Minister Norton looking to elevate hinterland athletes through new portfolio

DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Minister of Social Cohesion Dr. George Norton said that he will be seeking to push the development of sports in the hinterland. This was disclosed by the Minister during an exclusive interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI).

Dr. Norton will officially head the Department of Culture, Youth and Sport from September 01, 2017, in addition to his current portfolio as Minister of Social Cohesion. This was confirmed by His Excellency, President David Granger yesterday.

The Minister said his new portfolio will allow him the opportunity to develop the raw talents of the young people in the hinterland. “We are looking forward to promoting the youth involvement in the upper Mazaruni games, we were there and we saw the different villages providing athletes, footballers, volleyballers and so on… the heritage games will provide an opportunity for athletes from the hinterland communities to come and participate and play sports against each other” the Minister stated.

However, the Minister explained that in no way, the department can be separated from education. He said that “we would want our sports men, we would want our youths to have full access to education and to improve on their level of education, to have all the opportunities, it must be made available to them and they must be able to utilise whatever opportunities is presented to them.”

The Minister pointed out that he is looking forward to once and for all settle the issues surrounding the cricketing fraternity here in Guyana. Dr. Norton said that he will be taking steps to resolve whatever conflict lies within the fraternity for the interest of everyone.

Additionally, the Minister indicated that in assuming the new portfolio, a number of changes will be made. One of those he said is the 2018 budget for the two departments which he will head.

Dr. Norton explained that he plans to merge the goals of the two departments rather than to separate them.  He explained “we will take on board what youth, sports and culture would have had, what the Ministry of Social Cohesion has in plan and see how best we can put them together rather than duplicating line items and expenses.”

The Minister said that he is happy and humble to be given the opportunity and responsibility to serve and develop the youth population in Guyana who he refers to as “agents of change”.

 

By: Isaiah Braithwaite

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