Over 1,500 youth participating in ‘learn to swim’ programme

More than 1,500 youth nationwide will benefit from key swimming techniques over the next four weeks, through a partnership between the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport and the National Sports Commission (NSC).

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr. M.P, spearheaded the ‘warm up session’ during the launch of the programme on Monday

Culture, Youth and Sports Minister, Charles Ramson Jr. formally opened the ‘Teach Them Young: Learn to Swim’ programme on Monday, at the National Aquatic Centre, Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara.

Minister Ramson said for Guyana to achieve its  ‘One Guyana’ vision, there must be a vast partnership between the citizens in a number of areas.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr. M.P, engaged the prospective swimmers during the launch of the programme on Monday

He noted that the summer programme is another example of government honouring its commitment to expand the nation’s sports sphere, and improve family life.

“We are focused on building families, and our talents where we can take it to the highest possible level, but we are doing it in a framework of partnership with the sports associations, partnership with families, partnership with communities, partnership with all of the folks who are interested in taking our country forward,” Minister Ramson emphasised.

The aquatic centre, which was constructed during Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo’s tenure as president, cannot be under-utilised, Minister Ramson stressed.

Over 1,500 youth participating in “learn to swim” programme

He underscored that under the Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali-led administration, there are numerous opportunities now available at other sports facilities for persons to harness and expand their natural aptitude. 

“This is a programme that is designed carefully for you to benefit, but I want the parents to understand that it’s not just us running this programme, just as much as you are taking the time to bring them here, I want you to also understand that you’ve got to take that interest in your kids too when they come home,” the minister urged.

One of the trainers teaching a little girl the basic in swimming

Meanwhile, NSC’s Commissioner, Cristy Campbell said the commission has been supporting and investing regularly in many areas of sports locally.

“I am happy that you’re grasping these opportunities, you are encouraging your children to be a part of something special, and you are taking these opportunities to push your children to greater heights,” Campbell noted.  

Commissioner of the National Sports Commission, Cristy Campbell

Also, the Director of Sport, Steve Ninvalle said never in history has any initiative within the ministry seen such a large number of registrants.

He credited the astute leadership and current composition of the ministry for ensuring the youth is positively occupied in swimming during the two-month break from school.

Additionally, President of the Swimming Association, Dwayne Scott said while every participant does not have the desire to compete in the sport discipline, the swimming camp will create potential swimmers.

The classes are scheduled for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays up until August 12, at two locations – Colgrain Swimming Pool, Camp Street, and the National Aquatic Centre.

At the Colgrain pool, children six and seven years old will train from 08:00 to 09:00 hrs. Registrants, eight and nine years old will train between 09:00 to 10:00 hrs, and the 10:00 to 11:00 hrs. will facilitate 10- and 11-year-old children.

Persons 12 to 14 years old, will be housed at the aquatic centre from 13:00 to 14:00 hrs., while 15 to 18 years old will practise from 14:00 to 15:00 hrs.   

The swimming lessons will help the participants become more comfortable in the water. They will learn how to float and safely operate.

To accomplish its mandate of serving the Guyanese populace effectively by enhancing the culture, youth and sports sectors, the ministry also intends to run – off other programmes during the school break period.

A culture programme will be launched for the first time within a few days, which will see persons gaining knowledge in arts and crafts, as well as drumming and music. They will also visit heritage sites. Similarly, a self-defence class for girls ages 11 to 18 will be launched shortly.