National Sports Policy currently being reviewed

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The National Sports Policy is currently under review, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr. has said.

Giving an update at the weekend on progress with the document, the Minister highlighted that a consultation process is underway to help chart a way forward.

“The Sports Policy now is currently being reviewed; it’s going through a very serious process of consultation. I’m also personally looking at the Sports Policy to see that it reflects the mission and the direction of the Ministry,” Ramson Jr. told reporters.

The Minister added that local Sport Associations would be apprised of the latest developments, from as soon as this Monday as the Ministry intends to have monthly sessions with these stakeholders.

“In addition to that (the review and consultation), once that is done and we amend the Sports Policy to reflect that direction, then we’re going to share it with the Associations once again, (and) have a working session with them,” he noted.

“When we start doing that we’re going to be able to tailor and make all the kinds of modifications of the Sports Policy that is sensible, as part of the consultation process. That then goes up to the Cabinet sub-committee and then it goes up to Cabinet for it to be laid over in Parliament at the appropriate time.”

The previous government had also held consultations with Associations, whose members were able to voice their opinions and make suggestions on what the document should entail.

Melissa Dow-Richardson, the then Assistant Director of Sport, who is the lead coordinator on the project, said back in 2017 that the aim of the consultations was to focus on the fundamental principles of sport, in addition to examining critical policy issues of the fraternity.

Other areas of focus of the public consultation were governance, accountability, ensuring a safe and secure environment, discrimination, harassment and athlete development.

Also addressed were subjects such as sport administration, coaching and training, sport financing, tourism and intellectual property rights. With regards to the media, specific focus was on their roles and responsibilities in addition to its rights.

In June 2018, Guyana Olympic Association President, K.A. Juman-Yassin, made a call for the Policy to be implemented, and outlined his expectations.

“I want to see them put the incentives. I want to be able to see not only the government but the GOA, business sector all come together to make sure our athletes are almost 100% professionals, full time. I want to see that for the coaches also,” Yassin asserted.

According to Yassin, incremental implementation of programmes to assist athletes and coaches would be a good start. One of the changes could be the upgrade of facilities and better ways of rewarding athletes.

“I know we can’t get everything, but I need to see a bit more facilities, a bit more infrastructure, sport medicine. There are a lot of thing but I don’t expect them overnight, but a lot of things should be done and are not being done,” Yassin contended.

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