Director of Sport to be named soon- Sport Minister

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Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr. has said the Ministry plans to appoint a Director of Sport at the close of the Budget sessions. A probe would also be launched to assess the operations of the National Sports Commission since its commissioning.

The Minister made those statements during his presentation in the Budget debate at the National Assembly on Friday.

“The National Sport Commission was appointed in 2017 and in two years, they had three meetings. They never laid in this Parliament, they never had audited statements. They never laid in this Parliament as they’re required to do by the Act…never submitted reports to the previous Minister. The entire place was in a disaster,” he said.

Minister Ramson said the Ministry has also found that taxpayers’ money to construct synthetic athletic tracks in Regions Six and Ten were mismanaged, and the projects far behind schedule.

“The only project was done in the last administration, it started in 2018. They said that it would have been completed in 2019. Then he [the previous subject minister] went back and said that it would have been completed in 2020. It is 2021 and it’s still not completed, but the People’s Progressive Party will come and finish your job,” he said.

In 2018, BK International Incorporated was awarded a $141 million contract for the track at Burnham Park, New Amsterdam, Berbice, while Builders Hardware and General Supplies obtained the $179 million contract for the one at the Bayroc Community Centre Ground, Wismar, Linden.

The Minister also slammed the Opposition for wasting $20 million to establish a community ground in Region Six, which cannot be used since it looks like a “jungle.” He said the former Government had also obtained sport gear that had dry rot and was not fit for distribution.

Minister Ramson said community grounds were also in shambles, as his team found when they assessed those at Burnham Park, the Albion Sports Complex, Port Mourant, Chesney Ballfield, Canfield, Agricola, Golden Fleece, Reliance, Lima, Anna Regina, Jai Hind, Hampshire, Crabwood Creek and others.  As such, provisions were made to address the challenges at those grounds.

The Sport Minister said the Government has done much more for the people in the six months that they have been in office, than the former Government did during its entire tenure.

“We have tapped into an untapped resource which we found – that the country wants to be able to build with this Government. When I entered the Ministry, it only had 6,000 likes on Facebook. Today, it has over 22,000 likes and 25,000 followers, and we will be launching our website in another few weeks as it is in the final stages,” he said. Minister Ramson said this is just the beginning of his Ministry’s programmes as it intends to foster significant sport development countrywide. (DPI)

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