“I want to see a Sport Policy implemented” – GOA President

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Head of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA), K.A. Juman Yassin, has reignited the debate on the urgent need for a National Sport Policy to be drafted and implemented.

Calls have long been made for a Sport Policy to be implemented in an effort to safeguard athletes.

Yassin, on Tuesday (June 12) at press conference held at the GOA Liliendaal headquarters, said that the document needs to come to fruition soonest.

“I want to see a Sport Policy implemented. I want to see them put the incentives. I want to be able to see not only the government but the GOA, business sector all come together to make sure our athletes are almost 100% professionals, full time. I want to see that for the coaches also,” Yassin asserted.

According to Yassin, incremental implementation of programmes to assist athletes and coaches would be a good start. One of the changes could be the upgrade of facilities and better ways of rewarding athletes.

“I know we can’t get everything, but I need to see a bit more facilities, a bit more infrastructure, sports medicine. There are a lot of thing but I don’t expect them overnight, but a lot of things should be done and are not being done”, the Senior Counsel further contended.

It is hard to attribute blame as to whose fault it is there is no policy since both successive administrations while in the office failed to bring a substantial document to be tabled in the parliament.

The last episode of another feeble attempt to bring the document to light occurred last year when Minster Nicolette Henry whose portfolio included sport, held consultations with Sports Federation and Associations.

A reshuffling in government occurred and Dr. George Norton became the new Sport Minister. In April this year, he was reported as saying, it is absolutely necessary to get the document completed and time must be allowed for the production of a policy that ensures everyone benefits from the power of sports.

According to the Department of Public Information, Norton stated, “We are hoping before the end of the first half of the year we would have it [the National Sports Policy] completed.”

It was highlighted by the minister that information gathered from consultations carried out in 2015 through 2017 will be used to formulate the policy. However, it was pointed out that more work needs to be done if the document is to cater for Guyanese countrywide.

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