Sport transcends all hindrances to unite our people

Dear Editor,
All Guyanese welcome home our CARIFTA Games athletes. It cannot be denied that athletics/running is the oldest sporting event. However, in the English-speaking Caribbean, powerhouses Jamaica are the true champions. Guyana, with world-class facilities and equipment, are now moving up the ladder. After the 51st CARIFTA Games, Guyana were in fourth position on the Medals table.
Sport is the most attractive business in the world today. It is the purest and most powerful project that we can embark on. In Guyana, we did not benefit from world-class sports facilities from our colonial masters. However, it was the PPP/C Government that recognized the significance of sport in the development of our people and country.
The initiative of Bharrat Jagdeo, as Finance Minister, certainly kick-started the development of sports facilities in Guyana. It is due to his tremendous efforts and genuine interest in sport that this country was able to develop its sports infrastructure around the country. Today we can celebrate the fact that our young population has access to a world-class athletics track at Leonora, which is fully equipped with all the requirements for track-and-field events.
Further, it is most heartening to know that our citizens in Upper-Demerara /Linden are now beneficiaries of a modern athletics track, and our citizens in Berbice, Regions 5 and 6, will soon have access to a world-class facility at New Amsterdam. These massive investments will certainly give rise to more well-trained and equipped athletes participating in sports. As a result, we will have a higher level of local competition, which would lead to better performances on the international stage.
Our sportsmen and women are benefiting greatly from the tremendous assistance offered by our Government. Better and world-class facilities, international equipment, international exposure and coaching, and mental and physical preparedness training are all vital resources that are now available to our athletes.
Sports, preparation from the cradle to the grave is now available to our sports personalities.
The Sports Resource Center at Woolford Avenue must now be fully operable. Coaching and training in all aspects of sports development must help to strengthen our sports development programme. Our club structure must be more organized, and we must have nurseries at all clubs. We must have competitive sports at an early age. Our children must be exposed to a variety of sports disciplines, so they can develop a positive attitude towards sports, and then genuine interest will be seen in specific disciplines.
As a very young age, our children should develop an interest in a particular sport discipline, the coaches and trainers will follow up with the appropriate guidance to produce great athletes.
All eyes are now on Tianna Springer, Athaleyha Hinckson, Malachi Austin, Narissa McPherson, Nelson Gill and Kaidon Persaud. However, we need to bring back the competitive county and country games. The early exposure, along with competitive training, would give rise to champions.
Sport is a must. It transcends all hindrances to the unity of our people. We must remember that an active nation is a healthy nation, and a healthy nation is a wealthy nation!
The realisation of President Ali’s vision of One Guyana will certainly be hastened and strengthened by our success in sports.
Neil Kumar