THE Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport (MCYS)-sponsored annual Easter Swimming Camp which was held at the Colgrain Swimming Pool came to a close yesterday, with a closing ceremony attended by the Director of Sport Neil Kumar and MCYS Permanent Secretary, Alfred King.
The camp which was held over the past three weeks beginning April 14, catered to some 76 young participants between the ages of 6 and 11 years.
Organisers expected 60 students but the number grew to 76, as the camp continues to progress and grow in popularity, Natalie Cummings, Director of the Pool, said yesterday.
In addressing the audience, which included the participants and their parents, King pointed out that the initiative of the camp was to demonstrate that the Ministry is not only concerned with ensuring that facilities are put in place for the development of sports in Guyana but they also look at the need to augment the infrastructure with proper coaching and programmes to develop the skills in the athletes.
He further noted that the dynamic nature of swimming makes it beneficial, given that it can be used by other athletes as well because it is a sport that exercises the entire body.
In his address Kumar pointed out that the camp is a great starting-point for the youngsters who may one day go on to represent Guyana at the national level at events outside of the country.
“This programme is to introduce the very young to swimming; it can also give them the foundation to prepare to participate in the Inter-Guiana Games and CARIFTA (Swimming Championships] and so on.
From here we are hoping that the children can qualify to go and swim at the aquatic centre. I am very confident that by then the warm-up pool will be finished and we will be able to have a better facility for the children,” Kumar said yesterday.
The Ministry is hoping to host another such camp later this year during the August vacation. The camp was headed by Cuban coach Isabel Cuoso Fals, who has been working in Guyana for the past year as a coach attached to the Ministry. Other instructors in the programme included instructors Marcia Rodrigues and Marissa Wray.
The participants attended sessions three days a week.
In expressing gratitude, one parent pointed out how beneficial the camp was for the children and implored that opportunities be made available for the children to continue to develop the skills they gained from this initiative.
Those in attendance were also treated to a demonstrative presentation where some of the children displayed what they had learnt over the past few weeks.