.. President Ali aims to ensure athletes balance education, sport
GUYANA’S President Dr Irfaan Ali was adamant that more needs to be done to enhance the development of local athletes, but pointed to a multi-faceted approach with the private sector and sporting bodies also playing a critical role.
The Head of State, during a press briefing yesterday, told the media that Guyana is blessed with talent and his administration intends to put systems in place to help unearth it.
“I am confident that we have in Guyana athletes who are capable of standing on the medal podium, but we have to make that investment.”
He said that a multi-dimensional approach has been working in other countries and should also be implemented in Guyana.
“In all countries that do well in sports, the private sector plays an integral role. So we want to do this in partnership with the private sector, the commission, the federations, sporting bodies …”
President Ali said that talent-spotting will not only unearth gifted athletes or athletes with potential early, but will help the relevant authorities to make the needed investments in overall development. First of all, we have to invest in talent-spotting from a very young age. When we spot those talents, we have to invest in a programme that allows them to pursue academics while their athletic talent or sporting talent is developed and enhanced.”
The President noted that his Government is already putting systems in place to help develop local athletes. He said that an essential pillar of his Government’s strategy will be to ensure that young people are equipped with the necessary training venues to harness their talent.
“The existing sports infrastructure will be overhauled to include the establishment of three new multi-purpose centres to accommodate a wider range of sporting facilities and events.”
He noted that not only will there be upgrades to all public sports facilities, including the sports grounds in rural and hinterland areas, but that his Government has already committed to establishing regional centres and a high-performance training centre for athletes.