Hundreds graduate from NSC swim camp

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Hundreds of boys and girls on Tuesday morning graduated from the National Sports Commission’s (NSC) annual swim camp at the National Aquatic Centre, Liliendaal.

Parents and guardians turned out in their numbers at the closing ceremony to witness the children demonstrate what they learnt over the past six weeks.

The programme, which focused on the fundamentals of the sport, was coordinated by the NSC in partnership with the Ministry of the Presidency’s Department of Social Cohesion and the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA).

According to Supervisor of the Colgrain Pool, Desiree Cummings, the objectives of the camp were to help the participants to learn the art of swimming, remove fear from those who are fearful of the pool and to recognise their hidden talents.

Some of the participants putting on a display for the crowd

A total of 570 youngsters, by far the highest number in history, participated in the six-week programme; they split in two to undergo training at the Colgrain Pool and National Aquatic Centre.

Delivering feature remarks at the closing ceremony was Director of Sport, Christopher Jones.

“I impress upon the parents and guardians that entering your children into the summer programme is essentially the commencement of what we at the National Sports Commission hope to be a long-term investment in your children,” Jones told the gathering.

“But like many of the years before we see a continuing trend, which is not in the positive. Parents or guardians see the programme as simply an opportunity to get rid of their children in the day, to put it bluntly. But essentially this programme is geared for us to identify Guyana’s best talents as it relates to swimming.”

Director of Sport Christopher Jones addressing the gathering

In driving home the point of having a steady flow of new talents in the sport, Jones made reference to the Guyana contingent that placed fourth among nine nations at the Goodwill Swimming Championship in Suriname.

“But like every sport, in order for it to continue to grow we have to identify the new talents and it has to start at what we call the grassroot- at the very tender age. You heard Mr. (Ivan) Persaud (President of GASA) made mention that in the Goodwill Games Guyana was not able to participate in the Under-8 category because we had no Under-8 swimmer,” Jones highlighted.

He continued, “I’m pretty sure among the lot that we have here today you have children who are under the age of eight. So if you as parents or guardians do not continue to enroll your children in these programmes or sign them up to be part of one of the swim clubs you will be robbing that child the opportunity to represent the nation.”

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