Draft sports policy now online, public’s feedback sought

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Athletes, coaches and the government will soon be guided by a structured comprehensive approach to sports development with a National Sports Policy.

The draft of the policy can be found on the Ministry of Social Cohesion’s Facebook page and the ministry is encouraging feedback from the public. After this period of public comment, it is expected to be tabled before Cabinet by Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton by the end of the third quarter. This was confirmed by Assistant Director of Youth, Melissa Dow-Richardson, who is responsible for the policy’s realisation.

The draft for the National Sports Policy was generated between November 2016 and June 2018, based on research, reviews, consultations and analysis, in order to take a comprehensive approach to the development of sports in Guyana.

Focus areas of the document include: historical and philosophical narratives; vision & mission; fundamental and guiding principles; national, regional and internationally applicable laws; collaboration among national agencies on sports programmes and projects; sports governance, administration, management, organisation, education and educational institutions, medicine, financing (funding, sponsorship, incentives), tourism, manufacturing, intellectual property rights; elite athlete development, the media, overseas offices, Diaspora support, and anti-doping.

A release from the Ministry of Social Cohesion stated that “the National Sports Policy is an implementation requirement of the National Sports Commission Act, 1993, Cap. 39:14-5(d) whereby “… the function of the Commission to … encourage the conduct of sporting activities in accordance with the national policy on sports”.

According to the release, Sport policies are international best practice tools used in regional and global territories to regulate local agencies and exercise the full potential, and capacity, of the nation’s sports sector.

Sport in Guyana, over the past two years, has been on a positive trajectory to the stage where there were a number of historic moments in 2017 and 2018, both on the local and international stage.

By: Isaiah Braithwaite.