Sport facilities are ‘white elephants no more’ says Minister Norton

– millions spent to enhance grounds across the country

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Claims made by the opposition that the sports facilities across Guyana are now white elephants was today dismissed by Minister of Social Cohesion with responsibility for Sports Dr. George Norton. The Minister during his presentation at the 2019 National Budget Debates said that all local sporting facilities have been upgraded to international standards.

The Minister referred to the Guyana National Stadium that underwent massive upgrades since the government took office in 2015. Minister Norton pointed out that the facility was once at the point of collapse were it not for the government intervention. Today the stadium is on par with international standards.

“To the member who spoke of the stadium being … a white elephant. That facility would never have hosted the ICC Women’s T20 world cup had it not been in a proper condition. We installed a replay screen before the matches could have been played there,” the Minister stated.

Minister Norton also alluded to the National Track and Field Centre which also had to be repaired and has now hosted a number of international, regional and local events such as the Aliann Pompey Invitational, the South American Junior Championships, Inter-Guiana Games and the National School’s Championship.

The National Aquatic Centre, he highlighted, which was constructed under the previous administration was full of cracks and the main building had shifted 17 inches. However, under the Coalition it was brought up to international standards following rehabilitation and the installation of electronic touch pads, display board.

According to Minister Norton over $70Million has been spent to enhance community grounds across Guyana. Several of these were outfitted with floodlights to facilitate use at nights. He said that the ground enhancement project will continue within the sports development scheme, which includes the establishment of a national standard for sports grounds. This will facilitate the promotion of structured sports programmes to aid and complement the work being done under the ground enhancement project.

“In 2019, Sports in Guyana will see an emphasis on improved maintenance, services and security at all national sports facilities, concentrated programmes and initiatives in schools and communities and the provision of logistical and administrative support to sports associations, federations, individuals and teams” Minister Norton underscored.

Isaiah Braithwaite.

Image: Keno George.

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