Sport Minister promises more infrastructural development in 2023

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Labelling 2022 ‘a phenomenal year’ for the government, Ministry of the Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr. promised more development over the next 12 months, especially as it relates to infrastructure in sport.

In highlighting the ongoing and completed works undertaken by his Ministry during the last year, Minister Ramson Jr. said much has been achieved and the government is focused on building on that momentum.

Aside from announcing that more infrastructural projects are carded for this year, the Minister told the National Assembly during his contribution to the budget debates that the highly anticipated Sport Policy will be implemented.

Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh, in his budget presentation, announced that Sport was allocated its largest-ever budget of G$4.3 billion, a massive increase from the G$2.2 billion from 2022.

Critically, Minister Ramson pointed out, is the establishment of National Cricket Academy, which is catered for in the 2023 allocation.

Also in the pipeline is the construction of the state-of-the-art stadium at Palmyra, Berbice, while funds have been available for the construction of multi-purpose sporting facilities in the hinterland; rehabilitation works at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall; construction of stands and grass mounds in Regions Two and Six; extension of the Squash court at the National Racquet Centre, and the procurement of sport gear.

Further, the sum of G$250 million is budgeted for the continued improvement of community grounds across the country.

A total of 55 community grounds, Ramson said, were given upgrades in 2022 alone, taking the overall number to 92 since the government took office in August 2020.

Works are progressing on synthetic tracks in New Amsterdam and Linden, a new stand was constructed at the National Track and Field Centre at Leonora, renovations were done at the National Stadium at Providence and all-weather cricket facility is being constructed there, and upgrades were done to the National Racquet Centre.

Minister Ramson also touched on the major sport events that were hosted last year, including the ICC Men’s Under-19 World Cup, the Caribbean Premier League finals for the first time, the expanded Inter-Guiana Games, the Junior Caribbean Squash Championship and the inaugural President’s Cup football tournament.

Also, major upgrades were undertaken at the South Dakota Circuit, Guyana became the first country in the Concacaf region to implement the FIFA for Schools programme, while a record 1,600 students attended the Learn to Swim programme.

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