Government will ensure athletes reach “greatest potential” in sport – President Ali
His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali said that his Government intends to create an environment that will generate “the best” opportunities for Guyanese athletes to reach their greatest potential.
He made the statement during a ceremony for the Vigilance Sports Ground Enhancement Programme, held earlier today at the East Coast of Demerara community.
“I intend to create an environment in which we can achieve our greatest potential in sports and our athletes can be given the best opportunities to create history for themselves and this country. We are going to make the investments.”
The President said that this does not only require Government’s support but also support from the private sector.
DIRECT SUPPORT FOR ATHLETES
The Government, he noted, will create an academy for national athletes, where they will have “the right nutrition, the right training facility, the right environment” to take the country forward and give themselves “a great opportunity for the future”.
Also at the event were several young athletes from Vigilance and neighbouring communities, including sprinter Ezekiel Newton, who participated in the South American U18 Games in Brazil and won a silver medal.
President Ali told Newton that the Government will support him fully in his professional pursuit.
“We will ensure that we put the resources, and make resources available to give you the best possible training and all that you need now to take your career forward because we believe in you.”
The President noted that the Government will sit with its partners and the relevant stakeholders to identify the gaps that need to be filled to give athletes the best possible options for their careers.
Athletic coaches were also tasked to prepare their athletes in the next four months to perform for scouts so they can have the opportunity to “demonstrate that they are capable of being in the best programmes”.
In an effort to ensure that athletes also take advantage of educational opportunities, the Head of State noted that he intends to meet with athletes early next year.
The Government has focused on infrastructural development in sport with the enhancement of a number of community centre grounds.
The Vigilance Sports Ground Enhancement Programme included the construction of a new bridge, bleacher, restroom facilities, improved groundwork, renovation works to the building and the instalment of four floodlights for night use.
These enhancements were done through a collaboration between the Office of the President, ExxonMobil and Cerulean Incorporated.
Meanwhile, President Ali lauded the work of the Buxton Youth Developers group and pledged his support to assist them with their development programmes.
The President said that the Government will provide the group with a computer lab at the facility and will task the Ministry of Education to enrol many of their primary and secondary school students in its recently launched Guyana 150,000 Coders Initiative.
To also support the group’s “dynamic work”, the President pledged to donate $1m by the end of the year to assist with development work and noted that the Government of Guyana and ExxonMobil will work directly with the community to build it stronger.
“We can do this. We can do this if we are together. We can do this if we are united, we can do this if we are respectful to each other, we can do this if our ultimate goal is to make Guyana better and that is what we have to keep our eyes on, making Guyana better.”