Sport Ministry makes initial contribution to Olympic-bound athletes
Minister of Sport Charles Ramson Jr. on Friday afternoon made an initial contribution on behalf of the government of Guyana to assist athletes who would be representing the nation at the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games in July-August.
Four of the young Guyanese- boxer Keevin Allicock, table tennis player Chelsea Edghill, 400m runner Aliyah Abrams and Paralympic athlete Walter Grant-Stuart- were in attendance at the Ministry’s Boardroom, where they met with Minister Ramson Jr., Director of Sport Steve Ninvalle and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Kashif Muhammad.
“Their airfare and accommodation are both taken care of, so we’re currently giving them each US$1,000 for their leisure, and (to) assist (them) during the time they’re there,” Minister Ramson Jr. highlighted.
“These athletes that are representing us, these are Guyana’s children and we have to be proud of Guyana’s children.”
“They’re not representing the government of Guyana, they’re not representing themselves alone or they’re not representing their families, they’re representing all Guyanese. When they fly that flag, all of us feel proud, so I didn’t want them to leave without knowing that first of all Guyana stands by them, that the government is going to stand by them as well, and that this is the beginning, it’s not the end.”
The quartet expressed appreciation for the support, as they vowed to proudly represent the Golden Arrowhead on the biggest stage of all.
While adding to Guyana’s lone Olympic medal is the ultimate aim, Minister Ramson Jr. said the expectation is for every athlete to give it their best shot.
“When teams leave, when players leave, I keep reminding them that they have an additional obligation and that is to inspire a generation of people coming behind them. A lot of times when people see examples, they emulate those examples,” the Minister related.
“We want medals obviously. In fact, the government would treat the acquisition of medals in a very different way, and we want to encourage you to get your medals. But you also need to understand that every single time and every single moment that you get out there, there are a lot of people that are looking towards you and that you’re inspiring them.”
The Tokyo Olympic Games would be held from July 23 to August 8.
Boxer Michael Parris is the only Guyanese to win an Olympic medal, copping bronze at the 1980 Games in Moscow.