Ramson Jr. to engage Commonwealth Secretariat on support for elite coaches
By Akeem Greene
Guyana’s Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr., has indicated he will engage the Commonwealth Secretariat in getting technical support for the elite aspect of the Ministry’s Sport Academy.
These talks were advanced at the recent meeting of Sport Ministers of the Commonwealth in England, who are hosting the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Minister Ramson Jr. indicated that he managed to create a stronger and “personal relationship” to potentially access technical assistance.
“With the national sports academy we [Guyana] are doing, the weak part of our programme is the elite programme. So, what I advanced during the Sport Ministers meeting was the importance of technical support in the coaching area for the elite athletes, and that is something we will engage the Commonwealth Secretariat bilaterally”, the Minister explained in a recent interview.
The three pillars of the Sports Academy are a Nursery, Tournaments, and Elite Training Academy.
The nursery will focus on athletes aged 12 to 17 and the Ministry or the National Sports Commission (NSC) will provide facilities and employ coaches/organisers and assign them to the core sports.
At the tournament level, the Government of Guyana, through the NSC will earmark at least $12M annually for the governing bodies of the core sports, to support the organisation of tournaments.
Above-average performers, who excel at tournaments or those who show inordinate improvement will be selected for the elite training.
The elite training will last on average four to eight weeks and will see selected individuals dedicating themselves full-time to training.
In order to achieve this, the Minister announced that a stipend would be given.
The Elite Training Programme has to be done in partnership with the parent body of the Association so they can also train the coaches or look overseas for coaching development programmes/opportunities.
The core sports currently identified by the Ministry are Badminton, Basketball, Cricket, Hockey, Squash, Table Tennis, Rugby, Volleyball, Swimming, Football, Lawn Tennis and Track and Field.