Commonwealth Youth Games participants awarded for their success

The exceptional young athletes who represented Guyana at the Commonwealth Youth Games hosted in Trinidad and Tobago were awarded for their outstanding achievements to the tune of $1 million in an inspiring ceremony held on Thursday.

This momentous event took place at Olympic House, and the President of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA), Godfrey Monroe, expressed the importance of recognising and rewarding the remarkable success of these budding sports stars.

Awarding ceremony to participants of Common Wealth Youth 2023

Monroe emphasised, “We felt that it was very critical that we award the significant achievements made by these talented athletes. They have not only excelled in their respective events but have also served as an inspiration to our nation and a generation of aspiring young athletes. Rewarding athletes is a fundamental pillar of athlete development, and we believed it was significant that we acknowledge and celebrate their accomplishments.”

The ceremony was marked by a display of support, with the spotlight shining on the track prodigies who set the games ablaze by clinching gold in the mixed 4x400m relay event.

Tianna Springer, Malachi Austin, Narissa McPherson, and Javon Roberts each received well-deserved rewards for their record-breaking performances.

The 15-year-old sensation, Tianna Springer, who not only secured the gold medal in the individual women’s 400m but also anchored the triumphant relay team, was awarded a prize of $500,000. Half of this sum was presented to Narissa McPherson, who also earned a bronze in the women’s 400m final. Malachi Austin, the silver medallist in the men’s 400m final, received $350,000, while Javon Roberts was granted $100,000 for his contributions to the relay victory.

The coaches who guided these young stars to success were not forgotten, with Julian Edmonds and Mark Scott each receiving $50,000 in recognition of their invaluable roles in nurturing these talents.

Tianna Springer, reflecting on her experience, shared, “It was pretty exciting because we were so hyped to run our races, and we got the results; it was truly a good experience. I am just following my dreams, and I think everybody should too because you never know what could happen in the future.”

Malachi Austin, who competed in the 200m, 400m, and the 4x400m relay, expressed his pride in being a role model for young athletes in Guyana.

“I feel so good about myself to be a role model for most youth athletes in Guyana. I feel it is a great improvement for them to see us do so great for our country so that they can go and have that dream of their own,” he said.

Narissa McPherson, who participated in the 400m and 800m events, shared “I feel great representing Guyana to know that a lot of kids die for these chances, and I got the chance to represent my country; it felt great.”

Javon Roberts, who competed in the 800m, 1500m, and the 4x400m relay, expressed his honour in representing his country and his ambitious vision for the future.

“It was an honour and a privilege to represent my country. I see a bright future for myself; all I have to do is stay focused, and I will bring home a gold medal at the Olympics for Guyana,” Roberts said.

Meanwhile, Mark Scott, Tianna Springer’s coach, said that there is a need for continued support for both athletes and coaches.

“This is where all stakeholders have to come forward, not only to help the athletes but coaches also. We need help in various areas for the athletes. This is a time for corporate Guyana, the government, and GOA to come forward, put their heads together, and support these athletes. These athletes can go very far,” Scott emphasised.

Manager coach Julian Edmonds similarly, expressed his pride in the athletes’ confidence and performance, stating “I am standing here a very proud person. I have been coaching for many years, but this stands out because of the confidence that these young people had from day one.”

In addition, Immanuel Archibald will also be presented with an award upon his return to Guyana.

Also, discussions have already commenced about the upcoming CAFITA games in Grenada in 2024. With the dedication, talent, and support displayed by Guyana’s Commonwealth Youth Games athletes, the future of sports in the nation appears brighter than ever before.