Government launches National Sports Academy

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport on Saturday launched the National Sports Academy during the National Sports Conference held at the National Cultural Centre.

Prime Minister, Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips noted the importance of this initiative and said it is one that will contribute to the development of the citizens.  

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips

“I believe that this is an important one in contributing to the social development of our citizens… Our government has held as a main priority, the creation of more opportunities or culture, youth and sport activities because of the critical role these assets play in our lives.”

The conference focused on three main areas; the design of Guyana’s first Sports Academy and how the Government can increase inter-association collaboration and ways in which systems related to sports administration and governance can be improved.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr., MP

“These critical areas are important elements in our sports sector and will further aid us to contribute to social development through sport,” the prime minister said.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr., MP said the Sports Academy will be run by the National Sports commission and other Sports Associations.

Minister Ramson, highlighted the sports of focus.

“These are the ones that we’ve identified as being the core sports for the moment. There will be opportunities for expansion but the core sports are: cricket, football, basketball, squash, swimming, track and field, hockey, table tennis, volleyball, badminton and Rugby… The Core sports we’ve really identified based on the number of persons who are engaged, the facilities that the Ministry has that would be able to assist and you’ll see in the next slide why that is important.

“The Sports Academy is built on three pillars, the first pillar is the nursery, the second pillar is tournaments and the third pillar is the Elite Academy or Elite training. The nursery, the target range, is twelve to twenty-five, the NSC is going to provide the sports organisers and the coaches. The Ministry and the NSC are going to provide the facilities as well, meaning the venues, the gear, all of the equipment needed.”

Officials present at the launching of the National Sports Conference

Prime Minister Phillips also highlighted key developments in the sector.

“Facilities have been a priority; the Racquet Centre, for example, has been transformed into a modern day-night facility with transformative maintenance work, including works on parameters and ceilings, security, lighting structure, maintenance of the washroom and the upgrading of the squash court… The gymnasium, outdoor space is being transformed into a safe and modern multi-sport, day and night facility with improvements to the basketball court, lighting and other structural upgrades.”

The Prime Minister noted that an additional three multi-purpose sport stadiums will be constructed at three locations, Albion, Linden and Anna Regina.  He added that facilities alone will not aid in the overall development of sports in Guyana, and noted the importance of skills building.