‘Learn to Swim’ programme aims for big splash in Essequibo

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The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport (MCY&S), in collaboration with the National Sports Commission (NSC), launched the highly anticipated ‘Learn to Swim’ Programme in Essequibo over the weekend, drawing a large crowd from surrounding areas.

The initiative, a first for the Cinderella County, was inaugurated at the Imam Bacchus Swimming Pool in Affiance, which will serve as the programme’s main location.

Delivering the keynote address, Minister Charles Ramson Jr. emphasized the program’s importance as he highlighted its success in other regions, with over 13,000 participants benefiting in the past two years.

“This is a fantastic reception and a testament to the strong partnership we have with the private sector,” Minister Ramson Jr. stated, expressing gratitude to the Imam Bacchus family for their support.  He emphasized the programme’s role in not only saving lives but fostering personal development.

“Learning to swim during this programme will equip them with a lifelong skill,” Minister Ramson Jr. explained.  “This is an investment in human capital, with no cost to the populace.”

He underscored the potential lifesaving benefits and the programme’s contribution to organized activities, promoting discipline and a love of learning.

Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr.

Director of Sports Steve Ninvalle echoed the Minister’s sentiments, calling the launch “historic.”

He outlined the programme’s remarkable growth under the current administration, with over 13,890 participants registered since 2020.

“Numbers don’t lie,” Ninvalle declared, highlighting the significant increase in participation from 1750 in 2022 to over 6575 this year.

He emphasized the program’s shift from a fee-based model to a free initiative, aligning with the “One Guyana” spirit of inclusivity.

Ninvalle assured attendees that participant safety remains paramount. He praised the dedication of staff and stakeholders and highlighted the programme’s expansion to include adults and individuals with disabilities, another first for Guyana.

“We are committed to continuous progress, not just in swimming, but across all sports disciplines,” Ninvalle declared, marking a promising future for sports development in Guyana.

The programme will run from July 7 to 28, offering separate sessions for children (Fridays and Saturdays) and adults (Sundays).

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