Guyanese remember Robert Selman as ‘champion of sports’


Guyanese, especially those in the sports fraternity, have joined in mourning the passing of former head of Guyana Beverages Inc., Robert Selman.

Selman, who died on Monday last in his native Trinidad and Tobago at age 75, was an avid supporter of sports in Guyana, and played a big role in the realisation of many local competitions, especially in cricket and football.

During his tenure as General Manager of Guyana Beverages Inc., Selman developed a very solid relationship with key stakeholders in the sports fraternity. Besides willingly offering sponsorship to various events, the candid Selman was always keen on sharing advice on sports should be administered.

At almost all his media engagements, Selman, who was laid to rest on Friday, would reiterate the importance of sports as a tool of developing young people, thereby contributing to nation-building.

Among the organisations and individuals who have paid tribute to the late sports fanatic are the Guyana Football Federation, the Enterprise Busta Sports Club, the Essequibo Cricket Board, the Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club and former colleague Shameiza Yadram.

Below are those messages:

Robert Selman presenting football sponsorship to Wayne Forde, current president of the Guyana Football Federation

Guyana Football Federation (through president Wayne Forde): The passing of Mr. Robert Selman is a heartbreaking loss for the football fraternity. This enduring friend of Guyana’s football cast no boundaries to his benevolence and generosity. Beyond the vast span of investments in tournaments, development programmes and players welfare – Robby was a true friend, who genuinely cared about making a lasting impact on the lives of the young people of Guyana.

His most famous line “it is not who is right but rather, what is right” engendered a quality of principled leadership that was anchored in fairness. He always saw what was possible and for that – I would be forever thankful for the moments I spent in his counsel and the precious memories I must now carry for the rest of my life.

His legacy lives on through the GFF Kool Kidz Grassroots programme, PETRA Turbo Knockout and Fruta Conquerors Football Club.

On behalf of the Guyana Football Fraternity, I wish to convey my deepest condolences to his family and management and staff of the Guyana Beverage Inc.

Through Busta’s sponsorship, the Enterprise Sport Club has managed to maintain an active youth cricket programme

Enterprise Busta Sports Club: On behalf of the Enterprise Busta Sports Club and cricketing fans and supporters of Enterprise village, we would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family members of Mr. Robert Selman; also to the management and staff of the Guyana Beverage Inc. and the SM Jaleel family of Trinidad and Tobago

Mr. Selman has been associated with our club for a number of years and was very instrumental in supporting and assisting our club financially through sponsorship from Guyana Beverage Inc. and SM Laleel and with materials to improve the lives of our youths and cricket within the village and the East Coast through the annual Busta T20 Festival.

Mr. Selman was a motivator for our club and his contribution helped our players to become successful; some of them went on to represent our club at the various levels, from East Coast to Demerara to Guyana and even regional and international teams. Through his influence the club still maintain a strong relationship with the company through the Busta brand.

The Essequibo Cricket Board receiving support from Guyana Beverages Inc.

Essequibo Cricket Board: We are truly saddened by his passing. He was a true friend of Essequibo’s cricket and showed his commitment by causing his company to be our biggest and for a long period only sponsor of our cricket. We know his memory will live on and we wish his family and friends will draw strength from the fact that he has served with distinction.

Robert Selman presenting sponsorship to the Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club

Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club (through Secretary/CEO Hilbert Foster): On behalf of the Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club, I must express deep sadness on the death of our friend and supporter Mr. Robert Selman, who died on Monday last in his native homeland of Trinidad.

We knew that he was ailing, but his death has left a huge hole that would be very difficult to replace and personally I have lost a true friend, father figure and a mentor who is one of the main reason why my work at the RHTYSC, MS and BCB has been so successful.

I first met Mr. Selman in 2003 when he asked the RHTY&SC to organise the Busta Champion of Champions 40-over tournament in Berbice for his company.

The club and the BCB have hosted a total of 16 editions of the very popular tournament since then, while the relationship with the company has touched and changed thousands of lives in the Ancient County.

He was a remarkable human being, who was caring, humble and down to heart, despite his position. He had a strong passion to make sure that sport was used to improve the lives of less fortunate youths and to promote the importance of education and discipline.

The cricketing careers of numerous RHTY&SC members were made richer because of his love and encouragement. Robert Selman never said no to any of our requests and he was always available to give advice when we sought one.

Players like Esuan and Royston Crandon, Assad Fudadin, Shemaine Campbelle and Eon Hooper all benefitted from the support he provided for over 15 years.  In October 2015, he became the first recipient of our highest award- The Dolphin Award of Excellence- for his contribution to sports and youth development.

Despite not been a Guyanese, there are very few of our countrymen who can match his contribution to sports in our country. His support for cricket, football, cycling and other sports during his time in our country is well recorded.

The club, along with the BCB, would make sure that the memory of Robert Selman is kept alive by organising something in his memory. On behalf of the management and members of the RHTYSC, MS and the BCB, I would like to express our deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Robert Selman. It is our sincere hope that God would guide and protect you during this difficult time. May his soul rest in peace. Farewell dear brother and thanks for the rich memories you left behind.

Former Marketing Manager of Guyana Beverages Inc. Shameiza Yadram

Shameiza Yadram (former Marketing Manager at Guyana Beverages Inc.): Mr. Robert Selman was a champion of sports in Guyana. He reached out to the length and breadth of Guyana in most type of sports, but mostly cricket and football. He dedicated his life serving people, he worked all his life serving people, he was loved by all he came in contact. I had the pleasure of working besides him for 11 years, and he thought me all about marketing and business, how to deal with customers and all the tricks in business. He was a great boss; he had an open door policy- anyone can talk to him. He gave numerous donations without question; he was an inspiration to many. His contributions towards sports in general is second to none; even though he was not a Guyanese by birth he lived like a Guyanese and never thought differently. I admired his strength and knowledge of facing situations; he was a champion of the poor. May his soul rest in peace.

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