AAG eager to get onboard Sport Ministry’s Elite Training Programme
President of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG), Aubrey Hutson, says the Association is eager for the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport’s Elite Training programme to commence so the country’s top track and field athletes can be exposed to high-level training.
Lack of facilities, exposure and finances are often the biggest bugbears for national sport associations in Guyana.
The Sport Ministry’s Elite Training Programme, while not being a panacea for those issues, will start developing more professional and high-performing athletes in Guyana and such benefits have enthused Hutson on a possible partnership with the Ministry.
“We had athletes that received funding that really and truly disappoint us because they thought the funding was a salary and not a stimulus for you to do better; they started to collect the money and just throwback,” Hutson related to the News Room Sport in a recent interview.
“We want athletes to now use that funding whenever it comes to reinvest in themselves, especially in the area of their athletics career. Don’t use this money to put up curtains in your house or fix a step. This money is for you to buy supplements, ensure you pay your physio and get the right gear for training.”
The AAG head felt for such a culture to change, they need to demand certain expectations from the athletes.
“We would love to partner with the Government of Guyana in executing such a programme,” Hutson indicated.
Sport Minister Charles Ramson Jr. recently indicated that once the COVID-19 situation improves, they will commence the Elite Programme.
“Once we come out of COVID, we will able to have academy programmes running for a period of time. The intention is, out of tournaments, the best players will go into a camp where they will be paid a stipend for that period of time and all that they will be doing is playing their respective sport.”
The Minister had previously stated Elite Training Programmes are necessary to push athletes to the next level.
Of the $1.5 billion budgeted to facilitate development programmes throughout the country, the sum of $618 million will be utilised to host tournaments, maintain sport facilities and support select sport associations.
A total of $320 million is budgeted towards professional training of athletes and coaches as part of the “Sports Academy” programme.