PRIME Minister, Samuel Hinds, yesterday officially declared the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU)/Ministry of Education (MoE)/ Digicel sponsored 53rd Annual Track and Field, Cycling and Swimming Championships open at the Providence National Stadium.In declaring the championships open, Prime Minister Hinds, who is currently acting as president, extended his best wishes to the athletes; and then expressed his appreciation to the GTU and the MoE for organising the championships. “A great deal of effort was put into organizing the championships,” the Prime Minister stated.
He added that the moment has given the students a chance to excel and he expects “competition over the next two days to be fierce, but fair and friendly.”
PM Hinds hoped that everyone present was filled with the sense of pride, and he too was pleased to see representatives from all across the country present.
He noted that the Government of Guyana has since constructed a stadium, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and a synthetic track currently under construction. He revealed also that very soon there would be the construction of a velodrome for cycling. These projects he said show that the Government is serious about the development of youths. “We need to savour the fact and let the development of these projects sink in.”
The Prime Minister said that the song “Let us Corporate for Guyana” which was played by the North Ruimveldt Multilateral School Steel Band during the march past of athletes should remind us to corporate, and that each of us should make a contribution to the country.
He thanked the sponsors for coming on board and expressed his best wishes to the championships.
Prior to Prime Minister Hinds’ speech, Minister of Education, Prya Manickchand, said that the championships would allow students to be more rounded. Students have been performing exceptionally well at academics and should perform well at athletics.
She said Guyana has been topping the rest of the Caribbean at the CXC exams for a number of years and are going forward not only academically but in sports as well.
Minister Manickchand thanked the corporate bodies that came forward to lend support to the championships and called on others to step on the plate.
She told the athletes from the 16 Districts that at the end of the championships every one of them would be champions since they were all participating.
GTU’s president, Colin Bynoe, said he hoped the championships would be memorable, and that sports have always been fostering unity.
Bynoe called on the Ministry of Sport to ensure Guyana is represented at the Rio 2016 Olympics and said some of the athletes competing at this year’s championships could be identified for specialized training.
He informed that star athlete, Jevena Straker, is currently in the United States preparing for participation at the 2016 Olympics.
Prior to the actual start of the track and field championships, there was a karate display by members of the Guyana Japan Karate Association, as well as a physical display by students of the Lodge Secondary School.
Written By Michael DaSilva