National Sports Policy closer to realisation

DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The National Sports Policy is not a strategy that can be rushed even though it is a document that athletes need says Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton.

Sports 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. This has been achieved without a National Sports Policy which would provide the necessary guidance for the government, coaches, and athletes on the way forward.

Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton.

However, Minister Norton who also has responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport, during an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), stated that while it is absolutely necessary to get the document completed, time must be allowed for the production of a policy that ensures everyone benefits from the power of sports.

“We are hoping before the end of the first half of the year we would have it [the National Sports Policy] completed.”

It was highlighted by the minister that information gathered from consultations carried out in 2015 through 2017 will be used to formulate the policy. However, it was pointed out that more work needs to be done if the document is to cater for Guyanese countrywide.

“We are trying to get the involvement of more stakeholders. The input must not only be at the level of the organisations but also the participants right across the length and breadth of Guyana” the minister stated.

When the ministry’s work plan for 2018 was presented last year, Minister Norton said, it was recognised that Guyana possesses an abundance of raw talent and potential, however, without a plan to effectively develop the young athletes, their talent will just remain potential.

Similar sentiments were echoed by President David Granger at the opening of the 20th Upper Mazaruni District Games in 2017. President Granger noted that sport has the ability to create employment, stimulate business and attract tourists.  “…all of Guyana could bring their talents to bear to improve their lives and to improve the quality of life of the whole country. We want to see in this National Sports Policy” the Head of State said.

The National Sports Policy has been one of this administration’s main focal points upon assuming office in 2015 and has been the topic of discussion ever since. Once completed, the policy is expected to, among others things, address the structures, programmes and infrastructure required for recreational and high-performance sport and how best to facilitate and support the achievement of the sport objectives over the next ten years.

 

By: Isaiah Braithwaite

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