Late arrival of tent stalls swim camp closing ceremony
‘Ridiculous’. ‘No respect for time’. ‘I got things to do’. ‘They need to do better’.
Those were just some of the reactions of parents who turned up in sweltering heat on Friday morning to attend the closing ceremony of the annual swimming camp at the National Aquatic Centre, Liliendaal.
It was meant to be a day of honour and achievement for parents and their child/children, who attended the Learn to Swim Programme over the past few weeks.
However, it turned out, at least initially, to be one of frustration and anger.
Some parents indicated that they were invited “to be seated by 09:30h” to allow for a prompt start at 10:00h. With no seating arrangements set up, they were left to stand around the club house, and sit around the pool.
A coach later informed News Room that, according to his understanding, the uncovered stand to the east of the centre was the area designated for parents to be seated. It appears that was not communicated to the parents.
Media operatives were also informed of a 10:00h start, via correspondence from the National Sports Commission on Thursday, and several media house representatives were present by that time.
As the clock ticked, some reporters decided to make enquiries, only to be told by a staff of the facility that a tent, which was on its way to the venue, was causing the hold up.
The tent, which was to provide shelter for the participants of the camp during the formal aspect of the ceremony, arrived at 10:30h. At 11:30h, the tent was still being assembled.
In an invited comment, Director of Sport Christopher Jones said, “Essentially, the company that we recruited to tent the pavillion never turned up until after 10 this morning to start erecting same. That is what essentially caused over an hour delay in the actual start of the programme.”
Despite the hiccup, Jones said the camp in itself was a major success. “It was a very successful camp,” he said.
The Director pointed out that the number of participants doubled from the previous years, with over 600 young boys and girls being part of the activities, which focussed on the fundamentals of the sport.
“What we did differently this year as well is that at the closing ceremony we invited the various swim clubs that currently use the pool and parents were given an opportunity to essentially sign up or register their children to be part of the swim club,” Jones explained.
The camp was a collaborative effort of the National Sports Commission and the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was updated to include a comment from the Director of Sport Christopher Jones.