Construction of all-weather facility for cricket academy commences– Sport Minister
By Akeem Greene
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr., has announced that the construction of the all-weather facility to cater to the cricket academy has commenced and could be completed within three months.
The facility will be at the North Eastern section of the National Stadium, Providence, and the intention is for it to be a model that can be implemented in all counties.
This part of the academy caters to the further upskilling of the country’s elite cricketers at all levels.
“It gives them [elite players] the opportunity to have net practice 365 days a year. We are no longer going to be plagued by rainy [and] dry season situations because we have to create the conditions in the country if we want to produce exception players where we are beating everybody in the world and we have been able to do that already,” Ramson Jr. revealed while speaking Tuesday at the second development camp hosted by the Everest Cricket Club in this school vacation period.
The Minister further elaborated that this facility will allow players to develop their skills, apart from fitness, in the off-season.
In February, Minister Ramson Jr. led a working consultation session with the Commissioners of the National Sports Commission, the Director of Sport, the Guyana Cricket Board, the Berbice Cricket Board, the Demerara Cricket Board, the Essequibo Cricket Board and individuals with relevant knowledge to finalise the details for the Cricket Academy.
The Minister had previously indicated he will engage the Commonwealth Secretariat in getting technical support for the elite aspect of the Ministry’s Sport Academy.
Those talks were advanced at the recent meeting of Sport Ministers of the Commonwealth in England, during the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Cricket, Hockey and Football are the remaining three of the 12 core sports whose academies are still to be officially launched, but are expected to commence within the coming months.
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.
The other core sports currently identified by the Ministry are Badminton, Basketball, Squash, Table Tennis, Rugby, Volleyball, Swimming, Lawn Tennis and Track and Field.