MCY&S, NSC throw financial support behind ‘Golden Boy’ Raekwon Noel

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In an effort to continue their mandate of empowering elite athletes, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport and the National Sports Commission (NSC) have made good on their pledge to financially support the international training endeavours of history-making CARIFTA Aquatics Championship five-time gold medallist, Raekwon Noel.

The CARIFTA Games record-breaker recently met with Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Charles Ramson Jr., as well as Director of Sport Steve Ninvalle.

Raekwon Noel was outstanding at the CARIFTA Games

Noel etched his name in the annals of Guyana and CARIFTA’s swimming history as he won five gold medals at the Aquatics Championship, an event which was birthed in 1985.

The Indiana Hoosiers swimmer won the 1500m Freestyle, 400m Individual Medley, 800m Freestyle, 200m Butterfly and 400m freestyle in the 15-17 age group.

He was the only swimmer to medal at the prestigious championship and walked away with a CARIFTA record in the 800m freestyle, as well as breaking four national records.

Ninvalle said, “The Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sport in collaboration with the National Sports Commission had promised to facilitate and assist in the training programme of Raekwon Noel, the CARIFTA Aquatics Championship record-breaker. As such, we will be shouldering a significant portion of the financial cost associated with his training regimen in the United States.”

“Quality training and international exposure are vital, and this is another tangible expression of our commitment to the development of our elite athletes. Raekwon Noel is a true ambassador of Guyana and elevated the profile of his nation following his historic exploits at the Aquatics Championship, which will forever be etched in the annals of Caribbean history. The Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sport and the National Sports Commission remain committed to ensuring his continued improvement.”

Meanwhile, Noel, who currently resides in New Jersey, USA, said, “Training for these competitions is costly and there are many expenses. I have to pay club and coach fees, gym fees, transportation to and from the pool, I need training gear and equipment, and nutritional supplements. I need to pay to travel to regional and other out-of-state competitions.”

“The NSC has committed to paying my club and coaching fees. I greatly appreciate the assistance because that is one less cost for my parents to find. I am still trying to find sponsors to cover my other costs until August 2024 when I will join the University of Indiana on a swimming scholarship.”

He further said, “I am currently training and hope to represent Guyana at four major upcoming swimming championships. These are: (1.) World Aquatics Championship in Japan [July 14-30, 2023], (2.) World Junior Championships in Israel [September 4-9, 2023]. (3.) Pan American Games in Chile [October 20 – November 5, 2023], and (4.) Olympics in Paris, France [July 26 – August 11, 2024].”

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