Home for Rugby key agenda item for GRFU
By Akeem Greene
When executives of the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) meet with the new Minister of Sport, Charles Ramson Jr., presenting a solid case for a home for Rugby will be high on the agenda, according to President Ryan Dey.
Minister Ramson Jr. has been meeting with the various National Sport Federations and Associations, to understand their concerns and vision.
Though he has not met with the GRFU as yet, Dey explained that plans are afoot for that meeting, in which he wants to re-engage the government about finding a permanent home for the sport.
“I have been preaching this since I started as the President; we need a home that we can call our own and that is our main aim and that is what we really want to drive home to the new administration so that we can be self-sufficient,” he told News Room Sport on Tuesday.
“With being self-sufficient and having a place to call our home and having guys train at any time, we can hold tournaments where we can have monetary gains from these tournaments. That’s our main aim and driving force, to get our own rugby ground.”
The former national player added, “Why [we] need our home of our own so [that] we can have our guys training when it is beneficial to them. For example, in the National Park we have guys coming off of work at 16:30h and they have to reach to training for 16:00h. If we have our own ground with lights, the guys can come out like 18:00h and we can start seeing better players come out of Guyana because they will now have time to train and do other social activities.”
In February 2019, the Government of Guyana signed Memoranda of Understanding with the Guyana Hockey Board (GHB) and the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), paving the way for the construction of artificial surfaces for the two sport disciplines, West of the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown.
Dey, who was elected February of this year, indicated the proposed area is in close proximity to the aforementioned site.
“We were in talks with the previous government of our ground being alongside these other sport disciplines, but I think during some time the communication broke down so that’s why we are trying to pick things back up. We already have a proposal on how the ground should be situated and the area where the ground can go. So we are awaiting on our turn when we can meet the new Minister and have a rapport with him about our goals for 2020 and beyond.”
In 2017, the National Sports Commission in collaboration with the National Parks Commission undertook operation restoration on the Rugby Field in the National Park, but it is still to be completed.
On June 27, 2018, then Director of Sport, Christopher Jones, explained to News Room Sport, he was hopeful for a year-end completion of the project which was stalled due to “a combination of the weather and a lack of material”.
Dey said they had proposals on how to best develop a temporary home, but nothing much has developed as yet.
“When we meet the new Minister we will bring up all of these stuff. We had a quotation done recently for the rehabilitation for the ground; in the meantime we try to find a ground of our own, but we already have the quotation, it is just a matter of reaching the Minister.”
Dey indicated that quotation is to the tune of approximately GYD$3 million.
From 2006 to 2016, Guyana won eight Caribbean Sevens titles, including six on the trot from 2006.