Sport Ministry making progress on multi-purpose Gymnasium, Ground Enhancement project
Sport Minister Charles Ramson Jr. has indicated that plans to transform the National Gymnasium into a quality multi-purpose facility are progressing well. Additionally, the Ministry will soon roll out the development stage of its ground enhancement programme.
Facilities in the compound of the National Gymnasium, located on Mandela Avenue, Georgetown, are currently undergoing massive development works, which when completed will serve multiple sport disciplines.
“We have major projects coming out of the National Gymnasium – one will be a new basketball court, and lights will also be installed so it can be used as a day/night facility. It is also expected to be a multi-purpose facility so that there would be a hive of activities at the location,” the Minister recently stated.
The Minister added that other disciplines such as Futsal, Volleyball and Tennis would benefit from the refurbished facility, and the area to the south is also under consideration for development to cater for other sport.
Additionally, the Ministry is discussing with a Private Sector company the possibility of building stands around the new courts. Tenders are also out for the construction of a new washroom facility at the Gymnasium.
Similar works are being done at the southern end of the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown.
The Ministry also intends to develop a basketball court in Prashad Nagar and those plans will fast-track after the Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association and the Mayor and City Council sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the care of the area.
“The intention is for basketball to have regular access to the Sports Hall as of now. The Guyana Basketball Federation would know that the team would have had access to this facility from the moment they requested even though we are in the COVID situation because we believe it is important you have practice while you are going into this qualifier (FIBA 2023 World Cup Americas Pre-qualifiers currently on in El Salvador).”
Ramson Jr. further explained that they will soon commence the next phase of the Ground Enhancement programme.
After a very aggressive assessment phase and initial remedial work, the attention will now be on a very aggressive developmental programme.
“Now we are going to do a very aggressive developmental programme where we are turning a number of grounds into leisure parks as well as some of the grounds to more sport specific in their orientation.”
The Minister plans on inviting the Sport Associations to grounds designated for specific disciplines so they can be engaged in the planning process.
Sport was given a major boost with $1.5 billion budgeted to facilitate development programmes throughout the country.
Of the overall amount, $915.5 million is allocated for the improvement of community grounds countrywide, to expand their use as parks, and create premium, multi-purpose, sporting facilities of international standards in Regions Two, Six and 10.