Sport Minister building community partnerships to drive development

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By Akeem Greene

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr., on Saturday visited several grounds in West Demerara and East Bank Essequibo as part of his continued efforts to engage communities directly on their needs for development.

Some of the grounds are in good condition, while others are in a dire state. The Minister promised to partner with the relevant authorities to see how best the Ministry can get the facilities back to a respectable state.

His first stop was the Tuschen ground, arguably the best of the lot. The executives were applauded for their efforts in maintaining the ground to a standard.

Ramson Jr. noted: “You could have simply complained about not getting assistance, but you made a concerted effort to get the job done.”

“I have already sent over G$2 Million to this ground [and] that is only the beginning. Having visited several grounds across the country, grounds are not in good condition and this is one is in fairly decent condition.”

At all of his engagements, the Minister was resolute on the need for the development of partnerships in order to sustain the facilities.

“Countries can only be built in a framework of partnership; partnership with all the relevant stakeholders who have been placed in responsibility, partnership with community and families.”

Sport Minister Charles Ramson Jr. (left) and members of his team inspect the Tuschen Sport Club

He reminded the gathering of Guyanese cricketing greats Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Rohan Kanhai, all of whom went on to dominate world cricket, and came out of small communities, much like the ones he visited.

To restart churning out such quality athletes, better facilities are the requirement, but the responsibility will also be placed on the community.

“When is the last time we were able to produce world-class greats? It is not happening anymore, and part of the reason is, you need better administration, you need better facilities, you also need better training programmes.”

“I am working on better facilities and better training programmes, but I need your help to work on better administration.”

The Ministry will be rolling out tournaments in different sport disciplines to select above-average athletes for focused training, in keeping with plans to create an elite cadre of local sportsmen and women.

“Tournaments are going to be key drivers of talent development across the country for which I have requested a large sum from the Ministry of Finance which I will know in the next few weeks what will become available.”

“The more that tournaments play, the more you will get persons active, participating in training and as they showcase themselves and shine in the tournament, we then pair them up with the elite training programmes which we are developing currently.”

The Minister told the gatherings that some grounds will have to be developed not solely for cricket, but also into one which the entire community can access for other family activities.

During Saturday’s outreach, Minister Ramson also donated cricket equipment to some clubs.

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