Hockey Board, Sport Minister discuss ‘home for hockey’ development
Executives of the Guyana Hockey Board (GHB) recently met with Sport Minister Charles Ramson Jr. to discuss a range of topics regarding the development of the game in Guyana.
The meeting formed part of a strategic effort by the Minister to have dialogue with the associations to foster growth and development of the respective disciplines.
President of the GHB, Philip Fernandes, was accompanied by Vice-president Robert Fernandes and Secretary Tricia Fiedtkou and they discussed possible areas of collaboration with the Sport Minister.
A presentation was done by the Hockey Board members, outlining their intention of utilising the plot of land at Durban Park, Georgetown, which they acquired under the previous government.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the government and the Hockey Board, and the executives are hoping they can now have a lease, which will allow them to use the space on a long-term basis to develop the sport.
Updating News Room on the meeting, Fernandes said they were very encouraged by the outcome, specifically as it relates to the development of an international standard facility for the game.
“The Minister was very receptive to the presentation. He indicated his support for the idea and the kind of development, and all the reasons that we put forward for its development, and while he didn’t commit a monetary figure, and we didn’t expect that at this stage, he did say that whatever the Ministry can do to assist they will try to do,” Fernandes explained.
“Our intention at the Hockey Board is to now develop on that proposal and try to see what support we can get from the International Federation and also from the private sector.”
Fernandes said the Hockey Board recognises the role of the government in helping to develop the game, but it does not intend to lay all the responsibility on the administration to make the facility a reality.
At the signing of the MoU in 2019, Fernandes spoke of a real opportunity to move the sport forward, as it will bring Guyana on par with the rest of the world, in terms of the modern surface that is used for training and competition.
Fernandes reasoned that the facility when completed will serve to expand the sport to young people who currently do not have access, since hockey is restricted to a few cricket clubs.
He also envisaged that the quality of players produced by Guyana would be significantly improved.
In an interview with News Room in April this year, Fernandes said that in order to have the lease to the plot of land, the Guyana Hockey Board must be incorporated.
He said they are in the process of getting that done before making another step in realising that much-needed home for hockey.