated that athletes will have the opportunity to ‘go pro’ in an academy system. Now, Subject Minister Charles Ramson Jr. has shed some more light on the way it would be executed.
Speaking at the American Chamber of Commerce’s launch for their Youth Entrepreneurship Programme (YEP) on Tuesday, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr., highlighted that this would be a first for the nation.
“So, for the first time in the country, we now have a line in our budget for a Sports Academy. For the first time in our country!” the Minister boasted.
Delving into the Ministry’s plan for the Academy, Ramson explained that the intention is to train sport prodigies from their teenage years.
“The Ministry is going to be supporting, through our Sports Academy, a nursery for all of the core sports; which means that from the ages of 14 to I think 21 or so, all of the core sports will have their nurseries and then as we get out of tournaments, you’ll have an elite training academy,” Ramson explained.
Graduating from the nursery programme, Guyana’s ‘elite’ athletes will then be paid a stipend.
The Minister went on to reveal, “The elite training academy is intended that when you have the above-average players, they go into the academy where they are paid a stipend for the time that they are in there.”
“All these are new initiatives,” he added.
Back in February, in presenting what has been heralded as the largest budget allocation for Sport in Guyana’s history, Dr Ashni Singh revealed that $320M of Sports’ $1.5B budget will be used to implement a ‘Sport Academy’. The Academy, according to the budget, will benefit athletes and coaches. (Jemima Holmes)