Table Tennis Academy launched

─ $130M to modernise Sports Hall

A Table Tennis Academy was on Saturday launched as government continues to place heavy emphasis on sports. The academy will target youths between the ages of six and 16, orienting them into the sport.

The initiative is being undertaken through collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport and the Guyana Table Tennis Association. Sport Minister, Charles Ramson Jr., M.P, during the launch at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall said table tennis is one of the core sports that falls under the National Sports Academy.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Charles Ramson Jr. and the youths that will be participating in the Table Tennis Academy

He said the initiative is a new one that requires everyone to be on board as it could turn into something special. “When we take the time to do this, it is not because we want to drive the attention towards ourselves. Sport is very important for the country and it is very important for you as young people because that is where you get a lot of your skills and disciplines and learning how to work with each other and understand each other,” the Minister told those in attendance.

Minister Ramson said government, in collaboration with stakeholders, will continue to work to ensure that sports in Guyana gets to the point that is admirable. He called on those participating to put their best foot forward.

“From our end, what really matters to us is consistency, seeing that the space that is being allocated, the time that is being allocated that it is being used at all times. Before it used to be the case that when we wanted to use these facilities, it would come with a fee. We have waived fees for the usage of our facilities for the sports academy.”

Director of Sport, Steve Ninvalle said the academy will not be a talk shop, but one that will bear fruit. He said the initiative is drawing regional attention to be used as a model programme.

“Through such a programme, tennis already has one olympian. Through this programme, we may be sitting among other olympians in the next decade. So, these programmes are very important and I would ask all, the young athletes that we have, the coaches that we have, that you give your 110 per cent effort into making this just what the minister wants it to be.”

Additionally, during the launch of the academy, Minister Ramson announced that $130 million has been set aside to modernise the sports hall. The sum will see the facility being fully air conditioned with the installation of bucket seats, additional stands and the installation of a glass facing at the front of the building.

“We are doing this because yes, we want you to be comfortable and that is one of the reasons but one of the big reasons is because we want to encourage families and spectators to come to this location when we are hosting our national events because for all of the core sports, they have to have their national tournament and it is the national programme that leads into the elite training programme,” the Minister said.

In budget 2022, the sum of $5.5 billion was allocated for the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport of which $2.2 billion goes the development of sports.

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