Minister Norton pledges Govt’s commitment to CARIFTA athletes
The athletes who represented the nation at the various CARIFTA Games over the past week were honoured Thursday evening at the Pegasus Hotel, where Minister of Social Cohesion Dr George Norton told the gathering of parents and athletes the Government is steadfast on offering support.
While the Minister did not openly promise scholarships, as done in 2017, he zoomed in on infrastructural development aimed at making them better prepared for top tier competition.
This is in light of the Athletics Association of Guyana hosting the 2021 CARIFTA Track and Field Championships.
“I can assure the construction of synthetic tracks in Linden and Berbice are on schedule and is expected to be completed by the end of 2019 then you would have brand new tracks to improve, so come 2021 you should be better prepared.”
The Minister added, “it is much easier for us just like they did in Cayman Islands where they laid the synthetic material over the track they had before that was deteriorating and I do not think that is too far an objective especially if we want to host the 2021 Games.”
Norton expressed delight at the output of the Guyanese and charged those who did not medal to work harder and strive for excellence next outing.
Director of Sport Christopher Jones noted these athletes are ambassadors of the nation and they have done the country truly proud.
The 21 track and field athletes, a record number attending the championships in the Cayman Islands, also produced a record of ten medals – four gold, two silver and four bronze – which placed them fourth on the overall standings.
Jamaica (85 medals), The Bahamas (26 medals) and Trinidad and Tobago (24 medals), were the top performers.
For swimming, they won five medals – three gold, two bronze, but all the stellar exploits of Aleka Persaud; that championship was held in Barbados and five other Guyanese attended.
Chess was staged in Curacao where Guyana finished fifth in the ten-country competition, amassing a total of 36.5 points. It was also announced Guyana will host the Junior Chess championships in 2020.