‘2023 was a year in which we scored big and do the same this year’

Min. Ramson while defending the budget 2024

Under the potent leadership of the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr, the government is celebrating a string of successes in these sectors.

This was highlighted by Minster Ramson as he defended his ministry during the ongoing budget debates on Tuesday in the National Assembly.

Minister of Culture, Youths and Sports, Charles Ramson Jr. defending during the ongoing budget debates in the National Assembly

In contrast to the previous administration, Minster Ramson highlighted the cultural revitalization, youth empowerment and sporting triumphs of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS). He was convinced of the impact these sporting, cultural and youth activities had on the lives of all Guyanese.

“This has been the greatest year of achievements for us, we have surpassed every set target we set for ourselves in our budget,” Minister Ramson asserted.

Also, nearly 350 sports grounds were rehabilitated through the MCYS ‘ground enhancement’ programme through the government’s injection of $1.2 billion last year.

Minister Ramson said this is a result of the government’s work in the area of youth and community development.

“We are currently doing 150 grounds and if you include the hinterland, it is 100 grounds support from our ministry and another 100 grounds coming out from the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs. So currently 350 community grounds across this country are getting support,” Minister Ramson highlighted.

Additionally, the government installed floodlights at the Anna Regina Multi-purpose facility, Uitvlugt community ground, and synthetic tracks in Regions Six and Ten to further enhance the conditions, allowing athletes to improve their skills.

The minister stated this is more than what the previous administration was able to achieve during their time in government.

“The APNUAUFC did nothing but the Durban Park in their five years, where they spent $1.4 billion and $600 million is unaccounted for, cannot be found…that is what they consider complete. That is not complete, that is a complete fraud. We are currently building five stadiums, six indoor facilities, and these are multi-year projects,” Minister Ramson stated.

Monies were also expended on the construction of international stadiums at Crane in Region Three and Palmyra in Region Six.

Residents of Regions One, Three, Seven, Eight, and Nine will be benefitting from newly constructed multipurpose halls.

Meanwhile, Guyana will be hosting international squash tournaments with the construction of a doubles court. The $25 million facility that will house the court is completed and was constructed at the National Racquet Centre, Woolford Avenue, Georgetown.

Some other key fulfillments of Sports include the largest medal allocation in Guyana’s history with more than 160 medals since participating in international competitions.

Namely, the Caribbean Premiere League (CPL) that the minister underscored won after an 11-year hiatus, the Basketball league, Football leagues that deemed Guyana a ‘football playing nation’, and the men and women squash teams amongst others.

Through collaborative efforts with the National Sports Commission, some 7000 Guyanese were trained to swim through the National Swimming programme, free of cost. This was rolled out at the National Aquatic Centre (NAC), Liliendaal, Colgrain Pool on Camp Street, Watooka Pool in Linden and the Albion Estate Pool, along the Corentyne Coast.

The government has invested heavily in training programmes and camps, equipping them with the skills and confidence to shape their future.

The government through the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport has been able to train some 2,500 youths in robotics in 2023.

Additionally, a total of 17 robotic hubs were established in 2023, bringing the amount to 36 in three years since the PPP/C Administration took office.

Similarly, the government expanded the President’s Youth Award Republic of Guyana (PYARG) in 2023, adding activities including agriculture, karate, videography, photography, and archery.

Minister Ramson also noted that the ministry was able to have the institute accredited and offer a CTVET level one certificate.

These investments are a testament to the dedication government in empowering and improving the lives of all Guyanese.