Minister Ramson examines works at Buxton/Friendship Community Centre Ground

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Hon. Charles Ramson Jr. on Sunday examined infrastructural and other developmental works undertaken by his Ministry at the Buxton/Friendship Community Centre Ground, East Coast Demerara.

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

Some $2 million has been spent on the recreational facility to date since the PPP/C Government took office in August.

Minister Ramson said the facility was in a deplorable condition when he visited the community last December.

“When we got here it was shocking to see the state of this community ground and when I met with some of the executives and community leaders it was very important for us to work out what we are going to do and how we are going to do it quickly.”

Mr. Robin Phillips, President of the Buxton/Friendship Community Centre Ground Committee

The Sport Minister said chief among the problems identified was security.

“The fence was falling apart and on top of that we saw some of the electrical wires were on the ground, so it meant that children could have been electrocuted. That’s not something that we could have really countenanced as a Government because we definitely wouldn’t want anyone to get hurt as a result of being at a community ground.”

Minister Ramson said at first when the commitment was made to revamp the ground some persons were doubtful. However, he reiterated that the PPP/C Government would not make empty promises like the previous administration, but would stand by its word and the people of Guyana.

“I have said this many times before and I will continue to say, this is the direction that the President has given to us as the Cabinet, which is that he is going to lead a Government for all people and all communities. That’s the direction he has given his ministers and that’s something all of the Ministers have been doing and we intend to continue.

Mr. Wayne Forde, President of the Guyana Football Federation

It’s been six months since we have taken office and that is enough time for anyone to give a good assessment of how we intend to Govern. And despite some of the back biting that is coming from the Opposition, it is important that we are establishing relationships with the community, with people, with associations because we want to build in this framework or partnership,” Minister Ramson added. 

Further, the Minister said developmental work will be mirrored at every sport ground nationwide. In fact, he noted that approximately $38 million from the 2020 Emergency Budget was disbursed to the various regions to aid in this regard.

“Every village has a ground and every village has needs for its ground to be enhanced. We will continue to help all the villages across the country. Some grounds have to be earmarked for a different type of development. Because we are focused on a particular type of sport development, it means that we have got to get to specialisation of sports for some grounds in their orientation and usage,” Minister Ramson explained.

Meanwhile, Mr. Wayne Forde, President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) commended the Government for what he dubbed a “tremendous effort.” He said if this passion by the Ministry could be replicated nationwide then Guyana’s sport would receive a tremendous boost.

Resident Mr. Mark Cromwell

“In a matter of days, we will be commencing works at a ground in Ann’s Grove and we have allocated $10 million for that project and we are also moving into Berbice where we are upgrading another ground at Vryman’s to the tune of $10 million,” the GFF President told reporters.

Mr. Robin Phillips, President of the Buxton/Friendship Community Centre Ground Committee, expressed thanks to Minister Ramson for “standing to his word”.  “He made the commitment to upgrade this facility and I want to say to you this afternoon that you are a man of your word,” Mr. Phillips said.

Another community member, Mr. Mark Cromwell also thanked the Minister, noting that “the Minister said he will take care of it and he kept his word, so I am very happy about what the Minister has done.”