Carifta Games athletes to benefit from elite training- Sport Minister


By Akeem Greene

To continue the development of the country’s top junior Track and Field athletes, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Charles Ramson Jr. has announced that they will be exposed to training from Olympic coaches and medallists through strategic partnerships.

The Minister made the revelation at what has become the customary ‘red carpet’ welcome for successful athletes who compete overseas.

Guyana’s 23-member contingent copped eight medals, including four gold, at the 51st Carifta Games in Grenada at the weekend.

The expert-driven initiative aligns with the Ministry’s National Sport Academy and its third pillar, the Elite Training Programme.

“All of you are going to benefit from this Elite Training Programme,” the Minister declared at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport on Tuesday afternoon.

“These are Olympic coaches from the United States of America who are coming to Guyana to run camps with you.”

Additionally, the Minister announced that a partnership with the United States Ambassador to Guyana, Nicole Theriot, has paid off, as some Olympic medallists will visit Guyana in August to conduct intense training camps.

Furthermore, the Ministry has secured scholarships for athletes and coaches to attend universities overseas.

At the launch of the Ministry’s Easter swim camp, Director of Sport Steve Ninvalle announced that the Ministry will send one athlete and a coach for selected disciplines to India on a scholarship in the coming months.

Athletes will spend six to nine months, while coaches will serve three months.

Minister Charles Ramson Jr. with the individual gold medallists Malachi Austin (left), Tianna Springer (centre) and Athaleyah Hinckson (PHOTO: News Room/Avidesh Narine/April 2, 2024)

Eye on the future

The Minister was adamant that this crop of athletes has immense potential, which breathes genuine confidence in medal prospects at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

“I am confident that among this group and on these shores, Guyana has its very first Olympic Track and Field medal in as early as the next Olympics- not 2024 but 2028- and we have to start training from now,”  the Minister envisioned.

Bronze by boxer Michael Paris at the 1980 Games in Russia is the country’s lone medal at the global games.

Ramson Jr. contended that Guyana’s rise to defeat the formidable force of Jamaica in sprint events is a huge accomplishment and speaks to the investments reaping rewards.

Guyana won four gold medals- the country’s largest haul at the Games- thanks to Malachi Austin and Tianna Springer in the Under-20 400m finals, Athaleyah Hinckson in the Under-17 100m and the 4x400m Mixed Relay, which also now holds the CARIFTA record.

The other four medals came from Hinckson (silver in the Under-17 200m), Kaidon Persaud (silver in the Under-17 800m), Attoya Harvey (bronze in the 3000m Open), and the Boys Under-20 4x400m relay (bronze).

Notably, all medallists from the Games in Grenada will be placed on the Ministry’s monthly stipend programme.

The 52nd edition of the Carifta Games heads to Trinidad and Tobago, while Guyana is interested in hosting in 2026.

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