Badminton Academy serves off with focus on nurturing talents
By Avenash Ramzan
The racquet sport Badminton has commenced its Academy programme that is being facilitated through the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport.
The historic Academy officially served off on Monday afternoon at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, with Sport Minister Charles Ramson Jr. delivering the charge to the Association and players.
“So what you will see moving forward is that there will be times dedicated for Badminton every single day. Every single day, six days a week you will be able to come and play and train under a programme that will help you to advance your talent all the way up to the level that you want to go,” Ramson Jr. told the gathering.
“So that’s what the Sport Academy is about. It is that vehicle to take you to becoming the best sport player for your respective sport that you can ever become. We’re doing that now for 12 different sport.”
The National Sport Academy programme was unveiled in 2021 as part of a strategic move by the Ministry to take those disciplines identified in this initial phase to another level through long-term investments by the government.
Badminton has become the third discipline to start its Academy programme.
The Minister hailed the commencement of the Academy as “historic” for the sport, one that will serve to transform Badminton in the coming years.
He likened the Academy to the functions of the school system, where there is the progression from nursery, primary, secondary to tertiary.
“Similarly, the Sport Academy is built on a nursery. The second pillar is tournaments and then the third is your elite academy,” Ramson Jr. highlighted.
The Minister added that there will be rigid monitoring by the Ministry to ensure compliance to what is outlined in the Academy programme, as well as to get a gauge of what may be required to allow for further expansion going forward.
Director of Sport Steve Ninvalle, in endorsing what the Minister said, added that the start of the Academy is the realisation of words being put into action.
“The nursery is one of the most important components of sport disciplines; this is where we can mould and guide and nurture you,” Ninvalle said.
“We have stood to our word that this would not be a talk shop.”
Vice-President of the Guyana Badminton Association, Ayanna Watson, said the Association is grateful to the Ministry for seeing the need to introduce such an initiative.
Secretary of the Association, Emelia Ramdhani echoed similar sentiments, noting that sessions in the coming weeks would be held at the Queen’s College auditorium and the National Gymnasium, Mandela Avenue.
The coaches are national players Aliki Haynes and Jonathon Mangra.
The Academy programme got underway in mid-December with focus on Squash and Volleyball.
The Academy will initially target the 12 core sport, namely Cricket, Football, Athletics, Basketball, Table Tennis, Swimming, Hockey, Squash, Rugby, Volleyball, Tennis and Badminton.