‘Be good Ambassadors of your country’- GOA President urges Junior Pan Am team
By Avenash Ramzan
The team of athletes and officials donning the Golden Arrowhead on their chest at the Junior Pan American Games from November 25 to December 5 in Cali and Valle del Cauca, Colombia, would be recorded in history as the first set of Guyanese to represent the nation at Pan Am Sports newest showpiece.
The inaugural multi-sport event, geared to create a pathway to higher performance, will cater to athletes aged 17 to 22 competing in over 25 disciplines.
Approximately 3,500 of the world’s next generation of athletes would converge on the South American nation.
“The Pan American Games are the most important multi-sport event in America. They have been held every four years since 1957 and Cali hosted the VI version of them in 1971. The Junior version was born from these Games and will be held for the first time in 2021 in Cali and Valle del Cauca,” Pan Am Sports said.
“The objective of this dream is to promote the new generations of athletes, as well as to make new talents visible and support the development of sports in the junior categories through their participation in high level events.”
With the realisation of these Games, Pan Am Sports seeks to make sports transitional; to create a link of social action between sports, culture and citizen education, demonstrating what youth is capable of when setting a goal.
Kalam Juman-Yassin, the long-serving President of the Guyana Olympic Association, delivered the charge to the Guyanese athletes and officials on Friday afternoon, as they prepare to embark on the historic journey, one that could potentially shape their budding careers.
He emphasised the need for them to be good Ambassadors and role models.
“You are representing Guyana…and I ask you wherever you go, ensure you conduct yourself in a way that would not be disrespectful to the society of Colombia, and would be as respectful as we would want it in Guyana,” Juman-Yassin urged the athletes and officials.
The administrator also cautioned the athletes about what they consume, noting that they have a proud Guyanese tradition to upkeep.
“Careful what you drink and what you eat because you can be selected to have a doping test,” the GOA head highlighted.
“We’ve never had anybody who has gone to represent Guyana abroad who has fallen foul of the anti-doping laws…and I don’t expect there would be a first here.”
Guyana’s delegation would be led by Chef-de-Mission Deirdre Edghill, and importantly has a physiotherapy Jana Edghill onboard.
Juman-Yassin indicated that the role of the physiotherapist is to ensure the Guyana contingent is in compliance with all the COVID-19 related protocols at the Games.
Treasurer of the Guyana Olympic Association Garfield Wiltshire pointed out that Eureka Labs has provided the PCR tests for the entire Guyana contingent free of charge, like it did for the country’s delegation at the Tokyo Olympic Games earlier this year.
Notably, this contingent is way bigger than the one that travelled to Tokyo.
“As you know these tests are not cheap, and they have again come forward and provided these tests free of charge. We would like to express our appreciation to them for offering this service to us,” Wiltshire said.
Team Guyana to Junior Pan Am Games 2021
Badminton: Narayan Ramdhani, Priyanna Ramdhani, Akili Haynes, Tyrese Jeffrey
Boxing: Terrence Poole, Alesha Jackman, Patrick Harvey, Travis Inverary
Squash: Garfield Wiltshire, Shomari Wiltshire, Samuel Ince-Carvalhal, Michael Alphonso
Table Tennis: Idi Lewis, Miguel Wong, Jonathan Van Lange
Weightlifting: Sean Cozier, Esther Nurse
Athletics: Johnny Gravesande, Revon Williams, Noelex Holder, Kelisa Smith, Chantoba Bright, Kenisha Phillips
Swimming: Paul Mahaica Sr., Paul Mahaica Jr., Patrice Mahaica, Leon Seaton, Aleka Persaud