Director of Sport open to partnership with GOA

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By Treiston Joseph

Director of Sport, Christopher Jones, is open to a better working relationship with the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA), after the return of K.A. Juman Yassin as President after the recently held elections.

Yassin, who has seen little results at the Olympic level during is 20-plus years as president, returned to the helm of the organisation unopposed in December.

Nevertheless, Jones noted that both sides will be meeting to try and find common grounds on the way forward for sport.

“The National Sports Commission is on schedule to meet with the executive of the Guyana Olympic Association to essentially iron out those objectives that the Guyana Olympic Association has set out to achieve likewise the National Sports Commission and see where there are areas in which we can collate and work together,” Jones revealed.

However, Jones noted that the National Sports Commission (NSC) will be monitoring the GOA’s proactive ways towards the development of sport or the lack thereof.

“Now recognising that the Guyana Olympic Association is the authority that has that responsibility to prepare a nation’s athletes for Olympics, is that we are hoping to see more emphasis being placed by the Guyana Olympic Association on those athletes by lending and giving more support to those associations that work with those athletes because that is the primary objective, to do exactly that,” Jones posited.

In addition, while Jones noted that Government has its role to play in the development of sport, the GOA’s lack of proactively moving sport forward would be a sad situation for the Olympic organisation.

“As a Government entity we can only lend support to the associations and we are limited in terms of what we can do because we have budget lines which we have to allocate and so forth… when you peruse the financial document of the Guyana Olympic Association you see there is essentially millions of dollars there that supposed to be used for that (athlete development) purpose and that’s why we would be placing emphasis on ensuring that the Olympic Association takes this responsibility more seriously because it is the complete opposite to have these funding for these purposes and not utilising it for that purpose,” Jones pinpointed.

Since Yassin’s rise to the helm of the Olympic Association in 1996, Guyana has only produced one Olympic finalist in Troy Doris.

However, with the NSC and the GOA looking for a better working relationship, maybe Guyana’s second Olympic medal might be on the horizon. Boxer Michael Paris is the country lone Olympic medallist with a bronze at the 1980 Moscow Games.

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