— stricter rules to be implemented
ALL systems are in place for the third edition of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport (MCY&S)/Ministry of Health (MOH)/Guyana Cycling Federation’s (GCF) Riding for Life Five-Stage Cycle Road Race.
This was the assurance given by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr Frank Anthony, yesterday when he brought members of the media up to date with plans for the event which wheels off on November 4.
Dr Anthony informed that the Guyana Police Force’s Traffic Department has assured his ministry that, despite the final stage (Kara Kara to Georgetown) being held on a day when the Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club will be having its Caribbean Race of Champions meet at the South Dakota Circuit, arrangements will be put in place to have a free flow of traffic along the route, as added traffic ranks would be deployed.
“We have been assured that we will have an incident-free race.”
The ever vibrant minister also stated that unlike the past two years, this year will see the organisers implement some UCI rules, in particular, when it comes to supporters of participants following the race in an ad hoc manner.
The minister said no cars or motorcycles would be allowed to follow the race close up under the competing cyclists if they are not officials.
Earlier, Minister of Health Dr Leslie Ramsammy explained that his ministry is in partnership with the MCY&S in sponsoring this year’s event which according to him is budgeted at just over $6M.
He said what sports do in Guyana is equal to what his ministry does in hospitals and noted that in any country across the world if sports and health do not work together, it would be bad for that country. “We see sports globally as an agenda for long and healthy lives.”
He expressed on his ministry’s behalf its profound gratitude to the MCY&S and the Guyana Cycling Federation for assisting to promote healthy lifestyles.
Dr Ramsammy said his ministry is committed to making the event the biggest such event not only in Guyana but in the CARICOM region.
While he could not say if his ministry would be able to fund the event forever, he is positive that it would get funding until 2015. “And with the cooperation of the Guyana Cycling Federation and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, we’ll work together to make it bigger and better.”
The minister informed that this year the New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation would make available 50 hampers for the top 50 finishers and the hampers would be made up of health products.
Minister Ramsammy said he is impressed with what the GCF and the MCY&S are doing about making cyclists ambassadors and they in turn are making every citizen an ambassador as well.
He said when he threw out the challenge to the MCY&S three years ago to organise an event that would make every citizen aware of the deadly AIDS virus, he never thought it would have been as successful as it is today.
Dr Anthony thanked the MOH for the partnership over the past three years, since at the inception there was a lot of skepticism and had it not been for the MOH, there would not have been a Ride for Life race.