… GPS Cadet Officer says project will help reduce crime significantly
By Clifton Ross
GUYANA Prison Service (GPS) Sports Coordinator Cadet Khalifa Hale says there is a proposed plan for local investors to further impact sports by virtue of owning teams.
Cadet Hale, who is in charge of the local prison’s sports reform programme as well as on board the joint services sports committee, told Chronicle Sport during an exclusive conversation that Phase 1 of the project is currently ongoing.
He said more athletes will have a better financial basis to help with their careers, adding that the project will set a foundation for reducing crime over time in Guyana.
According to Hale, the first phase is covering the logistics of first getting the required permission from the government under the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport. The plan is to turn regular sponsors into full-fledged owners of any sport team they might have interest in within a specific region or community of Guyana.
While regular sponsors are more inclined to support a specific team or sport, based on an event, Hale’s plan is geared towards turning interested investors/sponsors into a kind of mini-franchise owner.
For example, should a sponsor or stockholder feel inclined to own a football team in his community, that potential team owner will then signal his intentions to the project coordinators and the ministry, who will give the green light for that new owner to now have full access to his or her new franchise.
Also, with support coming from the government once the project gets underway, teams will benefit from having access to venues in their communities while owners can utilise venues to further generate more income to sustain their franchise and venue.
From a monetary perspective, such a plan, according to Hale, will help to tremendously reduce crime in Guyana while opening newer avenues for youths to put their time and effort into making an honest dollar while creating a crime-free society by using sports as its main tool.
With Phase 1 almost completed, Hale noted that his recent talks with Sport Minister Charles Ramson has now prompted him to further wrap up the second phase of planning.
He noted that the minister has promised support at his end once the planning party ticked all of their boxes with regard to the project’s blueprint. Upon checking all the boxes, Hale noted that only then the government’s support will come into effect, something the sports coordinator said had given them the encouragement to further complete their initial stages of the venture.
One driving force behind the planned move comes from Hales’ everyday encounter with youths who have lost their lives to the judicial system. He said being involved in the prison as a person who places much emphasis on reforming those incarcerated, especially by means of sports and staying fit; has only boosted his efforts to use sports as the primary weapon which will help keep youths out of prison.
He noted that over the years, he has seen a number of inmates turn to sports as a way to pass the time behind bars. Hales said the relaxation and joy which sports bring can be used beforehand in a major capacity to further prevent more and more youths from losing their way in the streets.
Also, should the project become a reality soon, the Cadet said he was confident that the crime will lessen across the country especially those areas which are in dire need of assistance. Having a community team franchise will help more persons to become involved in community restoration activities both in sports and entertainment.
With support from the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG), the Allied Arts which is responsible for School sports programmes and a few others local entities have so far shown interest to be a part of the project.
Hales said once a significant number of association and sponsors come on board in the days to come, project planners will commence rolling out Phase 2 which will focus on legalising the process and getting the government’s full support.
Meanwhile, Cadet Hale can be contacted at Klalifahale1988@gmail.com or on cell 610-7886 for more information regarding the potential sports plans.