President stresses importance of sports to development – at National Sports Awards 2014

President Donald Ramotar on Friday evening underscored the benefits of sports to Guyana, a country that is multi cultural/ multi ethnic, as this aspect helps greatly with integration, building understanding and camaraderie, and ensures a population that is fit.

“It improves the social capital of a country,” the President said during an address at the annual National Sports Awards presentation at the National Cultural Centre.

“We see it as important to develop our country and our communities. There are many benefits that can be derived from sports. At the national level sports brings us recognition on the international scene, when our players do very well it adds to the prestige of our country,” the President said.

He observed that the awards recognise the excellence in Guyanese sports. “Awards have motivated sportsmen and women to strive for excellence.”
President Donald Ramotar addresses the gathering at the National Sports Awards ceremony

He congratulated the awardees with special mention of the Sportsman of the Year, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, “who finished third in the ICC ranking with 876 points.”

The President also congratulated Sportswoman of the Year, Charmaine Campbell whom he described as “our female batting star playing for the West Indies. In 2013 she set a new record in a match between the West Indies and Sri Lanka. She is the first woman batting at Number 7 to score 105.”

He also expressed pleasure at the performance of the Junior Sports awardees.  Jason Yaw he observed has already distinguished himself in a number of ventures, “and I am sure that he has a very bright future ahead of him. So too the Junior Sportswoman of the Year, Chelsea Edghill who is an outstanding table tennis player. ”

He added that sports also has personal and national benefits for the population since a healthy population brings reduced costs for medical treatment and fit persons are more productive in the day to day life of the nation.

The Head of State posited that sports can help fight the scourge of suicide and depression, suggesting that targeting persons with those problems could be one of the activities used to combat them.  He also described the many economic benefits of sport, pointing to the national and international events which can have many direct and indirect benefits to a country. He pointed to the 2013 CPL matches held in Guyana which did just that.
President Donald Ramotar, Minister of Culture Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony and other officials with the 2014 National Sports Awardees

Minister of Culture Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony during his presentation issued the call for more Physical Education classes in schools. He pointed out that more persons should be involved in sports since it could be beneficial to health.

The Minister also noted the plans for new sports development and explained that it could not be done by Government alone, but through the joint efforts of stakeholders.

Awards:

Male Sportsman of the Year – Shivnarine Chanderpaul

Female Sportswoman of the Year – Shemaine Campbell

Junior Sportsman of the Year – Jason Yaw

Junior Sportswoman of the Year – Chelsea Edhill

Sports Team-of-the-Year – Guyana Squash Association’s senior team

Non-print sport journalist – Avinesh Ramzan

Sports Journalist (print award) – Emerson Campbell

Sports Association of the year – Guyana Table Tennis Association

Most Improved Sports Association – Guyana Boxing Association

Female Sports Official – Inspector Amanda Hermonstine

Male Sports Official – Godfrey Munroe

Special Award for Persons with Disability – Gibran Sarfaraz

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