The PPP/C Government allocated a massive $4.3 billion for the further development of sports in our country. In the year 2023 our sport fraternity will certainly benefit from the construction and completion of several sport facilities around the country. It is indeed heartening to know that the sum of $4.3 billion is a significant increase from 2022 when the budgeted sum was $2.2 billion, and this year’s allocation almost tripled the 2021 allocation, which was $1.5 billion.
The world class synthetic track at Lenora, West Coast Demerara was built by the PPP/C Government.
It is indeed a pity, that the Guyana Athletic Association is not making the fullest use of the facility. Further, during the five years that the APNU/AFC was in Government there was no proper management in place to maintain the facility. However, the PPP/C Government is developing that world class Lenora facility which is also the venue for the football fraternity to play International football tournaments.
It was extremely sad and painful to listen to the comments made by the PNC/ “barber” about this world class facility. I am awaiting the condemnation of his deplorable comments during his budget speech by the sport associations.
It was the APNU/AFC Government that decided and started to build the two synthetic tracks in New Amsterdam and Linden. I would like to see the audit of the National Sport Commission during the five years that they were in Government. Millions of dollars were allocated and spent on the two facilities but there is nothing to show what the money was spent on. However, this transparent and accountable PPP/C Government will complete and make these two facilities available to our athletes in Linden and New Amsterdam.
It is now time for our national sport associations to wake up and stop sporting with sport. All National Sports Associations must hold their Annual General Meetings, all associations must produce their annual financial audits and they must produce proper annual work programmes.
The construction of the National Resource Centre was the vision of the PPP/C Government. It is imperative that proper training programmes be organised and we must follow and make the resource centre the fore-runner of our sport college. All our sport associations must be prepared to work together so that our coaches, managers, physios, physical trainers along with all the sports developers and facilitators can be properly trained and equipped for the challenges and success that we are looking forward to.
The 2023 budget is catering for the construction of several multi-purpose sport facilities in the hinterland. Our schools’ athletics programme has confirmed that there are very good athletes in the Amerindian communities. We need to give our hinterland communities the opportunities to produce world class track and field athletes, footballers, boxers, swimmers and volleyball players. Our Indigenous population must rise to the occasion and compete with the best in the world.
The development of sport facilities, particularly community grounds, in all the regions will further enable greater participation in sport activities. With this massive investment in sports, it is imperative that we see a greater number of sport clubs in the communities. With the formation of active sport clubs, we will see the development of strong club structures which must lead to better and more functional regional sport associations with the establishment of functional national sport associations.
President Irfaan Ali’s One Guyana initiative will be further strengthened with our nation united by sports.