President Ali donates $1.5M to support Upper Maz district games 2022

His Excellency, Dr Mohammed Irfaan Ali on Sunday handed over a cheque valued $1.5 million to support the annual Upper Mazaruni district games, which was relaunched after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

President, Dr Afraan Ali handing over cheque to President of District Spots Council, Rudolph Wellington.

The eight-day competition will see twelve teams from various Region Seven villages including Arau, Kaikan, Waramadong, Kamarang, Kako, Quebanang, Jawalla, Phillipai, Chinoweing, Imbaimadai, Wax Creek and Paruima participating for coveted prizes.

The head of state during his remarks noted that in order to build strong and competitive football teams, talent must be selected from all across the country.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai.

“If we are to build football, we have to identify talent from all across the regions in Guyana, we have to bring those talents, we have to nurture the talent, support the talent and then put the talent forward in our national pool,” he said.

Addressing his “One Guyana” initiative, the president said government will launch a ‘One Guyana Cup’ which will see teams from every region participating in football games.

Some of the spectators at the games.

He challenged players to do their best as some of them would be selected to play in that event. From the “One Guyana” tournament at least 50 players would be part of a special development programme to develop their skills.

“We are on a mission under the ‘one Guyana’ umbrella to connect our country through development, to connect our country through economic prosperity, social harmony, but more importantly to connect us together as one Guyanese family and that is what is important, that is what is critical,” the president said.

Teams during the march pass.

The players will also be assigned to schools across the country to work in developing the talent of the younger population. The president noted that the players will be paid a stipend, therefore creating employment, while at the same time producing future competitive players.

“These are the activities and events that bring our people together, bring our community together, bring our young people together, these are the events that will help us to uplift each other and move each other in a positive direction,” he noted.

The president further pointed out that the philosophy of the government is to work with every stakeholder, every community, every region and every Guyanese to bring prosperity and uplift the lives and livelihood of citizens countrywide.

The head of state has also committed to establishing a shade house in the community of the winning team. This will complement the initiatives in bringing food security to the community.

Teams on the ground competing.

“We’re working in every single community to ensure that our communities become food secure, our children must have access to the best nutrition, so I’m going to add something here to this tournament, you’re playing not for your team alone but for your community, so the winning team will be supported by the government with a shade house to support your food security programme in your community,” he noted.  

Meanwhile, Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai said since taking office in 2020 the government, through the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, had made tremendous developments in improving sporting facilities and initiative for youths’ engagement in sporting activities.

“He (Minister Ramson) continues to deliver in respect of the support for the development of Culture, Youth and Sports and he has had a very busy activity and schedule over the last two years examining how best our government will bring to par all our sporting facilities that need the level of investment,” she said.

Speaking on Amerindian development, the minister recalled President Ali’s announcement of the $3 billion allocation to advance growth in women affairs, children and youth, tourism, and human development, among others.

She explained that every hinterland community will benefit from government’s programmes to improve their lives, especially those living in the far-flung areas.

Minister Sukhai assured residents that her ministry will continue its support in the development of sports in hinterland communities.

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